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06 September 2005
Commercial Aircraft

Alitalia is latest FANS B operator


Alitalia has adopted the Future Air Navigation System B (FANS B) to improve the level of communication between its Airbus A321s and air traffic controllers.

Italian airline, Alitalia has become the latest single-aisle operator to benefit from Airbus' new air traffic control data link system.

The Future Air Navigation System B - known as FANS B - has now been adopted by three airlines since 2004, Aeroflot and Finnair. Alitalia, which purchased the new system on August 10, will install FANS B on 23 A321s and is the first Airbus customer to purchase the associated wiring provisions for the installation of the FANS B.

Airbus Upgrade Services dedicated engineering teams will manage the project, produce design and engineering documentation, and will deliver the kits to be installed on the aircraft.

FANS B strengthens the level of communication between aircraft crew and air traffic controllers by using a two-way data link, allowing both parties to exchange written information regarding the navigation of the aircraft. The system works in addition to conventional radio communication.

The system improves communications over remote areas, such as the ocean, and helps speed up air-ground communications. This can lead to a reduction in the number of air traffic delays that occur during a flight, which is especially beneficial in high density traffic areas such as Europe where many short-haul flights are operated in a small airspace.

A number of regional Air Traffic Management (ATM) projects have been developed to co-ordinate worldwide adoption of the data link technology. Eurocontrol Link 2000+ is one of these projects. Dedicated to improved air traffic management in the airspace of Europe, Eurocontrol Link 2000+ works with all parties in the region to develop seamless data link communication services for the benefit of all air space users.

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