Universal Avionics has released an incentive package for operators seeking to equip for data comm using the company's UniLink Communications Management Unit (CMU) as the cornerstone of their data link flight deck upgrade. The package provides financial incentive to equip UniLink UL-80X, and is effective from 1 January, 2020.
UniLink provides various data communications capabilities, including CPDLC DCL, CPDLC Enroute and FANS 1/A+ oceanic. This financial incentive is strategically designed for retrofit upgrade of business aviation aircraft, which can benefit significantly from FAA's data comm services currently being rolled out across the US.
CPDLC Enroute services are now in deployed at two ATCC centers (ZID Indianapolis and ZKC Kansas City), with full implementation across the US scheduled throughout 2020 and into 2021. The first phase of the FAA's nextgen data comm initiative, CPDLC Departure Clearance (DCL), is now implemented and operating in 62 airports in US airspace.
The nextgen data comm programme reduces communication time between controllers and pilots, improves re-routing around weather and congestion and increases flexibility and accommodation of end user requests, which all reduces flying time and saves fuel for operators.
As the initiative rolls into its next phase, avionics manufacturers are working with aircraft OEMs to equip new aircraft flight decks with a complement of data communications capabilities. However, operators flying today can install data link avionics in their cockpit as a retrofit upgrade in order to take advantage of CPDLC DCL and Enroute services.
“We've seen a lot of focus so far on the benefit of equipping airline and Part 121 operators,” says VP sales and support Dan Reida. “However, there is substantial operational improvement for business aviation operators who take advantage of CPDLC DCL and Enroute capabilities.”
UniLink is well-positioned for aftermarket upgrade of business aviation aircraft. The FAA has issued 15 STCs for UA UniLink FANS/CPDLC, held by six authorised dealers for 13 business aircraft types including Bombardier CL-600/601, LearJet 45 and 60, Falcon 2000 (EX), 900 (EX), 50 (EX), Gulfstream GII, GIII, GIV and GV, with numerous others in work.