3rd Data Link Support Group meeting on 14-15 May


Born out of the necessity to resolve the technical and operational issues around Data Link Services (DLS) in Europe and the need to identify the root cause(s) of reported datalink issues, SDM, EASA and EUROCONTROL NM established the Data Link Support Group (DSG) that bring together all the relevant stakeholders.

In accordance with the Terms of Reference, the objectives of the DSG are to:

  • Encourage discussions between all impacted stakeholders in the ATM sector;

  • Investigate technical and operational issues arising during the DLS operations;

  • Propose potential technical and operational solutions.

DSG meetings are chaired by the airspace users, IATA, and ANSPs – DFS and Skyguide. The secretariat is provided by NM and SDM.

In order to support the investigations, a core team of experts – the DSG Support Team (DST) – was created to provide the required expertise and the active contribution needed to find feasible solutions for the raised datalink problems. SDM actively supports the work undertaken at DST level, together with NM, ANSPs (Austrocontrol, DFS, MUAC, Skyguide, NATS), CSPs (SITA and ARINC) and industry (Airbus, Boeing, Collins, Honeywell, Thales).

On the 14th and 15th of May 2020, DSG held a virtual meeting chaired by Luc Chevalley (Skyguide) and Klauspeter Hauf (DFS). This third meeting was an occasion for the DSG to meet and confer on DLS-related matters despite the constraints imposed by the COVID19 crisis across the European aviation sector, addressing both pending matters from the previous DSG meeting and actions to be discussed and resolved by the group during this third meeting. It was attended by a wide variety of stakeholders, counting civil and military airspace users, ANSPs, aviation manufacturers, institutional partners, and airports, with over 100 attendees.

One of the most important aspects discussed during DSG#3 was related to the resources allocated to specific investigations of datalink problems, thus issuing appropriate resolutions for the raised technical and operational Data Link issues. The resources available at DSG/DST level are limited and therefore, during DSG#3, the stakeholders that are directly involved in solving Data Link issues were encouraged for active participation in DST to accelerate the resolution of these issues.

SDM, in collaboration with EUROCONTROL NM, will continue to raise awareness and promote the DSG activity in order to attract active participation from different stakeholders.

The next meeting is planned to take place on the 17th and 18th of September 2020.