Airbus has delivered the first FANS-C-equipped A320 aircraft to easyJet.

As part of Europe’s SESAR Air Traffic Management (ATM) research programme, easyJet’s aircraft – and others to follow – will take part in the Airbus-led Demonstration of air traffic management improvements generated by 4D Initial Trajectory Information Sharing (DIGITS) project. The initiative will demonstrate the sharing of an aircraft’s predicted trajectory data with air traffic control (ATC).

FANS-C technology will enable airlines to optimise their aircraft’s trajectories and make traffic flows more fluid and aircraft speed easier to manage, which will help them to save fuel and reduce noise. In particular, the sharing of predicted trajectories with ATC controllers aims to enable smooth aircraft sequencing on approach and in the ‘terminal manoeuvring area’.

“An important enabler”

Hugh McConnellogue, Group Head of Network Operations at easyJet said: “We are very pleased to be the first airline to receive this new FANS-C technology in our Airbus aircraft – and to try it for real in the SESAR demonstration. Our early hands-on experience already indicates that it promises to be an important enabler to increase the efficiency, safety and on-time performance of our expanding operations – especially in the congested European airspace.”

From now until mid-2020, seven European airlines, which are all taking part in DIGITS, will progressively equip up to 100 of their A320 Family aircraft with the FANS-C technology. The “Very Large Demonstration” (VLD) will last more than a year and collect data from over 20,000 revenue flights, allowing stakeholders to demonstrate benefits of this technology during live day-to-day operations.

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