Textron Aviation and Honeywell Aerospace are partnering on a new program to allow improved ATC communications using the most current datalink services on Cessna Citation Sovereigns and Hawker 4000s equipped with a Primus Epic flight deck. The companies expect to make the FANS 1/A+ CPDLC and Aeronautical Telecommunications Network Protected Mode (PM) CPDLC upgrades available for installation at Textron Aviation domestic and international service centers by the middle of next year.
The upgrades replace traditional voice communications between pilots and controllers with data and text messaging for many standard operations, serving to increase situational awareness for pilots, as well as freeing VHF voice for more critical communications and reducing voice readback errors, according to Textron Aviation.
“Having the ability to communicate quickly and effectively with ATC is one of the highest priorities in the cockpit,” said Textron Aviation senior v-p of customer support Brian Rohloff. “The FANS 1/A+ and Protected Mode CPDLC upgrade bring the latest data communications technology to our Hawker 4000 and Citation Sovereign operators, and we remain committed to continuing to expand the capabilities for all of our products.”
Upgraded features include quick and accurate loading of complex instructions into the aircraft flight management system with the push of a button; support for future FAA NextGen datacom capabilities; trajectory-based operations; improved rerouting around severe weather and traffic congestion; and prioritized departure clearances. In continental Europe, PM-CPDLC will also provide equivalent ATC prioritization, delay avoidance, and optimal flight durations.