Data Link Technology Leads The Way
The Controller-Pilot Data-Link Communications System is the future of today’s aviation communication. The CPDLC is an example of wireless communications technology, which utilizes VHF stations or satellites to transmit data from an aircraft through an air terminal network router, which is then received by an air traffic control center. Maastricht’s Flight Data Processing System is a great example of application software technology. This system enables air traffic control to monitor any aircrafts speed, heading, and altitude in their sector using radar based trajectory. The benefits of using computer technology for controller-pilot communications are substantial. The system reduces workload on air traffic controllers or (ATC), allows clear communication, decreases radio traffic on busy frequencies, and provides an additional message tool. The CPDLC allows ATC to vector traffic more efficiently during periods of high workload and decreases read back errors (Knorr & Bennett, 2003). Pilots and ground controllers are able to pass messages much more accurately by texting, which increases the situational awareness for all. The use of the CPDLC frees up the radio net and saves it for more important calls such as inflight emergencies. Finally this system provides an additional tool for pilots to communicate in the event their radios are not working or the net is busy.
The CPDLC system is very expensive and isn’t practical for most general aviation pilots. The technology involves the initial investment and maintenance that goes along with any aircraft avionics. The system eliminates radio calls from other aircraft, which help build the pilots picture in the air. “As data communications increase, the information available through an open-circuit with human talkers is eliminated.” (Landry, 2012, p. 34). Many pilots are able to gain situational awareness based others radio calls and positions, without this interaction,...
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