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Data Communications Program. Operational Trials in Domestic Airspace. Presented to: Data Comm Implementation Team (DCIT) By: Jerry Smith / Ron Boyd Date: January 20, 2011. Data Comm Trials: . Terminal Trial: P1 Departure Clearance (DCL) P2 D-TAXI

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data communications program

Data CommunicationsProgram

Operational Trials in Domestic Airspace

Presented to: Data Comm Implementation Team


By: Jerry Smith / Ron Boyd

Date: January 20, 2011

data comm trials
Data Comm Trials:
  • Terminal Trial:
    • P1 Departure Clearance (DCL)
    • P2 D-TAXI
  • En Route Trial:
    • P1 Clearance Request and Delivery (CRD)
    • P2 Optimized Profile Descent (OPD)
    • P3 Time of Arrival Control (TOAC)
    • P4 Data Link Hazardous Weather (D-HZWX)
  • Primary
    • Validate the Concept of Use associated with delivery of Data Comm services
  • Secondary
    • Produce Input To ProceduresDevelopment
    • Produce Input To TrainingDevelopment
    • Produce Input to Requirements Development
    • Assess Controller/Pilot Usability and Acceptance
    • Demonstrate Expected Benefits
proposed trial time frames
Proposed Trial Time Frames:




120 Day DCL Trial

120 Day DCL Trial

120 Day DCL Trial

120 Day DCL Trial

Continuing Operations

120 Day En Route Trial (CRD)

120 Day En Route Trial (CRD/OPD)

Initial DCL Site single operator and service provider.Potential for Multiple DCL Towers and/orextensions at existing sites with multiple operators and service providers.En Route is assumed to be a single Center with multiple partners.

120 Day En Route Trial (CRD/OPD/TOAC)

120 Day En Route Trial (CRD/OPD/TOAC/D-HZWX)

D-TAXI Trial

terminal trial proposed dcl schedule
Terminal Trial: Proposed DCL Schedule










Site, Vendor, Airline PartnerSelection


7 mo.

DCL Platform Cycle


Coordinate Stakeholders

Facility / Airline Training



Key Site Testing


Site Acceptance Test


Trial Begins


Reports and Analysis

trial metrics
Trial Metrics:
  • Trial Platform Only
    • Performance data limited (latency, timers, exchange rates, system capacity etc.)
  • Direct Observation
    • Ground Observers
    • Interviews w/AOC and Flight Deck Personnel
    • Data Analysis
    • Questionnaires and Templates
  • Do Initial and Revised DCL UM’s communicate complete clearance information for aircrew execution?
  • Do DCL Procedures work effectively on the ground and flight deck?
  • Are there any changes to coordination mechanics between Tower Cab positions or Flight Deck procedures?
  • What is the workload change of Ground and Flight Deck participants?
  • Were there any communication errors while using DCL services?
dcl operational brief
DCL Operational Brief:
  • PDC Today
  • DCL Capabilities
  • Operational Scenario

Presenter: Ron Boyd


Trials Briefing and Operations Review

PDC Today:

  • Revisions processed via voice
  • Only 1 PDC allowed each day per flight
  • Cannot identify multiple flight plans
  • Cannot guarantee the pilot receives the clearance
  • Only the most recent transaction is available in history
trials briefing and operations review
Trials Briefing and Operations Review

DCL Capabilities:

  • Revisions processed via Data Comm
  • Multiple DCLs per day per flight
  • Multiple flight plans per flight are identified
  • Full route clearances sent directly to the aircraft avionics
  • Pilots only receive clearances intended for that flight
  • ATC informed when clearance is acknowledged
  • Complete historical data is available in reverse chronological order
  • Display accepts both keyboard and mouse input devices
  • New indicators for revisions and errors
trials briefing and operations review1
Trials Briefing and Operations Review

Operational Scenario:

  • About thirty minutes prior to proposed departure time, Host sends flight data to the tower.
  • Clearance delivery formulates DCL that includes:

a. Departure Airport

b. Arrival Airport

c. Route of Flight

d. SID

e. Maintain altitude

f. Expect altitude (if not included in SID)

g. Departure frequency (if not included in SID)

h. Beacon code

j. EDCT (if necessary)

trials briefing and operations review2
Trials Briefing and Operations Review
  • Controller appends DCL with local data (SID, freq, etc.)
  • Controller puts clearance in queue awaiting pilot request.
  • At this time a courtesy copy is sent to AOC with a gate number as reply.
  • Pilot performs log on function and requests departure clearance from the system.
  • Pilot receives DCL from automation and reviews.
  • Pilots responds back with Wilco, Unable or Standby.
  • Pilot pushes back and contacts ground control.
trials briefing and operations review3
Trials Briefing and Operations Review
  • Clearance delivery receives revised routing from Host computer.
  • Clearance delivery formulates a revised DCL for delivery.
  • Clearance delivery determines who is working aircraft and coordinates delivery.
  • Clearance delivery sends the revised routing.
  • The flight crew while at gate or in taxi mode receives an indication that a revised DCL is available.
  • Flight crew uplinks revised data and responds with Wilco, Unable or standby.
dcl conops

This section describes the concept of operation for the delivery of Departure Clearances (DCL) and revised DCLs through advanced automation and Controller Pilot Data Communications (CPDLC). The DCL will replace the legacy Pre-departure Clearance (PDC) system with enhanced functions including the ability to deliver revisions to departure clearances. Legacy PDC does not allow for revisions.

The aircraft operator files Flight Plan information into the National Airspace System (NAS). The Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) having jurisdiction over the departure airport processes the flight plan. The ARTCC’s computer system modifies the flight plan into an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) clearance. The ARTCC transmits the IFR clearance to the Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) automation, Tower Data Link System (TDLS).

TDLS presents the DCL to the controller for review and approval. The controller approves or modifies then stores the DCL in an automation queue available for a flight crew DCL request. TDLS forwards a copy of the DCL to the Aircraft Operations Center (AOC).

The flight crew prepares the aircraft for the flight and activates the data link system, which initiates a network connection between the aircraft and ground system, then sends a Data Link Logon via the Communication Service Provider (CSP) Network. After successful completion of the Logon process, a connection/session is established between the aircraft and the ATCT.

After logon and session establishment, the flight crew requests a departure clearance from TDLS. TDLS responds by transmitting the DCL stored in the queue to the aircraft via the CSP network. The flight crew reviews the DCL and loads the appropriate DCL flight plan data into the FMS.

When changes in tower or En Route conditions occur, the tower or the ARTCC will revise the clearance information. TDLS will develop and present a revised DCL for review and approval by the tower controller. The controller will take action to transmit the revised DCL to the flight crew through the CSP. As with the original DCL, a copy of the revised data will be provided to the AOC.

In both initial and revised DCL, the flight crew’s response to the DCL message will be transmitted to the TDLS and displayed to the controller. These responses may be WILCO, UNABLE or STANDBYE as appropriate.