About High Frequency Data Link (HFDL)
As most of the aviation world looks to satellite communications, let’s spare a thought for High Frequency Data Link, commonly known as HFDL. Primarily used for long-haul and trans-oceanic flights, when VHF line of sight communications is insufficient, HFDL is a HF data link protocol, operated by ARINC as a GLOBALink ACARS service via a ground network of HF stations, whose coverage spans much of the Earth’s surface.
More robust than voice communications, HFDL transmissions are often used by the military and on board aircraft, HFDL integrates seamlessly with the flight management systems.
Recent developments in software for HFDL means that the service offers comparable message success rates to VHF and satellite datalink.