SunExpress, a joint venture between Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines plan to completely revamp its entire fleet of Boeing 737 with the Rockwell Collins Link 2000+ starting later this year.
The retrofitting will allow for compliance with Eurocontrol’s new CPDLC mandate that states that by 2015, all flights operating above 28,000 feet in European airspace must have CPDLC capability. The mandate is currently under review for private aircraft, but will move forward in improving air traffic management and capacity throughout Europe under the supervision of Eurocontrol.
Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) is clearly the future of cockpit efficiency, reducing the workload for pilots and allowing for greater air traffic management as the skies grow busier and traditional voice radio communications in congested airwaves makes controller-pilot communication more difficult.
CPDLC providers are preparing for the ultimate changeover and many, such as ARINC, offer an advisory service to airlines concerned with refitting or retrofitting aircraft with a range of solutions, enabling them to be CPDLC ready when the time comes.