Today, new legal requirements enter into force for aircraft operators flying at high altitudes in the European airspace: the capacity to operate data link services. The deployment of this interoperable technology in Europe will improve the efficiency of communications between pilots and controllers. Ultimately, air traffic control safety and capacity will increase.
Data link services are communications between aircraft and ground conveyed through data links, complementing the traditional voice communications of air traffic control.
To provide concrete capacity increase, at least 75% of flights should be capable of operating data link services at high altitudes. Operational use of data link has increased steadily over the last years thanks to all stakeholders’ efforts to accelerate deployment and with substantial EU financial support.
As from 5 February 2020, aircraft must be equipped with the appropriate electronic systems in order to fly above flight level 285 (above the altitude of 28.500 feet) in the European airspace. Exemptions exist for aircraft both reaching the end of their production life and produced in limited numbers, and for aircraft for which re-engineering costs would be disproportionate.
For more information
- Commission Regulation (EC) No 29/2009 of 16 January 2009 laying down requirements on data link services for the single European sky
- Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2019/2012 of 29 November 2019 on exemptions under Article 14 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 29/2009
- Publication date
- 12 February 2020
- Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport