Aerospace intelligent connectivity and satellite communications (satcom) company SkyTrac Systems' DL150 satellite data unit (SDU) and SkyNode S200-012 have been selected by Textron Aviation as part of its Future Air Navigation upgrade programme for the Hawker 4000 and Cessna Citation Sovereign aircraft that are installed with Honeywell Primus Epic avionics.
Early next year, Textron expects to launch its Future Air Navigation supplemental type certificate (STC) programme for the DL150 SDU and SkyNode S200-012 Air Traffic Safety Services terminal so that Hawker 4000 and Cessna Citation Sovereign flight crews can leverage satcom to communicate with Air Traffic Control (ATC) quickly, efficiently and globally. These systems support time-critical information with TSO-certified Performance Based Communication Systems (PBCS).
Mandatory in the North Atlantic Track Route System (NATS) since early 2020, the Future Air Navigation Systems (FANS 1/A+) enables Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC) and ADS-C supporting low latency position reporting and can supplement or replace traditional voice and data coms for operation in oceanic high-altitude airspace with direct pilot-to-controller contact via the Iridium NEXT global satellite network.
The upgrade reduces pilot workload, enhances situational awareness and minimises voice readback errors. CPDLC uses structured and free text messaging, allowing pilots and air traffic controllers to request and authorise flight plan changes.
The new programme also enables trajectory-based operations, improves re-routing around bad weather and traffic congestion, and prioritises departure clearances, which can save release wait time before take off. Hawker 4000 and Cessna Citation Sovereign aircraft flying across Europe will also be able to use these communication advances to receive the benefits of air traffic control prioritising, delay avoidance and optimal flight lengths.
“We are committed to working with Textron Aviation and supporting its efforts to bring these communication improvements to the Hawker 4000 and Sovereign in-service fleets,” says vice president of sales and marketing Jan van der Heul. “This is an exciting time for us as we shape the next generation of Iridium-based satellite aeronautical services.”