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Stay Informed with the First PBCS Monitoring Tool – From Honeywell Forge

Stay Informed with the First PBCS Monitoring Tool – From Honeywell Forge

Flying in the North Atlantic is a more efficient proposition for FANS-equipped business jets, airliners and cargo aircraft, provided they can meet the FAA’s required surveillance and communication performance standards. Meeting those standards is no simple task and missing the mark by even a matter of seconds can result in an aircraft being assigned less-preferred routes or altitudes resulting in higher costs in the future.

A new monitoring feature from Honeywell Forge helps operators almost immediately recognize when they’ve exceeded maximum allowed timing while using FANS data link. It provides Performance-Based Communication and Surveillance (PBCS) monitoring data after each flight so the operator can deal proactively with any issues and retain the ability to fly the FANS reduced separated tracks. 

Subscribers to the Honeywell Forge Datalink Services will be able to access the new PBCS monitoring feature through the Honeywell Forge dashboard beginning in December 2020.

“This is the aviation industry’s first proactive PBCS monitoring software,” said Carey Miller, Honeywell Flight Services Senior Technical Sales Manager. “It represents an enormous improvement over the current reporting process that provides operators with a report every six months, which means operators are seeing data that is often six or even nine months old by the time they have a chance to analyze it.

“Honeywell Forge will alert operators shortly after landing to let them know if they didn’t meet the performance standards,” Miller added. “It will give them the ability to see exactly where an exceedance took place and sort data in various ways so they can see trends and determine specific issues. Once an issue is identified and resolved, the operator can improve their performance and keep using the reduced separated tracks in the North Atlantic.” 

ATC uses an automated system to keep tabs on each aircraft’s required surveillance and communication performance to make sure operators are meeting the established criteria to fly in FANS reduce separated airspace. To pass muster, aircraft FANS datalink must be less than 180 seconds 99.9% of the time for automatic position reporting and less than 240 seconds 99.9% of the time for controller pilot data link communications (CPDLC).

Being denied access to reduced separated tracks can have a big impact on operators’ operational and financial performance. Miller cites the example of an airline fleet that was not meeting performance criteria for a previous six months, which caused the FAA to pull them out of the reduced separate tracks.

“The airline had to fly these routes at a lower-than-desired altitude, increasing fuel burn, which required some payload to be removed on each flight due to an increased fuel load. After months of research, a single faulty SATCOM system was found to have affected the whole fleet at a significant cost to the bottom line,” Miller noted.

“The Honeywell Forge PBCS monitor would have helped the airline single-out the individual aircraft that was not meeting performance requirements, analyze the data, find and fix the problem, and continue to fly the reduced separated tracks.”

PBCS monitoring capabilities will become even more vital for operators going forward as air traffic, which has waned because of the coronavirus pandemic, recovers to more normal levels and air traffic authorities in the Pacific Region begin implementing FANS reduced separation strategies along heavily trafficked routes.

Carey Miller
Honeywell Forge – Technical Lead Flight Services


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