Avionics Update: Flight information services datalink now operational

 - May 15, 2008, 9:21 AM

Pilots can now receive free up-to-date weather information in the cockpit following FAA approval for VHF datalink Mode 2 (VDL-2) avionics and datalink flight information services (FISDL). Crews can receive text messages, including routine and special weather reports, TAFs and Pireps using VDL-2 at no cost. Graphics such as Nexrad maps will also be available through subscriptions. Honeywell Bendix/King of Olathe, Kans., made its system available in January. Arnav of Puyallup, Wash., has a system scheduled to come online later this year. Both are providing the FISDL services. Users must first purchase a radio receiver and cockpit multifunction display. Honeywell units retail for $5,546 for the receiver and $7,495 for the display and Arnav units cost $1,995 and $7,995 for the receiver and display, respectively.