Document Type


Publication Date





Data link communications will, for the most part, replace voice communications between aircraft and air traffic control (ATC) systems in Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). One goal in implementing data link communications is to establish Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) procedures, logic and page designs with existing equipment that will maximize total system-pilot efficiency. A new message menu tree index was developed to provide quick and easy access to all CPDLC messages (uplinks and downlinks as defined by RTCA SC-214). Page formats were also developed to minimize errors and enhance the efficiency of pilots in data link communications. Four pilots evaluated the MCDU datalink prototype under realistic flight conditions. Subjective and objective measures from the evaluation suggests that using existing flight deck technology for data link operations is feasible but with some limitations. Workload when using the data link system was reasonable. However, the pilots focused on performing the data link tasks at the expense of monitoring aircraft flight path.