Low-cost avionics manufacturer Avidyne has signed a cost-sharing agreement with the US Federal Aviation Administration to develop a VHF datalink Mode 3 (VDL-3) air-to-ground radio for general aviation. The FAA plans to make VDL-3 mandatory in US airspace by late 2009 to relieve VHF spectrum congestion.

Under similar arrangements, Honeywell will develop a VDL-3 radio for the air transport market, while Rockwell Collins will develop radios for the air transport, regional airline and business aviation markets (Flight International, 24 February - 4 March). VDL-3 system demonstrations are planned for 2003 and 2004.

The VDL-3 unit will be the first radio developed by Lincoln, Massachussetts-based Avidyne.

Source: Flight International