Flight Tests Using Data Link for Air Traffic Control and Weather Information Exchange 901888
Message exchange for air traffic control (ATC) purposes via data link offers the potential benefits of increasing the airspace system safety and efficiency. This is accomplished by reducing communication errors and relieving the overloaded ATC radio frequencies, which hamper efficient message exchanges during peak traffic periods in many busy terminal areas. However, the many uses and advantages of data link create additional questions concerning the interface among the human-users and the cockpit and ground systems. A flight test was conducted in the NASA Langley B-737 airplane to contrast flight operations using current voice communications with the use of data link for transmitting both strategic and tactical ATC clearances during a typical commercial airline flight from takeoff to landing. Commercial airplane pilots were used as test subjects.