SITA OnAir has announced a partnership to improve air traffic communications in the Danube Functional Airspace Block (FAB), supplementing voice with data link.
Together with air navigation service providers (ANSPs) Bulgarian Air Traffic Services Authority (BULATSA), and the Romanian Air Traffic Services Administration (ROMATSA), SITA OnAir is enabling Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC) services to the control centres.
CPDLC enables air traffic controllers and pilots to communicate via text, rather than the traditional voice communication. This improves the quality of communications and improves the overall safety and efficiency of air traffic management. European regulations mandate that all aircraft flying in Europe and all air traffic control ground systems have to be equipped with CPDLC.
This move is in compliance with the EC regulation 29/2009, which comes into force as part of the Single European Sky initiative. The Danube FAB manages some 10% of the overfly air traffic in the European Union.
SITA OnAir has worked closely with BULATSA and ROMATSA to set up the network to facilitate communications across ATN.
The company’s partnership with BULATSA and ROMATSA includes the provision of ATN routers and VHF ground stations across each country which will allow both ANSPs to implement datalink communication between the aircraft pilots and ground controllers.
François Bardin, Director Air Traffic Solutions, SITA OnAir, said: “By partnering with SITA OnAir, BULATSA and ROMATSA have taken a step forward on the road to the Single European Sky. Flights over the Danube FAB will now enjoy the use of data channels where messages are unambiguous and available on screen in the cockpit. This is an initial step towards implementation of SESAR developed concepts such as the 4D Trajectory Data Link (4DTRAD) Service”
Other European FABs already enjoying the benefits of a partnership with SITA OnAir include FABEC (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland) and South West FAB (Portugal, Spain).