For many years commercial, business and cargo operators have been relying on ARINC for Datalink communications, in order to maintain contact with their aircraft for Airline Operational Control (AOC) purposes. Datalink technologies are now starting to be used for Air Traffic Control (ATC) applications as well, which is what Controller Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC) is all about.
Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) will supplement voice communication between pilots and air traffic controllers, it will increase air traffic management (ATM) capacity by automating routine tasks whilst improving safety. CPDLC will reduce pilot workload through a decrease in radiotelephony. The availability of a second communications channel will reduce communication errors and aircrew fatigue and will thus contribute to higher safety levels
There are different flavours of CPDLC and ARINC supports all of them.
Future Air Navigation Services (FANS) applications have been in use for nearly two decades over remote oceanic airspace, such as the North Atlantic, and have relied on long-range communications media such as Satcom and HFDL.
CPDLC communications applications have been in use for near a decade in dense continental airspace using VDL Mode 2 (VDLM2) technology and conform to the requirements for Aeronautical Telecommunication Network (ATN) systems.