SITA delivers critical datalink capability to Avinor, Norway’s air navigation service

The project links SITA’s ATN/VDLm2 service supporting CPDLC to cover the complete communication chain from central Air Traffic Management to the aircraft.

Wholly owned by the Norwegian Government, Avinor is responsible for 43 airports and air traffic control across Norway, part of the North Sea and the Arctic Ocean, providing safe and efficient travel for around 50 million passengers annually.

SITA’s Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) and VHF Data Link Mode 2 (VDLm2) services are playing a key role in Avinor’s strategic initiative to optimize Norwegian airspace to reduce costs, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by optimizing trajectories in the upper airspace.

SITA will also boost its VHF Digital Link Mode 2 (VDLm2) infrastructure in southern Norway by adding four VHF stations to ensure efficient airspace coverage.

Work on the five-year project began in 2023, with a service kick-off scheduled for early 2025.

Key benefits of the new service

Avinor’s adoption of SITA’s technology will enable it to automate procedures through CPDLC (ATN-B1) – the main airspace capacity booster in Europe today and essential while air traffic keeps growing across the continent. CPDLC is increasingly the primary means of communication between controllers and pilots, with voice used on an ancillary basis or in contingency situations.

The ATN/CPDLC service plays a crucial role in modernizing air traffic management by:

  • Driving sustainability – CPDLC is a prerequisite to implement new ATC concepts such as Trajectory Based Operations. This creates an efficient and detailed, four-dimensional trajectory that is coordinated with ground actors. Air traffic controllers then attempt to facilitate that plan where possible.
  • Reducing voice congestion – it offloads routine tasks from voice channels, allowing for quicker communication and improved handling of airspace,
  • Improving situational awareness – it enables the exchange of data such as ATC clearances, instructions, and position reports in digital format, enhancing clarity and reducing misunderstandings,
  • Increasing flight efficiency – it facilitates more precise clearances and instructions, optimizing flight paths and reducing fuel consumption,
  • Reducing communication errors – it uses standardized messaging, minimizing the risk of misinterpretation and improving safety,
  • Enhancing data security – ATN provides robust data encryption, safeguarding sensitive communication between pilots and air traffic controllers,
  • Reducing workload for controllers – CPDLC automates routine tasks, freeing up controllers to focus on complex situations,
  • Improving controller-pilot coordination – CPDLC facilitates two-way communication, enhancing collaboration and situational awareness for both parties,
  • Sustainability – CPDLC is a prerequisite to implement new ATC concepts that optimize trajectories and limit emissions.

Strategic steps

Commenting on the adoption of SITA’s ATN/CPDLC technology, Ellen Lystad, Director ANS Technology Development at Avinor, said: “As part of our commitment to the Single European Sky programme (SESAR), are  replacing the core system for en-route services, approach control services and tower services. We are also contributing to efficiency improvements in the European network through an increased scope of data sharing. Data sharing between the ground and air and systems on the ground will lay the foundation of this digitalization – and SITA is making a decisive contribution to that process through its ATN and CPDLC services”.

Yann Cabaret, CEO of SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, welcomed Avinor’s decision to contract SITA to provide the complete air traffic management chain across Norwegian airspace. “With the important inclusion of Norway, SITA can now provide complete airspace coverage across the European Union and adjacent countries – all part of the Single European Sky initiative. SITA operates a European-wide ATN backbone, the primary means of connection to the ANSPs. That places us as a critical reference point in the task of delivering a greener European sky.”