Eurocontrol has introduced a new screen-to-screen datalink between pilots and air traffic controllers at its Maastricht upper-area control (UAC) center in the Netherlands. The controller-pilot datalink communication (CPDLC) system supplements existing voice contact by allowing text messages between screens in the cockpit and on the ground to reduce workload at both ends.
Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System
International Communications Group of Newport News, Va., said it has started deliveries of the NxtLink 120A and 220A Iridium communications systems. Both support Fans (future air navigation system), CPDLC (controller-pilot datalink communications) and Acars messaging anywhere in the world. Intended for use in the cockpit, the NxtLink 120A product includes two Iridium transceivers
One of the least welcome rites of passage for copilots is the routine chore of updating the company’s flight operations documents, with Jeppesen manuals probably at the top (or the bottom, if you prefer) of the list. And the post-9/11 flood of TFRs hasn’t made the task any easier.
Air Routing International has teamed up with Arinc and Lufthansa Technik Ag in separate ventures, the company announced. Air Routing and Arinc are offering bizjet operators “a portfolio of more than 25 flight services for business aviation under the trade name Arinc Direct,” said the Annapolis, Md. company, a datalink provider.
Banks have them, and so do many convenience stores and passenger cars. And now it seems that many aircraft will also have “panic buttons” on board, if Aeronautical Radio Inc. (Arinc) has its way. In November the company displayed its security messenger system at an ATC convention in Washington.
A recent FAA briefing note concluded, “The future of ATC is all about data communications,” and government and industry officials, both in the U.S. and overseas, are in complete agreement with this view. The problem facing aviation is that these same officials seem to be in agreement on precious little else.
Rockwell Collins announced that it is embarking on a mission to turn the cockpits and passenger compartments of business airplanes and regional airliners into virtual information nerve centers, where all manner of digital data would be sent, received and stored using high-speed electronic pipelines and onboard computer servers.
Arinc Direct’s flight planning solution is now supporting more than 150 aircraft in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region–over 100 more than at the time of EBACE 2007, said the company.
“Quite literally Arinc is adding new customers week after week, representing the charter operators and corporate flight departments that are household names in the European industry,” said Bob Richard, senior director of Arinc Direct.
As the crow flies, the distance between Baltimore and Newark is only about 160 mi. But during the height of thunderstorm season, when lines of towering cumulus march eastward–often erupting into wide, impenetrable walls of rain, turbulence and lightning–the distance can easily double, while travel times can triple.
Largely obscured by the preoccupation with new security directives inspired by September 11, the debate over the FAA’s now binding interpretation of a long-standing pilot duty-time rule appears to have run its course. In fact, traffic declines have rendered the issue moot at major airlines, where pilot furloughs have left many longing for the days when duty times approached the 16-hr limit set by the FAA.