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Communication and frequency coordination activities are part of the Network Manager’s remit.
From the start of civil aviation onwards, it has been essential to communicate with pilots for extra safety. Until the end of the last millennium, voice communication was the main tool used in managing air traffic and for passing information and instructions between air traffic controllers and pilots.
But as traffic increased, this form of communication reached its operational limits in some of the more busy areas. To solve this problem, the aviation community developed and started to implement digital data communication to support and, probably at a later stage, replace the voice as the principal means of communication between the ground and the air.
Not surprisingly, such a paradigm shift requires operational changes and also makes for technical and institutional challenges in safely implementing a harmonised and coherent system: one which can operate in parallel with the existing infrastructure and ensure a smooth transition locally, regionally and globally. An overview of EUROCONTROL’s communication roadmap can be found in the Skyway magazine n° 54 on Communication, Navigation and Surveillance.
EUROCONTROL’s communication and frequency coordination activities underpin this migration to digital communication while maintaining current operations. These activities consist of studies, development, support to implementation and services as well as the development and maintenance of related international standards:
- contributing to the SESAR Joint undertaking for ATS communication research and development: SESAR FCI (Future Communication Infrastructure) Activities;
- DLS-CRO – Datalink Services Central Reporting Office;
- ATM messaging: ATS Message Handling System and ATS Messaging Management Centre;
- the Radio Frequency Function, to mitigate the impact of limited aeronautical radio spectrum on the ATM network;
- support in implementing 8.33kHz below FL195 for civil ans State Aircraft;
- support in modernising the communication infrastructure (ATN IPS and ATM Voice);
- helping ICAO and other international organisation develop and maintain international standards (ICAO Aeronautical Communications Panel, Eurocae, European Commission - Single European Sky).
For more information
Contact Jacky Pouzet, Head of Communication Unit, Network Manager Directorate.