The Federal Aviation Administration’s effort to implement text communications between pilots and controllers in U.S. domestic airspace is two years ahead of schedule, the agency says.
Under the FAA’s Data Comm program, 45 of 56 ATC towers that will be equipped to provide pilots with departure clearances by text instead of voice are operational, and the focus of the program is shifting to the nation’s 20 centers that manage en route airspace.
“We’re really rolling on the program,” said Jesse Wijntjes, the FAA’s Data Comm program manager. Noting that pilots and controllers have been communicating by datalink messages in oceanic airspace since the 1990s, he described the application of data communications in domestic airspace as “a very big deal for the evolution of this system. This is going to be a quantum leap forward in terms of how we move aircraft around in the operation.”
by Bill Carey