Business Aviation Insider - July/August 2014 - (Page 11)
For north Atlantic Fliers, Time is running out to equip for FAns
Starting on Feb. 5, 2015, aircraft flying in the North Atlantic Track
(NAT) system between FL350 and FL390 (inclusive) must be
equipped with FANS 1/A or an equivalent controller-pilot data link
communications (cPDLc) system.
FANS (Future Air Navigation System) provides text messaging between aircraft and air traffic control. To operate in the
desirable tracks, aircraft must also have Automatic Dependent
Surveillance-contract (ADS-c), which provides long-range position reporting. Together, these services will improve monitoring in
oceanic airspace and increase safety.
On the same date, all aircraft operating above FL285 in European airspace, unless exempt, must comply with Eurocontrol's
Link 2000+ cPDLc mandate. Aircraft that were equipped with
FANS 1/A by Dec. 31, 2013, already satisfy this requirement.
Not every Business Airplane Will Be Ready
Operators have known of the cPDLc mandate since Phase 1
went into effect in February 2013. But that doesn't mean most
business aircraft are ready.
"Only about five percent of U.S. business aircraft have been
retrofitted," said Matt Nelson, manager of satellite operations at
Duncan Aviation. "Retrofit solutions for many types of aircraft were
only certified this year, or are still awaiting certification."
The good news is that most operators that have taken delivery of a new long-range jet in the last two years are already
equipped. However, most new aircraft delivered before 2013 will
have to be retrofitted. Each retrofit solution must receive an FAA
supplemental type certificate (STc) for the aircraft type. Until
this year, avionics OEMs had made data link STcs available for
a limited number of aircraft types.
"There will be very few avionics platforms ready and certified
to meet the Feb. 5 timeframe," said Nelson. "And there aren't
enough avionics shops in the world to install FANS solutions in
those airplanes [by the deadline]."
While OEMs have been working on their STcs, some independent operations, such as Duncan Aviation and clay Lacy
Aviation, have been developing aftermarket STcs with other
"We're seeing a lot of demand, but we don't expect there's
going to big a bottleneck of aircraft trying to get certified before
the Feb. 5 date," said Jim Lauer, director of avionics at clay
Lacy. "The gulfstreams we specialize in have a service ceiling
that allows them to fly over the tracks."
Options After the Deadline
"If you're not equipped, you can go over the top (above FL390,
aircraft performance permitting) or underneath (below FL350).
Or you can go around," said Peter Ingleton of the International
Business Aviation council. "However, because the NAT datalink
mandate is safety driven, there will be no exemptions or waivers
For operators trying to get equipped and certified by the
deadline, the best option is to "call your shop, put some money
down and get in line," said Nelson.
Both Nelson and Lauer say the cost and time for installing
FANS systems depends on the aircraft.
"For the ideal candidate aircraft - one with a compatible
avionics system already installed - we're estimating two weeks'
downtime," said Lauer. "If you need to upgrade more of your
avionics suite, it could take three weeks."
Once the equipment is installed and the operator has the
STc on file, operators will need to show they've implemented
a training program for the flight crew on operating in the FANS
environment, as well as a separate program showing that the
maintenance team can properly maintain the equipment.
"It will be very similar to RVSM," said Lauer. "you'll have to
develop your training program, then get your ops specs or letter
of authorization from the FAA." ✣
for MorE iNforMATioN
Visit NBAA's Data Link resource page at www.nbaa.org/datalink.
Plan Ahead for FANS 1/A Deadlines
» Feb. 5, 2015
Aircraft operating between FL350 and FL390 (inclusive) on all
tracks within the NAT Organized Tracks System will be required
to have FANS 1/A, cPDLc and ADS-c equipment. All civil aircraft
operating IFR above FL285 in the Eurocontrol area must be retrofitted to be able to support data link, except for aircraft delivered
before 2014 with FANS-1, which are exempt from the mandate.
» Dec. 7, 2017
Aircraft operating between FL350 and FL390 (inclusive) in the IcAO
NAT Region will be required to have FANS 1/A, cPDLc and ADS-c
» Jan. 30, 2020
Aircraft operating at FL290 and above in the IcAO NAT Region will
be required to have FANS 1/A, cPDLc and ADS-c equipment.
July/August 2014 | 11
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Business Aviation Insider - July/August 2014
Regulatory Hot Topics
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In the Age of Social Media, Don’t Sacrifice Security
Managing Mobile Technologies
Go/No-Go Decisions: Unique Challenges for the Owner-Pilot
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Business Aviation Insider - July/August 2014
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