Europe has begun to standardise the future data link services which will build on the operational introduction of Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) successfully established by the LINK2000+ Programme.
On the basis of a large amount of research and development and numerous operational trials carried out by many European stakeholders and EUROCONTROL, a number of new data link operational services complementing those in LINK2000+ are now ready for international standardisation. These new data link services are consistent with the provisions from the European ATM Master Plan. They include data link operational improvements for the short term in the flight information services area and a number of medium-term applications, such as the introduction of initial 4D operations. These data link services will allow an effective transition towards the advanced long-term operating method called for by the ATM Master Plan. "Now is the right moment to capitalise on the R&D work carried out and to provide our stakeholders with the possibility to maximise the return on their data link investment, and we are committed to the development of global standards which will provide safety, efficiency and capacity benefits for our stakeholders" said Robert Stewart, Head of the Communications Systems and Programmes Division at EUROCONTROL. A joint RTCA/EUROCAE group, the SC-214/WG-78, has been created in order to develop global data link standards for this next step. Furthermore, the FAA's Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) plan includes a Data Communications Programme which envisages the operational introduction of these new data link services across the US.