Data Link Support Group #8 meeting on 9 – 10 March 2022
Data Link Support Group #8 meeting on 9 – 10 March 2022

Data Link Support Group #8 meeting on 9 – 10 March 2022


On the 9th and 10th of March 2022, the eighth 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 eighth meeting. DSG8 was attended by a wide variety of stakeholders, counting airspace users, ANSPs, aviation manufacturers, CSPs, institutional partners and airports, with over 60 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).

The finalised version of the DLS Charter, a common EASA-EUROCONTROL initiative has been presented during the meeting and it will be distributed by the DSG for stakeholders commitment to adhere to its principles. The charter aims to facilitate and consolidate the cooperation between stakeholders in the sharing of information and undertaking improvement actions and support the objectives of the DLS IR (Regulation 29/2009) and the expected operational improvements.

A roundtable discussion was included, benefitting from presentations provided by various stakeholders highlighting the perceived benefits and areas of focus in order to improve CPDLC usage by airlines and ANSPs. Pilots and aircraft operators were invited to provide info on perceived benefits on use of CPDLC and what should be the areas of focus for improvement in order to help build the case and have a higher CPDLC usage.

New Deployment Actions have been proposed during the DSG8 on top of the identified ones during the previous DSGmeetings, with a clear categorization per stakeholder category, supporting the prioritisation of technical and operational issues identified and their resolution.

The next DSG9 meeting is foreseen to take place on the 12th and 13th of October 2022, ideally with physical attendance. SDM, supporting EUROCONTROL NM, will continue to raise awareness and promote the DSG activity in order to attract active participation from different stakeholders.