Europe to boost air-traffic management systems through data-link technology

19 Jan 2009

The European Commission has agreed on new rules for the use of data link in air traffic management (ATM) systems in Europe, which will improve safety and result in benefits of €875m by 2025, the Commission said in a statement.

Data-link technology revolutionises communications between air traffic controllers and pilots through supplementing voice communications with an air-ground data link.

Its deployment will improve safety by reducing the risk of vocal misunderstandings through the use of written communication between pilots and controllers.

From 1 January 2011, all new aircraft will be equipped with the technology, while existing aircraft will have it installed by February 2015.

Services will be provided in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom by February 2013, while the rest of Europe, including Ireland, will be covered by February 2015.

The deployment of data-link services significantly improves Europe’s airspace capacity: an 11pc increase is expected once 75pc of aircraft are equipped with this technology.

This new legislation complements four Regulations adopted in 2006 and 2007, and contributes to the implementation of the SESAR Master Plan.


By Sorcha Corcoran