Data Link Support Group #6 meeting on 26 – 27 May 2021
Data Link Support Group #6 meeting on 26 – 27 May 2021

Data Link Support Group #6 meeting on 26 – 27 May 2021


On the 26th and 27th of May 2021, the sixth 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 sixth meeting. It was attended by a wide variety of stakeholders, counting civil and military airspace users, ANSPs, aviation manufacturers, CSPs, 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) which brings 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 fulfil 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 26th and 27th of May 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. EASA and NM presented their work to establish a voluntary agreement (charter) among all stakeholders to allow sharing the required information (avionics configurations, CSP and ANSP/airline logs) for investigations and performance monitoring. The draft charter will be provided for comments aiming to finalise it in Q3 of 2021.

SDM presented the initiative of establishing a voluntary working group of interested stakeholders to address the impact of a proposal to implement solutions in avionics and the A/G routers, which do not use the IDRP (Inter-Domain Routing Protocol). This proposal is one of the VDL2 optimisation proposals offering as a potential benefit the decrease of unnecessary routing information traffic in the A/G link. The analysis will consider, in particular, the impact of potential operations in a multilink ATN/OSI environment. The activity kicked off on the 19th of April and is planned to be completed by the end of 2021.

Concerning the avionics, in particular the availability of multiple upgrade options and the continuing availability of new versions of the same avionics, DSG recommended the identification of a version of avionics that will ensure a minimum acceptable performance and the provision of clear benefits for operators when they would opt for other versions above the one offering the minimum acceptable performance. While it is not easy to define and agree on versions per avionics families ensuring the minimum performance, DST will work with the industry stakeholders to develop such recommendations.

The next DSG meeting is foreseen to take place on the 6th and 7th of October 2021. SDM, supporting EUROCONTROL NM, will continue to raise awareness and promote the DSG activity in order to attract active participation from different stakeholders.