Air traffic in Europe is expected to double by 2025 according to the last forecast of EUROCONTROL, with an average growth of 2.7%-3.7% per year. On a worldwide basis, the number of passengers is expected to grow by 4.5% per year over the same timeframe. Future passenger and freight fleets will bring higher efficiency and improved environmental performance, and will allow people all around the world to benefit from the essential connections that only air transport can deliver. (European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation [EUROCONTROL], 2006) Till recently Aeronautical Telecommunication Network (ATN) communications predominantly across continental regions used narrowband Very High Frequency (VHF) voice systems along with digital data links like the VHF Digital Link (VDL) Mode 2 (ICAO, 2001) and Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) (ARINC, 2011). Such narrowband air-ground data link technologies have several limitations like the susceptibility to access collisions, lack of data prioritization mechanism at the sub-network level and also the vulnerability of jamming in narrowband communication channels. Hence, other High Frequency (HF) radio link technology like the ARINC GLOBALink (Homans, 2002) and also satellite based system like the INMARSAT SwiftBroadband systems have been used to provide voice and data communications between the aircraft and the ground control centres (EUROCONTROL, 2006). A detailed study on the various communications systems suitable for Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems was carried out by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and EUROCONTROL with the support of NASA (NASA, 2005). It highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of the various communications systems and showed that it is important for the future ATN communication systems to provide fast, high-speed and high-data rate reliable communications not only between the aircraft and ground infrastructure but also between airplanes directly. Hence it is envisaged that in order to provide the most efficient form of reliable ATM communications, different heterogeneous networks need to be adopted. It is also envisaged that future aeronautical communication systems would be able to simultaneously operate the different radio communication technologies. The different technologies will provide various advantages and provide the flexibility to the system to provide very high reliability. Hence different data i.e. Air Traffic Service (ATS), Airline Operation Centre (AOC), Airline Administrative

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Published on 01/01/2011

Volume 2011, 2011
DOI: 10.5772/29304
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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