Datalink B2


Datalink is a means of passing instructions between air traffic controllers and pilots using data rather than voice communications. This project is looking at integrating additional datalink capabilities and technologies with the next generation of ATM systems, understanding what is required to ensure that datalink capabilities enable and support future trajectory-based operations.


With increasing levels of air traffic, increasing numbers of aircraft are tuned in to the same radio frequency in order to communicate with air traffic control. This increases the risk of misinterpretation of instructions. Datalink reduces the need for voice communications, minimising the risk of misinterpretation while also increasing capacity. A number of future data exchanges are also impractical over voice channels and so data link offers a fast and efficient means to transfer this key information between aircraft and ATM ground systems. Implementation is also required under EU law (as part of the European Commission’s Pilot Common Project or PCP).


First iteration expected to be working with existing datalink SITA ground stations and SATCOM in early to mid 2017.


Inmarsat, The National Aerospace Laboratory of the Netherlands (NSL) and European Space Agency.

Project Benefits:

  • Capacity

  • Cost-savings

  • Safety

Project Maturity: Exploratory

Project Tags: Future comms and surveillance, SESAR