ATS B2 Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Contract (ADS-C) has been operational at EUROCONTROL’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) since 30 May 2022. It is a datalink-based technology which allows different types of information to be obtained directly from the aircraft’s flight management system, without pilot interaction.
It enables aircraft to automatically establish an ADS-C connection and downlink key aircraft intent to the MUAC system, such as:
- extended projected profile;
- aircraft position;
- elements of navigational intent; and
- meteorological data.
This is then displayed on air traffic controllers’ screens, and enables MUAC to offer aircraft operators enhanced air navigation services thanks to improved flight predictability.
ADS-C is a major step towards trajectory-based operations, offering controllers a clearer picture of aircraft intentions and sector loads. It is one of the first steps towards future automation, with reduced fuel costs, fewer emissions, improved safety and more efficient air navigation services.
The benefits of ADS-C are far-reaching and are felt by a broad range of actors, from individual aircraft operators to air traffic controllers, as well as by the network as a whole.