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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