In order to achieve full 4D Trajectory-Based Operations (TBO), the need for higher datalink communication capacity and performance is identified in the SESAR vision for the Single European Sky, based on the ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP) and Global Air Traffic Management Concept. The VDL Mode 2 enabled ATN datalink system provides benefits and capacity in the short term, but in the long term it is expected to be complemented by new datalink technologies with increased capabilities and supporting more stringent operational requirements: satellite communications (SATCOM), L-band Digital Aeronautical Communication System (LDACS) and Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communication System (AeroMACS). The ATM Master Plan envisions this next generation of aeronautical communication infrastructure to be service-oriented and performance-based, in order to support rationalisation, reliability and efficiency of the communication capabilities.
The Future Communications Infrastructure (FCI) is a new Internet Protocol Suite (IPS) System providing the digital and secure communication capabilities able to support integrated Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS). It provides the network functionality necessary to interconnect air and ground end-systems via multiple IP broadband air/ground datalink (multilink) subnetworks and core networks (NewPENS) to support aeronautical data and voice applications for safety and regularity of flight. The FCI is based on communication standards including ATN/IPS and System-Wide Information Management (SWIM) to define the interoperability features needed for data exchange and network management functionality. The FCI is also expected to interface with external networks for legacy ATN/OSI system accommodation, civil-military coordination and information exchanges with commercial IP networks.