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RUAG develops data link for Europe's Legacy pilots
CPDLC enables text messaging from air traffic control to cockpit, ensuring communications remain clear and understood. RUAG has developed a solution over ATN for Embraer Legacy 600/650 pilots in European airspace.
RUAG has developed a solution for CPDLC over ATN for Embraer Legacy 600/650 aircraft in European airspace.

RUAG MRO International has developed a streamlined solution for CPDLC (controller-pilot data link communications) in Eurocontrol airspace on behalf of its business aviation customers flying with Embraer Legacy 600/650. The solution is a minor modification that builds on the OEM's Service Bulletin (SB) for FANS/CPDLC. Using ATN (aeronautical telecommunication network) by means of VHF, the modification supports a clear and prompt digital dialogue between air traffic control and the cockpit. The upgrade kit is available from RUAG's business aircraft engineering and MRO team at Munich-Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.

Embraer Legacy 600/650 operators are free to decide if they prefer to opt for CPDLC as outlined by Mandate 2020 from both EASA and the FAA. “Our ATN-assisted modification package is purpose-designed to be straightforward and economical, requiring a downtime of five days for implementation. We believe this is a significant step towards making CPDLC technology accessible to a broad scope of Embraer Legacy operators, also in the Eurocontrol area,” says head of sales, business jets Christian Karl.

Currently, those aircraft implementing CPDLC benefit from reduced voice messaging requirements, improved communications accuracy, cumulative advantages from operations maintained above FL285 and optimum routing. “This is all about enhancing convenience for our customers. Installing this mod is similar to having a second SIM card on your mobile phone for receiving text messages in Europe as well. Even if it is not mandated, it ensures you are best served, especially on busy routes or airports,” he explains. ATN-over-VHF is the designated technology for the Eurocontrol area.

Available as a kit, the upgrade includes approved data and required equipment. A precondition is Embraer's FANS/CPDLC SB. CPDLC enables text messaging from air traffic control to the cockpit, ensuring communications remain clear and understood. Air traffic control for both EASA and FAA airspace prefer this method of communication as it safeguards clarity over the traditional spoken language method.

The modification is also specifically developed to encourage those customers flying Embraer Legacy 600/650 to consider the technology necessary for the continued reliability and prioritisation of communications within controlled airspace. “Ultimately, clear and precise communications enhance air traffic safety,” continues Karl. “Implementation of CPDLC is a step forward in this respect and has the added benefit of permitting operators of these aircraft to take advantage of the time and cost saving assistance the digitalising technology makes available.”

“Our engineering team has created a solution that fulfills safety and compliance guidelines and then goes even further to allow our customers to take full advantage of a future-oriented technology in an economically sustainable approach,” confirms senior vice president business jets, military and Dornier 228 Volker Wallrodt. RUAG also recommends implementing the modification during the aircraft's next MRO visit for optimised timing and further savings.

RUAG MRO International is an official OEM partner and authorised service centre for Embraer aircraft and is EASA certified for Bombardier and Embraer aircraft as well as the Gulfstream G550.

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