Future Air Navigation System, or FANS, Defined
The Future Air Navigation System (FANS) is a concept that was developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in partnership with Boeing, Airbus, Honeywell and others in the aerospace industry to allow more aircraft to safely and efficiently utilize a given volume of airspace.
Until the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) became available, Boeing and Honeywell built a FANS application to run on the existing ACARS system. This avionics package became known as FANS-1 and was certified on a Qantas 747-400 in June 1995. The Airbus equivalent system is known FANS-A or A+, and these systems are known collectively as FANS-1/A. The business jet community, with most of the avionics hardware (such as SATCOM, GPS and FMS) already onboard, has also taken advantage of the growing FANS infrastructure. Super-long-range business jet aircraft — including the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), Bombardier, Dassault Falcon and Gulfstream aircraft families — have been FANS-certified for three years
Today FANS is used primarily in the oceanic regions, taking advantage of both satellite communication and satellite navigation to effectively create a virtual radar environment for safe passage of aircraft.
FANS provides many benefits for long-range jets that can improve flight efficiency:
- Reduced separation between airplanes
- More efficient route changes
- Satellite communication
- No altitude loss when crossing tracks
- More direct routings
- Reduced user charges for using the FANS infrastructure
- Automatic position reporting via ADS-C
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