FAA Approves Use of ARINC's HFDL Network for ATC Data Link Communications

Following a recent trial, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has prepared the way for data link Air Traffic Control (ATC) communications over the global High Frequency Data Link (HFDL) network of ARINC Incorporated. The technology is known as FOH, an acronym for “FANS (Future Air Navigation System)1/A over HFDL.”

In a January 12 letter, the FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, Margaret Gilligan, stated, “The FAA accepts FOH as a viable means of Air Traffic Service (ATS) communications,” and agrees that FOH “will provide an effective means of Air Traffic Control (ATC) communications and position reporting.”

The FAA decision means aircraft already using HFDL for long distance operational communications will eventually be capable of using the ARINC service to communicate with controllers as well.

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Ron Hawkins, ARINC Vice President of Commercial Aviation Solutions, welcomes the FAA decision. “By adopting FOH for Air Traffic Control, both pilots and controllers will be able to reduce their workloads on and off the aircraft—all the while increasing safety by automating activities previously done with voice,” he states.

FOH data link provides an inexpensive global alternative to satellite-based global communications, and it is expected to be most beneficial in controlled Oceanic airspace such as the North Atlantic and Pacific flight routes. With the addition of FOH, ARINC offers the world’s broadest portfolio of aeronautical communication services.

“By offering customers maximum diversity in media, including Satellite, VHF and HFDL, ARINC is in the unique position of delivering the most robust communications package possible,” stated Bill Doyen,  ARINC’s HFDL Program Manager. “The aviation industry has already embraced HFDL, as evidenced by its two largest airframe makers providing HFDL forward-fit on all new long-range aircraft coming off their lines.”

HFDL is a unique global data communications service available only through ARINC. Ground stations located around the world provide overlapping, redundant HFDL coverage everywhere on the planet, including the north and south polar regions. ARINC’s HFDL service has experienced consistent double-digit growth year after year.

In the FAA letter of January 12, Associate Administrator Gilligan also says the Agency will spread the word about FOH. “The FAA will also advocate appropriate use of FOH within International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and regional ATS coordinating groups,” she adds.

Source: ARINC Incorporated
Date: Feb 10, 2012