CPDLC Mandate June Update CPDLC Mandate June Update

CPDLC Mandate: The Latest Updates That You Need to Know

June 3, 2020

The Eurocontrol Data Link Support Group (DLSG) meeting returned once again in May 14 and 15, 2020, where the latest CPDLC implementation information was shared. During the webinar, new developments were revealed; from the impact of the Coronavirus, to ROI incentives, to operational challenges. Discover the latest updates that you need to know.

One of the key drivers to implement the Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC) mandate was to increase airspace capacity. As the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the commercial air travel industry, the spotlight is now shining on CPDLC’s ability to improve communication safety and air traffic management (ATM) cost efficiency. With the expectation that air traffic will be restored in five years, this gives network providers time to improve data link network performance.

Many questions continue to circulate around the Logon List status. Some operators would prefer for this list to be managed by EASA or a local authority rather than by the Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) from a regulatory point of view. At the current time due to COVID-19, it is challenging to monitor the Logon List status due to low utilization of available airspace.

Clarity for Operators
Some operators are reluctant to equip their fleet as they are looking for further clarity on particular items. This includes: instructions on how to use data link and the difference between countries, ANSPs, and National Aviation Authorities (NAAs); as well as access to an ROI model as the cost of CPDLC modifications is high. Eurocontrol have taken these comments on board. In the immediate future, there is a desire to introduce CPDLC benefits to airlines that are equipped, which includes preferred flight time slots, economical fuel and cost flight levels, and more. Also, Eurocontrol shared that a dedicated taskforce will focus on data link harmonization throughout Europe, including making available a clear instructions booklet for ANSPs, flight crews and others.

In addition, questions were raised regarding penalties for non-equipped aircraft that must comply with the mandate. Eurocontrol confirmed that a penalty regime will be established. If not equipped, aircraft will not be permitted to fly above FL285. The only way to overcome this will be to apply for a temporary exemption at local airworthiness authority (if they are an EU member) or EASA (if they are not an EU member.)

Operational Challenges
It is clear that there are operational challenges that require effective solutions. To start, Provider Abort (PA) rate problems persist due to inconsistent network quality. When it comes to aircraft operators, more guidance needs to be shared with them on two key points. One is flight plans: for some operators it is unclear how to fill it in. The second is data link information: operators that do not have an AOC (ACARS) contract need support to understand more about data link and how it works. On the ground, some countries are not yet properly equipped with a suitable infrastructure, which means that aircraft are logged off from the network when crossing borders.

Boeing-737 Boeing-737
Our CPDLC solution is available for the Airbus A320 family, Boeing 737 and Boeing 757

The Mandate
For these reasons and more, some operators are hesitant to upgrade their equipment. However, the CPDLC regulation arrived on February 5, 2020, and airlines must comply with this mandate when operating above FL285 in the European airspace. Contact Fokker Services to discover more about the CPDLC solution available for your fleet.


Article publication date: June 3, 2020.

For more information on Fokker Services’ CPDLC solution, please contact Iris van den Nieuwenhof, Regional Sales Director, EMEA, Fokker Services: Iris.VanDenNieuwenhof@fokker.com

Watch the Fokker Services CPDLC video here to find out more about the mandate as well as Fokker Services’ solution.

For more information, please refer to Eurocontrol’s website and WikiLink main page.

Disclaimer: The material and information contained in this article are for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information in this paper as a basis for making any business, legal or any other decisions. Whilst we endeavor to keep the information accurate and topical, Fokker Services makes no representations or warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability or suitability with respect to the article or the information contained therein for any purpose.