Leonardo has signed a contract with Malta Air Traffic Services Ltd. (MATS), the Maltese Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), to supply an integrated Data Link solution for air traffic management applications. The contract covers the provision, installation and commissioning of a VHF DataLink Mode-2 (VDL2) network infrastructure based onto Leonardo's patented 'dual language' technology and the upgrade of Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC) functionality at the MATS air traffic management centre. The MATS ATM centre, which was previously provided by Leonardo, is currently in operation.
The advanced Data Link solution can carry both Air Traffic Control Services (ATS) and Airline Operational Communications (AOC) on the same network infrastructure. This means that the system can convey communications between pilot and tower on a single, high-performance network that is easy to install. The system satisfies the requirements of all major air traffic control stakeholders (ANSPs, ICAO, EASA and SESAR Deployment Manager).
The integrated Data Link solution will also improve the safety and efficiency of air traffic management via a CPDLC function that enables the exchange of digital text messages between controllers and pilots in addition to traditional voice communications. Moreover, the Data Link is a prerequisite for providing aircraft flight path information (Initial 4D-trajectory information sharing) and other data from an aircraft to an ATM system, allowing for flexible airspace management and Free Route capabilities.
Leonardo's solution will allow MATS to implement the new SESAR Data Link requirements (Model C with multifrequency) and to be fully compliant with the new European Commission implementation regulations, which outline the requirements for the introduction of Data Link services for the Single European Sky initiative. It will also avoid frequency congestion, bringing Malta very close to the SESAR European Target Solution on data links (namely Model D Data Link Network), which is to be reached by 2022. (Source: Leonardo, 7-Mar-2018)