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Efficient communication at airports is crucial to avoid any irreversible mistakes. NASA is currently working on a digital, wireless airport communications system to supplement the existing voice communication over unsecured radio frequencies – the primary means of communication at hubs.
The Aeronautical Mobile Aircraft Communication System (AeroMACS) will create an opportunity for speedy and reliable digital data transmission between crews and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) staff in control towers. As a result, the waiting time on the runway will be shortened.
Declan Byrne, president of the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) Forum, argued that pilots and air traffic controllers talking over a radio often face language barriers or network disruptions, both of which harm the turnaround.
“The new, encrypted, high-speed digital data networks will streamline communications among ground crews and air traffic controllers,” NASA has posted on its webpage. “Messages sent to a pilot after the plane is on the ground can include diagrams and GPS-style maps, as well as text instructions for runway navigation, gate assignment details, and surface navigation directions.”
More than 50 airports in around 15 different countries are using AeroMACS to replace voice with digital data transmission. It could take two decades for over 40 000 airports across the globe to integrate the new system.