BAM BLOG

4 Key Operator Benefits offered by FANS (Future Air Navigation System)

As air traffic continues to increase around the globe, the air traffic management system being used currently is experiencing increasing difficulty. As per predictions, air traffic is likely to increase annually at a rate of 5%. In such a scenario, we need a new system for air traffic management that has greater capacity. One viable solution is FANS (Future Air Navigation System). FANS provides an innovative space-based method to handle increased air traffic, which lets operators obtain maximum revenue out of their operations and ensure safe conditions for passengers.  

The FANS system has become an attractive option to cope with current levels of traffic more efficiently and with the heightened levels of traffic anticipated in the future.  

The current system of air traffic management is based on voice communications, radar, and navigational aids, and eventually will be unable to handle the estimated air traffic growth. To address the challenge, Boeing had been trying to create FANS since 1983. This innovative flight navigation system works based on space-based communication and navigation.  

What Benefits do Operators get with FANS (Future Air Navigation System)? 

The benefits obtained by operators with FANS include increased payload capacity for takeoff-weight-limited flights and reduced flight time and fuel burn through direct routing. FANS implementation would let operators take advantage of various necessary improvements, which are as follows: 

1.Decreased Separation between Airplanes 

In cases where FANS flight navigation equipment is not implemented, navigation errors and potential errors in the voice communication between air traffic controller and flight crew are considered when the required airspace separation is determined between airplanes. Due to the uncertainties associated with conventional voice position reporting as well as the delay involved in high-frequency relayed voice communication (20-45 minutes for making high-frequency voice position report), the air traffic controller is required to allow a huge airspace amount between airplanes, which is typically 120 nmi longitudinally and 100 nmi laterally. This results in an airspace of 48,000 mi2 for protecting one airplane and implies that airplanes operate often at less-than-optimal speeds and altitudes.  

However, through satellite data link, FANS equipped airplanes are capable of transmitting automatic dependent surveillance reports at least in every 5 minutes with actual intent and position information. The position information is based on highly accurate GPS (Global Positioning System). Digital data communication between air traffic controller and flight crew reduces the error possibility substantially and allows significantly reduced airplane separations. All the improvements in surveillance, navigation, and communication lets authorities decrease the necessary separation distances within airplanes. This, in turn, facilitates the flying of airplanes at the optimum altitude as well as burn less fuel.   

2.Satellite Communication 

With satellite communication, the response time can be reduced to a few minutes for an aircraft that requests to climb up to reach a new, optimum altitude for reducing fuel burn. Currently, the response time is 20-60 minutes.  

3.More Efficient Changes of Route 

Currently, oceanic operations are based upon weather data which are about 12-18 hours old. However, by utilizing the satellite data link which is a part of FANS (Future Air Navigation System), an airplane can be provided with latest weather data while it’s en route. These data can then be used by flight crews to create optimized flight plans. Alternatively, these plans can be developed on the ground and then transmitted to an airplane. Such a dynamic re-routing might enable airlines to consider lowering discretionary fuel that further lowers fuel burn or leads to an increase in the payload.  

4.No Altitude Loss While Crossing Tracks 

To prevent potential conflict, an aircraft approaching crossing tracks needs to be separated from traffic on any other track by altitude. Consequently, one of the airplanes can be compelled to operate about 4,000 ft below the optimum altitude.  

However, if timely surveillance data is received by air traffic controller, including the projected intent, and an aircraft can control its speed to reach the crossing point at a certain time, the requirement for altitude separation will be less frequent.  

FANS 1/A/+: The Latest in Flight Navigation Technology  

FANS 1/A/+ is an innovative system and the latest in-flight management technology. The FANS 1/A mandate requires all business aircraft to be installed with FANS 1/A/+ system before January 1, 2020. The installation of FANS 1/A/+ can allow your airplane to efficiently and safely navigate airspaces that are highly congested.  

The chief advantages offered by this flight navigation system are: 

  • Continuous updates in real-time on ATC instructions and weather conditions 
  • Globally accepted standard for digital flight navigation system 
  • Allows identification of most efficient flight routes and save substantially on fuel costs 

Wrap Up 

Considering all the incredible benefits offered by FANS (Future Air Navigation System) and the mandate for FANS 1/A implementation before January 1, 2020, it’s smart to get your aircraft installed promptly with FANS aviation upgrade. Boca Aircraft Maintenance, one of the best airplane maintenance companies in Florida, has expert avionics technicians and engineers to install, examine, or update FANS 1/A/+ system.  

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