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SITA OnAir partners with Bulgarian and Romanian air traffic authorities to move pilot communications to data

10/03/2015

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SITA OnAir partners with Bulgarian and Romanian air traffic authorities to move pilot communications to data

SITA OnAir, the leading connected aircraft provider, today announced a partnership to improve air traffic communications in the Danube Functional Airspace Block (FAB) supplementing voice with the more reliable 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 centers. 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.

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.

SITA OnAir has worked closely with BULATSA and ROMATSA to set up the network to facilitate communications across ATN, the most advanced data link communications protocol.

Ion-Aurel Stanciu, Director General, ROMATSA, said: “Our partnership with SITA OnAir is a great step forward for the Danube FAB and moves us closer to the Single European Sky. We look forward to benefiting from the efficiencies and safety enhancements data link will bring.”

Georgi Peev, Director General, BULATSA, added: “SITA OnAir’s dedication to the air transport industry and expertise made the implementation of data link a smooth process for BULATSA. Together we are improving the air traffic services for the million flights we manage across the Danube FAB each year.”

SITA OnAir’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).