What to Know About FANS 1/A+ and ATN-B2

With air traffic increasing steadily, we need a more efficient air traffic management system. FANS (Future Air Navigation System) has emerged as an innovative technology for handling rising air traffic. The current air traffic management system relies on navigational aids, voice communications, and radar, and would eventually be ineffective in handling the estimated increase in air traffic. Since 1983, Boeing was trying to develop FANS to address the problem. The working of FANS is based on space-based navigation and communication. FANS 1/A+ is an evolved version of FANS and is capable to offer efficient air traffic management. 

FANS 1/A+: Evolved Version of FANS Aviation System 

In 1983, ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) began trying to set up a Datalink architecture in its FANS (Future Air Navigation Systemstructure. This advancement became the protocol standard and architecture of oceanic communications network in which early Satcom and HF reigned. Boeing – a user of ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) – built FANS-1 to ARINC 622 binary data format. This was followed by the development of FANS-A by Airbus. These two systems were combined later and have evolved to FANS-1/A+.  

Boeing (FANS-1) employed the principles of ADS (Automatic Dependent Surveillance) and early CPDLC making use of the existing ACARS. It should be noted that ADS includes automatic surveillance like position reporting, while CPDLC includes communication using text as data and not voice, for authorizations and clearance requests. 


Similar to Airbus (FANS-A) and Boeing (FANS-1), ICAO had been engaged in a separate FANS effort, primarily based on a newer ATN (Aeronautical Telecommunications Network) set of standards and protocols. This development was referred to as ATN-B1 (Baseline 1). It’s important to understand this nomenclature as now both the Data Comm paths of ATN-B1 and FANS 1/A+ are combined to form ATN-B2.  

In ATN-B2, the continental focused ATN-B1 and oceanic focused FANS 1/A+ are brought together. ATN-B2 is still being developed by EUROCAE WG 78 and FAA RTCA sub-committee SC 214. ATN-B2 consists of advanced services, like Dynamic RNP, 4D Trajectories, and Advanced Flight Interval Management.  

Benefits of Future Air Navigation System 

DataLink services don’t depend on voice, so there are no concerns related to voice over, data update times, ATC and pilot workload, out of range radar, out of range VHF, HF limitations, and interpretation of words.  

DataLink services of FANS are automated as well as highly flexible to the users on the ground and in the air. FANS aviation system saves time, diminishes operating costs, and improves safety. Furthermore, besides Data Comm, FANS air navigation system helps with other aspects of NextGen, such as surveillance, improved traffic flow, and navigation.  


Wrap Up 

FANS-1/A+ is an innovative air navigation system that can help aircraft navigate efficiently and safely even the more congested airspaces. Boca Aircraft Maintenance, a leading airplane maintenance company in Florida, can provide expert FANS-1/A+ installation services. Get your aircraft equipped with this revolutionary technology to enhance your aircraft’s performance.  

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