CPDLC – introduction of a data transmission system between controllers and pilots

CPDLC – introduction of a data transmission system between controllers and pilots

The aim of the CPDLC (Controller Pilot Data Link Communications) project is to ensure datalink services in the European air space at flying altitude above 285 feet. Datalink technologies are being introduced in order to improve the security of air-ground communications, reduce the burden on air traffic control services, as well as free up frequency resources.

In the framework of the project, various security and efficiency improvements have been made in the Latvian air space by introducing new datalink communications between pilots and controllers. Instead of voice communications, which were used until now, CPDLC allows air traffic controllers and pilots flying appropriately equipped aircraft to communicate via text messages using datalink communications.

CPDLC is a two-way data transmission system providing controllers an alternative way to send messages to aircraft. CPDLC messages appear on the cockpit display and correspond to voice communication phraseology which controllers use in routine air traffic control operations. This new system employs standardised text messages that cover routine communication. For example, the pilot can send a request to change altitude or the route, and the controller can use these messages to confirm the route or allocate a frequency. It must be noted that in urgent situations, voice communications will still be given priority.

The new application provides an independent and secure additional channel, thus reducing the overburdening of voice communication frequencies. Use of the CPDLC system not only increases capacity and safety, but also improves the efficiency of the routine work of controllers and pilots.

CPDLC provides greater security and efficiency in voice communications transmissions, because text messages provide better clarity and reduce the possibility of misunderstandings, which can arise in voice communications due to pronunciation and accent. Therefore, introduction of CPDLC functionality will ensure clearer communications.

The implementation of the project has been completed, and as of 7 November 2019 JSC “Latvijas gaisa satiksme” has placed into commission the datalink communication system, fulfilling the requirements established under Commission Regulation (EC) No. 29/2009 laying down requirements on data link services for the single European sky.

The project was implemented with the support of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).