A mandate requiring advanced datalink capabilities on all aircraft flying above FL285 in Europe came into force last week, but many business aircraft are not yet affected thanks to an exemption added last year. Having backed off from imposing it on all aircraft from February 5, the European Commission introduced two exemptions: one for aircraft with a certificate of airworthiness first issued before Jan. 1, 2018, but fitted before that date with FANS 1/A; and secondly for aircraft with 19 seats or less and an mtow of 100,000 pounds or less, with a first individual certificate of airworthiness issued before Feb. 5, 2020.
Ops Group pointed out that EASA, via European Commission lawmaking, also made various older airliners exempt from the requirement (on the basis they are gradually being retired and are uneconomical to upgrade) and list of larger business aircraft and a separate one of narrowbody bizliners, which now must be compliant by Feb. 5, 2022. These will in many cases require avionics retrofits.
According to RocketRoute, operators who are exempt from the mandate are required to insert the letter “Z” in Field 10 in flight plans and the indicator “DAT/CPDLCX” in Field 18 of their flight plan. After doing so, they then can be cleared to fly above FL285.