Push-button Communication Comes To Miami ATC

 - March 7, 2017, 10:41 AM

Data Comm, the NextGen technology for digitizing communication between ATC and pilots, is now helping to “enhance safety and reduce departure delays” at Miami International Airport, according to the FAA. The new technology supplements voice communication by enabling controllers and pilots to transmit important information such as clearances, frequencies, revised flight plans and advisories via digital messages with the “touch of a button.”

The FAA said that Data Comm helps aircraft “keep their spots in the takeoff line—or might even be taken out of line and sent ahead—enabling them to depart on time or sooner.” The agency also said Data Comm virtually eliminates the potential for “readback/hearback” errors occurring with voice communications.

Miami International is the latest ATC facility to go on line with digital communications, bringing to 55 the number of airport towers operating with Data Comm. While the nation’s largest air carrier and business aviation airports are now equipped with Data Comm, one notable exception to date among facilities heavily used by business aircraft is California’s Van Nuys Airport.

Harris Corp., which won the FAA contract for the Data Comm program, told AIN last week that an average of 23,000 flights are now using Data Comm each week at airports in the U.S., with FedEx estimating a savings of approximately eight minutes per flight with the technology. En route use of Data Comm will begin in 2019, Harris added.