Aegean Airlines has become the first operator to adopt the upgrading of A320 Family aircraft with the FANS-B+ retrofit solution offered by Airbus. The Greek carrier’s FANS-B+ retrofit will allow its A320s to exchange data between aircraft and air traffic control without voice backup, which will be required by Europe’s Data Link Services Implementing Rule.
Airbus deliveries of the retrofit kits and service bulletins associated with this upgrade will be aligned with regular C-check maintenance visits for the Aegean Airlines aircraft, beginning in January 2011.
The Data Link Services Implementing Rule – which applies to airlines operating in Europe – comes into effect 1 January 2011 for new aircraft, and in February 2015 for in-service aircraft. Data link-compliant equipment will be required on the affected aircraft to enable their flight at optimum levels.
Several airlines in Europe have been taking part in “pioneer phase” trials in the Maastricht-controlled air traffic region with the Airbus FANS-B solution. Aegean Airlines’ decision has made this carrier the first operator moving directly to the full Airbus FANS B+ retrofit solution, scheduled for certification this year.