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Honeywell Forge PBCS Monitoring Can Help Solve FANS Issues

Honeywell Forge PBCS Monitoring Can Help Solve FANS Issues

Since releasing the industry’s first “near real-time” PBCS (Performance-Based Communication and Surveillance) Monitoring Tool in late 2020, Honeywell has been helping operators retain the ability to fly within the FANS (Future Air Navigation System) reduced separated tracks in oceanic/remote airspace. The data provided by this powerful tool can help customers troubleshoot problems with their FANS datalink systems, to assure compliance to PBCS requirements.

Datalink systems must meet fairly new performance standards in the North Atlantic or they will be pushed outside or below the reduced separated track system, costing significantly more time and money than a flight at optimum altitude and course. FANS datalink performance is compiled over a six-month period; if you don’t fly oceanic very often, even a few flights where you’re not meeting the performance standards could seriously affect your ability to fly in the reduced separated tracks. The reduced separated airspace in the North Atlantic have not been on many pilot’s minds over the past year due the pandemic and the lack of international travel, but the traffic across the North Atlantic is starting to increase, which will lead to the use of these tracks again.

Take, for instance, a customer who recently called Honeywell Forge Technical Support to see if we could help them troubleshoot an issue. They had recently flown in the Caribbean and noticed datalink messages were taking longer than usual. We pulled the aircraft’s PBCS Monitoring report from the Honeywell Forge dashboard, and it became obvious that their concerns were valid. In troubleshooting the issue, we found that uplink messages were taking much longer than downlink messages.

We learned that the customer had installed a new SATCOM system on the aircraft shortly before these trips. After contacting the third-party service provider, the customer learned that a “feature” on their account was not selected. The service provider activated this feature, and we performed a FANS test with the aircraft on the ground. The system performance significantly improved, and the next two datalink flights indicated that the problem was fully resolved.

This example is one of many ways an operator might use the Honeywell Forge PBCS Monitoring tool. Currently, the FANS datalink report from the FANS-CRA website is only produced every six months, leaving a void when a flight department needs to troubleshoot an issue or check system performance more frequently. With our PBCS Monitoring tool, you can see your performance shortly after each flight to proactively address any issues right away. 

If you’d like to access this service for your operation, visit our Honeywell Forge Flight Services page today to contact our friendly and knowledgeable sales team or learn more.

Carey Miller
Honeywell Forge – Technical Lead Flight Services