The air navigation service providers (ANSPs) of France (DSNA), Belgium (Belgocontrol), Luxembourg (ANA), the Netherlands (LVNL) and Switzerland (Skyguide), today announced the selection of air transport communications specialist SITA to provide air/ground communication infrastructure (ATN and VDL Mode 2).
The airspace controlled by the FABEC ANSPs is one of the most crowded in the world, covering 55% of all European traffic. FABECS introduction of Air/Ground Data Link services is therefore a major step forward on the road to the Single European Sky while also contributing to an enhanced level of safety.
This ten-year framework agreement between SITA and the ANSPs provides infrastructure for data link communication services across FABECs entire airspace. It also includes the sharing of the air/ground infrastructure, allowing SITA to provide operational communications (AOC) to airlines. Other members of FABEC are also working with SITA through earlier partnerships; the German ANSP, DFS has already deployed SITAs infrastructure and EUROCONTROLs Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre uses SITAs network.
Speaking at ATC World in Amsterdam, Maurice Georges, Director of Frances DSNA, who led the procurement on behalf of the participating FABEC ANSPs, said: The FABEC ANSPs are determined to meet the 2013 deadline for the European Mandate on CPDLC and we are confident that SITA is the ideal partner to help us to reach that objective. We have no doubt that this partnership with SITA will enable us to deploy the air/ground communication infrastructure required for this important endeavour.
Philip Clinch, SITA Vice-President Aircraft Solutions, said: This agreement with FABEC mirrors the existing relationship SITA has with the ANSPs in Germany, Portugal and Spain for ATN and VDL Mode 2. The majority of Western European ANSPs now use VDL stations from SITA for air to ground data link communication.
CPDLC enables pilots and air traffic controllers to exchange certain routine air traffic control messages via data link replacing the traditional means of communication over radio that have been used in the industry for over 50 years. EUROCONTROL, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, estimates that CPDLC implementation in European airspace will bring an 11% increase in capacity and a 29% reduction in controller workload. Safety will also be enhanced thanks to the replacement of congested, bad-quality voice channels by data channels where messages are unambiguous and available on screen in the cockpit.
The framework agreement between FABEC and SITA establishes a relationship for ten years, which can be extended for a further five. The scope of this extensive deal includes VHF Ground Stations, SITAs AIRCOM Monitoring System (AMOS) to supervise the equipment, and test tools. In addition, SITA is teaming with EGIS Avia to provide ProATN routers to FABEC.