At World ATM Congress 2017, Thales, world leader in Air Traffic Management, and SITAONAIR, the air travel industry’s trusted connected aircraft service expert, signed an agreement to develop and promote ATC data link solutions. This agreement continues their long-standing collaboration on data link solutions. Data link is one of the key axes of the connectivity curve, which all operators in the ATM field agree will be a revolution in the market.
Data link enables pilots, controllers and towers to share and send information though connected cockpit and ATC systems. By having the ATC systems communicate directly with the avionics, controllers and pilots will no longer need to rely on voice-only communications, but will be able to share exact data, inputted directly in their systems, reducing the time between a command being given and actioned, the number of human errors and the workload during the most stressful portions of the mission (take-off and landing).
The agreement reiterates Thales’s and SITAONAIR’s commitment on the joint Data Link Front-End Processor (DL-FEP) solution being developed to address the data link services rule of the Single European Sky programme. The DL-FEP consists of Context Management and Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) applications associated with ATC automation systems.1 The DL-FEP product is already providing or will soon be providing operational Data Link services for EUROCONTROL MUAC2, US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), skyguide and UK NATS. Additionally, the DL-FEP is currently being enhanced to support the SESAR 2020 I4D Very Large Scale Demonstrations.
The agreement also covers joint promotion and marketing of Thales ProATN products to air navigation service providers. The ProATN product line includes ATN3 Air-to-Ground routers, Ground-to-Ground routers and associated tools that support the routing of data link messages among software applications and air-to-ground radio sites to facilitate communication of messages between users. ProATN is the most widely used ATN router supporting the SITAONAIR AIRCOM® ATN Service since 2004 as well as nearly all major ANSP ATN ground infrastructures. Almost all ATN CPDLC messages cross at least one ProATN router during transmission.
“We are pleased to be reiterating our commitment to delivering data link solutions of the future with our partner Thales. The development of our joint DL-FEP product, by responding to the European Commission’s mandate, represents an essential step towards the realization of the Single European Sky.” François Bardin, Head of Air Traffic Service Solutions, SITAONAIR