The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has implemented its new Data Comm technology at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Washington, US.
The technology helps improve communications between air traffic controllers and pilots by replacing time-consuming traditional voice communications with digital information exchanges.
FAA’s latest Data Comm system support two-way data exchanges between controllers and flight crews for clearances, instructions, revised flight plans, advisories, flight crew requests, and reports.
The technology has been designed to increase controller and pilot productivity, enhance safety, and minimise flight delays.
It also enables pilots to fly more direct routes, saving time and fuel while reducing the impact on the environment.
Using Data Comm, controllers at an air traffic control (ATC) tower can exchange digital messages with pilots and airline operation centres.
The installation of the new solution at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has benefitted several US airlines, including Alaska Airlines, FedEx, UPS, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
In 2014, the FAA started testing the capabilities and benefits of its Data Comm technology at Newark and Memphis with UPS, FedEx, United Airlines, and some select international operators.
In the fall of 2015, the US federal agency began implementing Data Comm in several ATC towers across the US.
The system is currently operational at 55 ATC towers in the country.
Image: The interior of Seattle-Tacoma Airport’s air traffic control tower, commissioned in 2004. Photo: courtesy of Wikipedia / Jelson25.