Two carriers take new avionics package that has evolved from earlier system
Aeroflot Russian Airlines and Finnair have become the first two carriers to sign up for Airbus's new Future Air Navigation System-B (FANS-B) avionics package, developed for operations in high-density airspace.
FANS-B is designed to be compliant with air/ground datalink over the International Civil Aviation Organisation Aeronautical Telecommunication Network (ATN), a network for air traffic control and airline communications capable of supporting a range of datalink technologies.
The avionics package has evolved from the original FANS-A system, aimed at low-density oceanic navigation and installed on long-haul Airbus types such as the A330 and A340. But continental airspace, with its characteristically higher traffic density, requires a high-speed datalink system tailored for the more-demanding environment.
Aeroflot is to install FANS-B on 18 narrowbodies - eight A319s, seven A320s and three A321s - while Finnair is to put the system on 29 twinjets: 11 A319s, 12 A320s and six A321s.
In line with Airbus's drive for cockpit commonality, FANS-B uses the same avionics architecture and cockpit systems as FANS-A.
Airbus manager for air traffic management systems engineering Thomas Fixy says: "FANS-B is smartly integrated in the Airbus glass cockpit with dedicated displays and visual attention-getters specially designed to meet operational requirements of high-density environments such as Europe."
Fixy adds that the manufacturer's objective is to certificate FANS-B by the end of 2006.
DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW / LONDON
Source: Flight International