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World's First Use of Controller/Pilot Data Link Communications.

A NEW ERA in ground-to-air communications dawned at the Eurocontrol Maastricht upper area control in July when ATC controllers guided an American Airlines flight to Charles De Gaulle Airport, communicating with its crew via the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN). This was Eurocontrol's first use of Controller/Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) using ATN in a project called the Preliminary Eurocontrol Test of Air/Ground Data Link (PETAL).

American Airlines' flight 9599, a Boeing 767-300ER, equipped with Rockwell Collins avionics, conducted CPDLC exchanges with the operational sectors of the Eurocontrol Upper Area Control Centre in Maastricht, via the ARINC VHF Data Link (VDL) Mode 2 network over the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN). Maastricht air traffic controllers used both voice and data to communicate with the aircraft, one of several being served by the two sectors which controlled the flight. Flight AA9599 was then transferred to the Reims Area Control Centre, where it also used CPDLC in shadow-mode to communicate air traffic control instructions. This event marks the first implementation of CPDLC over the ATN, which is considered to be one of the key Communications Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) initiatives in both Europe and the USA.

The PETAL project brings together ATC controllers, pilots, communications providers, airlines and related industry representatives to jointly develop and use data link applications in routine air traffic control and airline operations. American Airlines, ARINC, and Rockwell Collins will continue to demonstrate the benefits of CPDLC in an operational air traffic control environment in Europe's upper airspace during Phase II of the PETAL test service. The American Airlines Boeing 767 involved in the tests is the first ATN-equipped aircraft to participate in PETAL II, using the Rockwell Collins Communications Management Unit -- CMU-900. When combined with the Collins radio transceiver (VHF920), the CMU-900 enables high-speed data communication to and from the aircraft as well as efficient display of CPDLC messaging in the cockpit. ARINC's (VDL) network is the first implementation of VDL supporting ATN-based CPDLC. ARINC provided air-to-ground communications service through VDL ground stations in London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Berlin, and ground-to-ground communications through ATN routers located in London and Frankfurt. ARINC's VDL network has increased speed and is over ten times the capacity of the dedicated aviation data link communications system used today, which was designed to support air traffic services communications.
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Comment:World's First Use of Controller/Pilot Data Link Communications.
Publication:Airports International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2001
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