Data Link Support Group #5 meeting on 04 – 05 February 2021
Data Link Support Group #5 meeting on 04 – 05 February 2021

Data Link Support Group #5 meeting on 04 – 05 February 2021


On the 4th and 5th of February 2021, the fifth meeting of the Data Link Support Group (DSG) was organised by EUROCONTROL NM with the support of SESAR Deployment Manager. This online meeting was an occasion for the DSG to meet and confer on Datalink Services-related matters, providing updates on pending matters from the previous DSG meetings and addressing further actions to be discussed and taken by the group during this fifth 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.

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 Datalink 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 (presently awaiting the nomination of a representative to fulfill this role) 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 4th and 5th of February 2021, DSG held a virtual meeting chaired by Luc Chevalley (Skyguide) and Klauspeter Hauf (DFS), with SDM providing technical support to the DSG DST and secretariat support. On this occasion, the ground and airborne implementation status of DLS was presented through the data collected from ANSPs and Airspace Users, under the monitoring performed by SDM. It is worth highlighting that DLS is expected to become fully operational in 2021 in the following countries: Lithuania (March 2021), Bulgaria (June 2021), Cyprus (September 2021) and France (December 2021). The expected status for DLS implementation by December 2022 was also presented to the DSG attendees, concerning the following countries: Portugal (March 2022), Malta (June 2022), the Slovak Republic (December 2022) and Greece (December 2022).

The strengthened role of EASA regarding DLS implementation was also brought up, with the organisation taking a leading role in ensuring the full operational coverage in a harmonized manner of DLS in the European airspace, in full cooperation with EUROCONTROL and SDM. The enhanced coordination of activities between EASA, EUROCONTROL and SDM aims to accelerate the implementation of DLS in the European airspace. In particular, EASA’s standardisation activities will focus on the DLS IR 29/2009 and 1032/2006 implementation.

The next DSG meeting is foreseen to take place on the 26th and 27th of May 2021. SDM, supporting EUROCONTROL NM, will continue to raise awareness and promote the DSG activity in order to attract active participation from different stakeholders.