2013-01-22 11:01:59 -
Exchange of electronic data between pilots and air traffic controllers: skyguide
at the forefront in Europe
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Geneva, 22 January 2013. Skyguide has commissioned a new electronic
communication tool intended to be used between the aircraft cockpit and its
Geneva and Dübendorf area control centres (ACCs). The goal is to increase
capacity and improve safety in the exchange of data between pilots and air
This tool - Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC) - was integrated
into the workstations of the skyguide Geneva ACC air traffic controllers on 13
December 2012, and of the Dübendorf ones on 10 January 2013. It enables
controllers, using their radar screen, to
give pilots instructions that are
displayed in the aircraft's cockpit as pre-formatted electronic mini-messages.
The tool is thus part of the automation-based approach to the air navigation
Increased capacity and improved safety
Although the benefits brought about by the CPDLC are initially limited,
particularly because of the low level of equipment of the aircraft, the
potential is considerable. Thanks to this tool, the air traffic controllers can
now focus on high-added-value tasks by being spared certain routine
communication tasks that can now be performed using electronic equipment rather
than through radio-based exchanges.
The expected benefits are two-fold: on the one hand, a lighter workload for the
air traffic controller, which results in increased capacity; and on the other,
improvements in the safety resulting from the clarity and reliability of the
dialogues by data link.
Skyguide at the forefront
The commissioning of the CPDLC represents a first step in the new technology of
air-ground data linking at European level. The CPDLC is part of the Link2000+
project, which is a cornerstone of the implementation of SESAR (Single European
Sky ATM Research), the modernisation programme of the air navigation
infrastructures in Europe.
In this respect, the Swiss air navigation services are at the forefront of
technology. Skyguide is the third provider to offer the CPDLC service, after
Eurocontrol in Maastricht and DFS, its German counterpart, in Karlsruhe.
Moreover, whereas the European mandate is limited to flight levels above 28,500
feet (approx. 8.5 km above sea level), at skyguide the CPDLC project has been
extended to all the sectors of the Geneva and Dübendorf area control centres.
Skyguide also supplies more messages than those prescribed in the European
mandate, such as instructions for speed and transponder code changes.
swiss air navigation services ltd
CH-1215 Geneva 15
phone: +41 22 417 40 08
Skyguide is responsible for providing air navigation services in Switzerland and
in parts of neighbouring countries. It has 1400 employees working in 14
different locations and safely and efficiently guides around 3270 civil and
military flights a day, or 1.2 million a year, through the busiest and most
complex airspace in Europe. Skyguide focuses on continuous improvement, targeted
innovation and creative cooperation. Together with its partner organisations in
Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, the company forms the
FABEC alliance, which is responsible for managing Central Europe's airspace.
Skyguide is a non-profit limited company which has its head office in Geneva. It
is majority-owned by the Swiss Confederation.
The media release can be downloaded from the following link:
Media Release (PDF):
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Source: skyguide via Thomson Reuters ONE