Posted on: 12 August 2010 by Mark Howells
Aegean Airlines has become the first operator to commit to upgrading its Airbus A320 fleet with the FANS-B+ retrofit solution offered by Airbus, which will enable the airline to exchange the required data between aircraft and air traffic control without voice backup.
Deliveries from Airbus of the kits and service bulletins associated with the upgrade will be aligned with C-checks beginning in January 2011.
The Datalink Services Implementing rule applying to airlines operating in Europe comes into effect on 1 January 2011 for new aircraft and in February 2015 for in-service aircraft. Datalink compliant equipment will be required on affected aircraft to enable flight at optimum levels.
Several airlines in Europe have recently been taking part in “pioneer phase” trials in the Maastricht controlled region with the Airbus FANS-B solution. Now Aegean has become the first operator moving directly to the full Airbus FANS B+ retrofit solution scheduled for certification this year.
Antonis Kontothanasis, technical director of Aegean Airlines, commented, ”It is important that we are prepared for this deadline in advance. Early installation is the best preparation for the mandate. We avoid the last minute rush and it enables flight training for our crews at the earliest opportunity.”