As of 3 May 2016, ATCOs from the 5 French ACCs can provide ATC instruction of frequency transfer via data link to all equipped aircraft above FL 195 (6 000 meters).
Air-ground data link communication is the baseline of advanced automated functions under development by the SESAR program. With data link, ATM will be safer and more efficient in particular via a reduction of the number of repetitive messages and a frequency transfer at the most appropriate moment as well as the use of pre-formatted messages for air-ground exchanges.
In France, controller pilot data link communication (CPDLC) services are implemented in several phases. A first set of 3 services (air-initiated log on, microphone check and frequency transfer) already available since September 2015 in Bordeaux and Brest ACCs is now implemented at Paris,
Reims and Aix-en-Provence ACCs which means that France is supporting frequency transfer by data link in all upper airspace. All SITA equipped aircraft flying in the upper airspace i.e., more than 70% of the aircraft, can currently use the services. For ARINC equipped aircraft, the service will be available in March 2017.