As the aviation community continues to implement Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) initiatives, operators want to know what the initiatives are and how they affect individual operators. The question always comes down to value: If I upgrade my aircraft, what will I get for the often substantial investment?
The ultimate value a NextGen upgrade may bring to your aircraft depends on a number of factors (age of the aircraft, condition of the interior, etc.); however, there’s no question that replacing an aging or obsolete Air Traffic Control (ATC) communication system will make your aircraft safer and bring it into compliance with current mandates.
No single communication system fits every aircraft, so we’ll clarify the types of NextGen systems available and note how each system is used, so you can make an informed decision regarding the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and (European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) mandates.
The FAA needs to roll out a NextGen ATC system, and EASA has mandated upgrades for aircraft flying it its airspace. Additionally, in keeping with the unstated principle that the best-equipped equals the best-served, the best oceanic routes frequently go to FANS-compliant aircraft. This is because the new systems feature components that enhance communication between flight crews and ATCs and provide accurate global positioning system (GPS) reporting, which makes it possible to fly aircraft closer together. The tracking allows ATCs to seamlessly track aircraft over land or ocean routes or as they transition from one to the other.
Legacy avionics systems don’t provide tracking data, so aircraft that lack NextGen systems may spend more time on the ground or flying less efficient routes because ATCs have to build a bigger pocket of airspace to accommodate them. These factors have many operators wondering what NextGen systems are and how they’re used, the implications of cost and even if there is a system for their aircraft. Although there are no easy answers in the retrofit market, this publication is meant to help clarify Future Air Navigation System 1/A (FANS 1/A) for those operators.
At Duncan Aviation, we’re on the cutting edge of avionics technology, and we’ve thoroughly researched FANS 1/A and Aeronautical Telecommunication Network-B1 (ATN-B1). After talking to hundreds of customers, we feel we’ve developed the most valuable information we can provide.
In addition to this publication about FANS 1/A, our team of avionics experts have developed Straight Talk booklets for NextGen and other systems including Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums (RVSM) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).
As always, we look to improve ourselves and our knowledge. Feel free to contact our avionics experts to answer any of your questions and talk about your challenges when the subject arises.
Download this free Duncan Aviation Straight Talk book to learn more about FANS.
Our free Straight Talk books are an aircraft operator's source for information about important topics in business aviation, and are written in clear, concise, no-nonsense language.