Three industry teams are vying for the FAA’s Data Communications Integrated Services (DCIS) contract to provide a nationwide data network between ATC facilities and datacomm-equipped aircraft, with a contract award anticipated in June. Even as it was evaluating these proposals, however, the FAA had not decided which datalink standard to implement.
Aeronautical Telecommunication Network
Digital data messaging between pilots and air traffic controllers is scheduled to begin replacing voice-based communications in U.S. airspace in the next three years.
The competition is under way to provide air-ground data communications in U.S. domestic airspace, a key piece of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). At the same time, the FAA has asked its NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) to recommend a data communications “roadmap” through 2030, taking into account different datalink standards.