Mandates requiring business jet operators that fly to Europe to equip their aircraft for datalink communications with ATC are fast approaching. The price of non-compliance will be higher costs and longer trips as operators are forced to fly at sub-optimal altitudes and on less direct oceanic routes.
Controller Pilot Data Link Communications
Both Gander and Shanwick oceanic control areas (OCAs) are conducting a trial of reduced longitudinal separation standards–five minutes between eligible aircraft–in North Atlantic airspace. The separation minimum for turbojets maintaining constant Mach on the same longitudinal track in the North Atlantic minimum navigation performance specifications (MNPS) airspace is 10 minutes.
Filing an ICAO flight plan will become a bit more complicated this fall, if you file them by hand. Gone will be the old days of telling a flight service station that your aircraft is a slant “A” or a slant “R.”
Thales (Chalet S1) is here exhibiting its future cockpit concept: Odicis (one display for a cockpit interactive solution) with additional functions. Engineers have endeavored to make ground and air segments work together seamlessly in next-generation air traffic management (ATM) systems such as the Single European Sky and U.S. NextGen. The philosophy of Odicis is to have more information displayed and still make the crew’s job easier.
Satellite communications equipment manufacturer Thrane & Thrane introduced its new flagship Aviation 700D at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) last month in Geneva.
The announcement follows parts manufacturer approval (PMA) from the FAA, allowing certification for use on all aircraft and permitting the Danish company to start worldwide shipment of the product.
Reduced longitudinal separation minimum [RLongSM], an ATC pilot program in the North Atlantic, produced no safety events during a nine-month evaluation period last year. “Normal longitudinal separation is ten minutes,” explained Dave Stohr, president of Air Training International. “The trial was running with five minutes between appropriately equipped and approved aircraft.”
The new Cessna Citation Longitude and Learjet 70/75 will feature Garmin G5000-based flight decks. In the case of the Learjet 70/75, Bombardier has opted to adopt the Vision brand name for its flight deck (as it does with the avionics suites in the Global series, which feature Rockwell Collins Fusion-based cockpits).
Universal Avionics has begun deliveries of its UniLink UL-800/UL-801 communications management unit, which provides airborne datalink capability that meets upcoming mandates in European and North Atlantic airspace. The UL800/801 received FAA TSO approval in April, and Universal’s Tucson, Ariz., manufacturing facility is already producing the units to meet market demand.
Rockwell Collins (Stand 436) has completed flight trials and is “on course” to receive operational credit approval for synthetic vision on a head-up display (HUD) next year, according to Greg Irmen, vice president and general manager business aviation for the U.S. avionics manufacturer. “We are moving very fast in working with industry partners [aircraft manufacturers] to get operational credit,” he said.
For U.S. Part 91 business jet operators that fly to Europe, the upcoming Future Air Navigation System (Fans) mandate means not only new operational procedures but also yet another letter of authorization (LOA) requirement from the FAA. Fans and controller pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) are essentially functions that will be baked into the flight management system (FMS), yet each operator’s implementation of procedures, training and a maintenance program for Fans/CPDLC will need a formal stamp of approval from a local FAA office.