Universal Avionics Successfully Tests CPDLC – Departure Clearance Functionality with FAA


Universal Avionics announces successful testing of departure clearances (DCL) using Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Tech Center. The company’s Cessna Citation VII equipped for Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A+ completed the live test of the system in Louisville, Kentucky, USA (KSDF).

When equipped and properly trained for CPDLC-DCL, operators have the ability to receive clearances directly from Air Traffic Control (ATC). Operators simply logon to the tower, receive their clearance in seconds, then call ground control for taxi, saving both time and money. At the KSDF testing, it took only 22 seconds to receive clearance after logging on to the tower, which is significantly less than a Pre-Departure Clearance (PDC).

The company’s FANS and CPDLC solution includes a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS)-Flight Management System (FMS), UniLink® UL-800/801 Communications Management Unit (CMU) and data capable Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR). PDCs have been available when using the UniLink CMU, but are only approved up to 30 minutes prior to departure. Any updates to the PDC departure time requires a voice clearance.

“If the wind changes direction and the active runway changes, aircraft will have to receive a new clearance with the new runway, SID, etc.,” said Carey Miller, Universal Avionics Manager of Business Development. “All of the aircraft in line for departure will have to receive a new voice clearance which can take quite a bit of time, whereas with CPDLC-DCL, you receive the new clearance via data link and you’re ready to go,” he added. “Even domestic operators who frequent busy airports that offer CPDLC-DCL service will desire this capability, regardless of the need for oceanic FANS.”

CPDLC-DCL technology is expected to become available to 56 airports throughout 2016. Airports that are currently operational include: KSLC (Salt Lake City, Utah), KIAH (Houston, TX), KHOU (Houston, TX), KMSY (New Orleans, Louisiana), KAUS (Austin, Texas), KSDF (Louisville, Kentucky), KEWR (Newark, New Jersey), KSAT (San Antonio, Texas), KJFK (New York, New York), KIND (Indianapolis, Indiana), KLAX (Los Angeles, CA), KLGA (New York, New York), KTEB (Teterboro, New Jersey) KLAS (Las Vegas, Nevada) and KMEM (Memphis, Tennessee). By the end of April, the following airports are expected to become operational: KSAN (San Diego, CA), KHPN (White Plains, NY), KBNA (Santa Ana, CA) and KPHL (Philadelphia, PA).

Aircraft without CPDLC-DCL capability will essentially be caught in the back of the line, creating a “best equipped, best served” situation. To learn more about Universal Avionics FANS 1/A+ solution, visit www.uasc.com/FANS or contact a Regional Sales Manager.

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