June 16, 2010
By Thomas A. Horne
Gulfstream Aerospace’s flight department has earned FAA approval to use the Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A datalink on its G450 airplanes.
FANS is being developed for future enhancements to ATC services, and includes controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) to let pilots and ATC communicate via text messages over oceanic and remote-area airspace. Crews using CPDLC log on to an ATC system computer, then communicate in near-real time with controllers. The computers also automatically transfer responsibility for the aircraft to the next region’s air traffic system as the airplane traverses its route.
CPDLC capability for the G450s is added to the airplane’s Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C) functions, which completes the G450’s FANS 1/A status. ADS-C lets controllers initiate the tracking of an aircraft’s position from the ground using information sent at predetermined intervals from the Gulfstream’s onboard sensors.
“This approval reflects the tremendous effort we’ve made toward preparing Gulfstream aircraft for the next generation of air navigation,” said Pres Henne, Gulfstream senior vice president of programs, engineering, and test, in a press release.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
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