Organisation formed to create international datalink standards reports steady growth

A recently formed industry group that aims to ensure interoperability between international datalink standards is enjoying steady growth, says Carl O'Berry, founding chairman and Boeing vice-president for strategic architecture.

Established in September with 28 signatories, the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC) is now up to 40 members, and a further 30-40 applications are pending, says O'Berry.

The NCOIC group has released details of membership conditions for its three-tier structure. Tier one membership enables "full participation in consortium governance and technical agendas", with this commitment costing $150,000 a year, plus the provision of four full-time employees.

Dubbed participatory member status, tier two requires a $75,000 annual contribution, plus two employees and ensures full participation in the consortium's technical agenda.

Tier three status affords participation but no voting rights and costs $5,000-25,000 a year, plus the services of one employee.

While the majority of the consortium's current membership is US-based, O'Berry notes that securing increased European involvement is a priority, and that EADS and Saab were among the founding members. "There is also some interest starting to dawn in the Pacific," he says.

An executive meeting scheduled for later this month will include the release of a document identifying eight key objectives for the NCOIC programme, with a "roadmap" also to be published by the organisation's technical council. The creation of a common, interoperable datalink infrastrucure is in everyone's interest, believes O'Berry. "The latent ability to become nodes on a global network is important to product companies, to integration companies and is a huge value proposition for the customer," he says.

A major promotion of the NCOIC initiative will take place at next June's Paris air show, with the consortium to exhibit at the event and individual member companies to also support the effort. O'Berry expects membership to have reached around 100 companies by this time.


Source: Flight International