Textron Aviation Launches Data Communications Upgrade Program

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Textron Aviation has announced that it is collaborating with Honeywell Aerospace on a data communications upgrade program for Hawker 4000 and Cessna Citation Sovereign aircraft. The program will add Future Air Navigation System (FANS) controller-pilot data link communication (CPDLC) and Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) protected mode CPDLC (PM-CPDLC) capabilities, allowing some pilot-controller voice communications to be replaced with data and text messaging. The upgrade will be available for models equipped with Honeywell Primus Epic avionics suite.

“Having the ability to communicate quickly and effectively with ATC is one of the highest priorities in the cockpit,” said Brian Rohloff, Textron Aviation senior vice president for customer support. “The FANS 1/A+ and Protected Mode CPDLC upgrade brings the latest data communications technology to our Hawker 4000 and Citation Sovereign operators, and we remain committed to continuing to expand the capabilities for all of our products.”

According to Textron, the upgrade will allow complex instructions to be loaded quickly and accurately into the flight management system along with enabling trajectory-based operations, improved rerouting around severe weather and traffic congestion and prioritized departure clearances. The upgrade program is expected to be available in mid-2020 with installations to be completed at Textron Aviation service centers.

Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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