NAV Portugal, the air navigation service provider (ANSP), has joined forces with SITA to deploy its data link infrastructure across the country.
The new data link infrastructure is being implemented to meet the EU's Single European Sky (SES) regulation, which comes into force this month.
SES is set to deliver a single European airspace to triple capacity, half air traffic costs and cut down air traffic controllers' work load.
EU regulations order Western European ANSPs and airlines to adopt controller pilot data link communication (CPDLC) infrastructure.
As part of the ten-year agreement, SITA will be responsible for the provision of the air/ground data link communication infrastructure to allow CPDLC services in the upper airspace of Portugal.
The system uses VHF Data Link Mode 2 (VDLm2) and aeronautical telecommunication network (ATN) technology as per EU regulations.
The CPDLC infrastructure incorporates eight VHF Ground Stations and SITA's AIRCOM Monitoring System, which service both air traffic control (ATC) and airline operational communications in NAV Portugal's airspace.
NAV Portugal director Carlos Antonio Alves said: "SITA is providing us with an end-to-end service from the aircraft antenna to the interface to the ground air traffic control systems, ensuring consistent and integrated services."
The infrastructure will also allow pilots and air traffic controllers to communicate certain regular air traffic control messages through data links instead of communication over radio.
CPDLC implementation is expected to enhance safety through the replacement of earlier voice channels by data channels that provide clear-cut messages on the cockpit's screen.
SITA Aircraft Communications vice president Philip Clinch said: "This partnership is well underway with many of the NAV Portugal ground stations already deployed."
SITA has also collaborated with other European ANSPs in Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland.
The EU has updated its ATM master plan by adding additional features including revised performance objectives that contribute to support SES's five pillars of Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR), which include technology, performance, safety, airports and human factor.
Image: SES project is aimed at developing single European airspace to triple capacity and reduce air traffic costs by half, while cutting down the work load for air traffic controllers. Photo: courtesy of P.Carril - ESA.