Universal prepares datalink to meet Europe's Link 2000+ programme

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Universal Avionics is preparing to update the software in its UniLink UL-800/801 Communications Management Unit (CMU) so it meets the imminent European requirements for controller pilot datalink communications (CPDLC) capability under the Link 2000+ plan.

CPDLC and context management functions are to be incorporated in an upcoming software upgrade to the CMU, says Universal, and it will be available for a wide range of aircraft types. It is a VDL-2 (VHF datalink-2) device, fully FANS-capable (future air navigation systems), and will be able to cope with US CPDLC requirements when they are mandated in 2017.

The Single European Sky (SES) Data Link Services Implementing Rule (DLS IR) requires all existing aircraft operating above FL295 to be retrofitted for the Link 2000+ programme by 5 February 2015. Universal said the software upgrade for UniLink will be certified in 2014, in time for operators to comply. Operators of aircraft not in compliance with the mandate must file for an exemption, and will be limited to certain flight paths.