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US begins en route datalink trials

03 December 2018

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has started deploying the en route portion of the USD331 million Datalink Communications Integrated Services (DCIS) programme awarded to a Harris-led team in 2012. This follows completion of the ground portion in 2016, which enables pilots and controllers to use digital communications for non-critical messages at more than 60 major airports.

Harris launched trials at the Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Memphis FAA centres in October 2018, in co-operation with participating airlines and Leidos, the supplier of the automation system. Collins Aerospace (formerly Rockwell Collins) and SITAONAIR provide air-ground network services. FAA Chief Operating Officer Teri Bristol announced that the agency aims to achieve initial operating capability (IOC) by the end of 2018, before deploying the technology at all 20 en route facilities by the end of 2019.

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