The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Data Communications (Data Comm) program revolutionizes controller-to-cockpit communication. Using data link technology, Data Comm is moving the U.S. air traffic community from dependence on voice-to-voice communication to more agile and efficient digital communications, allowing operators to save time and fuel, and meet future air traffic demands.

Data Comm provides revised departure clearances via data link versus voice instruction. This streamlines communication between pilot and controller during airport clearance delivery, a process that can consume several minutes via voice. The digital process not only saves time – it eliminates read-back/hear-back errors.

Data Comm has been deployed at 55 U.S. airports. The program directly benefits Air Traffic Control (ATC), airline and airport operations, as well as the flying public.

The FAA has conducted studies to measure Data Comm’s impact, including time saved and errors averted. The improvements in efficiency and safety have also reduced environmental impact from unnecessary fuel burn as well as departure delays.

Using Data Comm in lieu of voice transmission to issue route revisions saves valuable time between departing the gate and takeoff. Fact is, controllers can only clear one flight at a time over the radio, but via Data Comm, can issue instructions to several flights simultaneously or in rapid succession.

The pilot community has strongly embraced the ability to load departure clearances into the aircraft’s flight management systems, noting the time savings and overall safety benefit. Moreover, Data Comm’s departure-clearance service provides airline dispatch with a real-time copy of the clearance, enhancing situational awareness and response times in weather-related rerouting.

The Data Comm program affirms Harris’ trusted partnership with the FAA in the quest to enhance safety and improve efficiency in the nation's airspace.