Data Link Support Group #7 meeting on 6 – 7 October 2021
Data Link Support Group #7 meeting on 6 – 7 October 2021

Data Link Support Group #7 meeting on 6 – 7 October 2021


On the 6th and 7th of October 2021, the seventh 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. DSG7 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 co-chaired by ANSPs – DFS and Skyguide, presently awaiting the nomination of a representative of the airspace users – IATA to fulfil this role. 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 6th and 7th of October 2021, DSG held the seventh virtual meeting chaired by Luc Chevalley (Skyguide) and Klauspeter Hauf (DFS), with SDM providing technical support to the DSG DST and secretariat support. One of important topics discussed during this DSG meeting and worth mentionning relates to EASA's presentation of the draft DLS Charter, a common EASA-EUROCONTROL initiative. The charter aims to facilitate and consolidate the cooperation between stakeholders in the sharing of information and the undertakingof improvement actions, as well as to support the objectives of the DLS IR (Regulation 29/2009) and the expected operational improvements. DSG members have been invited to provide their comments until the end of October and after a finalised version is presented, stakeholders can join the charter and commit to adhering to its principles.

The DSG was also presented with an OLDI Change Request elaborated by the ANSP Ad-Hoc Group, comprising change proposals for the OLDI Guidelines, OLDI Specification, and ADEXP specification. Following DSG members’ review of the change proposal, the resulted version of the document will be submitted to OLDI Group through ANSPs on behalf of DSG. This is envisaged to be done before next OLDI Group Meeting on November 10th 2021.

Following an action from DSG6, a mature version for the List of minimum required software/hardware versions for avionics has been presented, serving stakeholders as a guidance/recommendation, especially for operators on the minimum requirements of software versions. Following the finalisation of the work in progress on this material, the target would be to have a releasable List of minimum required software/hardware versions for avionics by the end of 2021.

New Deployment Actions have been proposed during the DSG7 on top of the identified ones during the DSG6, with a clear categorisation per stakeholder category, marked as a separate List on Deployment Actions.

The next DSG8 meeting is foreseen to take place on the 9th and 10th of March 2022. SDM, supporting EUROCONTROL NM, will continue to raise awareness and promote the DSG activity in order to attract active participation from different stakeholders.