Avionics Digital Edition

Avionics for Progress-Gen

Editor's note for the October/November 2016 edition of Avionics Magazine

In September, we hosted our fifth-annual Avionics for NextGen conference, which provided in-depth examples of major progress with the deployment phases of the world’s two largest Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) Air Traffic Management (ATM) modernization programs: the FAA’s NextGen and Europe’s Single European Sky. United Airlines also presented its latest findings on the benefits of using Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) In-enabled in-trail procedures, and UPS and Southwest provided perspectives on the FAA’s effort to establish text messaging between aircraft flight management systems and air traffic controllers to supplant voice communications in domestic airspace, which is two years ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, government-industry working groups in the U.S. and Europe are finalizing a Controller-Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC) harmonization plan. The FAA also publicly unveiled its 15-year Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) National Airspace System Navigation strategy.

The continued evolution of avionics tech is the backbone of CNS ATM modernization, but ask anyone who works in avionics research-, certification- or regulation-related roles and they will tell you that deployment is a difficult task. Especially when you have multiple stakeholders to satisfy. That’s why there are and always will be challenges associated with progress. As an example, having ADS-B equipment on aircraft and allowing anyone with an Internet-purchased ground receiver able to follow their aircraft movement is a concern the business aviation community as well as for aircraft operated by organizations such as the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which uses a modified ADS-B equipped Boeing 737 to manage the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. Web-based flight following and $100 ADS-B receivers are great tools for airlines and aviation enthusiasts, but organizations like NNSA probably would prefer their aircraft not appear on just anyone’s flight following interface — though I suspect they would never tell me.

In this issue, we have an update on the GPS accuracy requirements associated with the FAA’s Exemption 12555 for the ADS-B Out mandate, an overview of the industry’s latest aircraft data acquisition technologies, connected business jets and the latest efforts to expand the use of IP in aircraft cockpits.

If you’re attending the NBAA 2016 convention this year, stop by our booth No. 1829! AVS