Without a fans 1/A compliant system, soon the skies across the Atlantic will be off limits.

The Cobham AVIATOR series is the only FANS 1/A compliant SB-S system in operation today.



It’s a data link over SATCOM (satellite communications) between aircraft and air traffic control, used to report position, altitude, speed, heading etc.

What does the name mean?

FANS stands for Future Air Navigation System. FANS-1 is the Boeing solution and FANS-A is the Airbus solution. Collectively the system is known as FANS 1/A.

Why is it needed?

Over oceanic routes, traditional comms such as radar and high frequency radio are very limited. SATCOM technology is now widely used in oceanic airspace around the world to meet the RCP (Required Communications Performance) and RSP (Required Surveillance Performance) of operating in that airspace. FANS 1/A is specifically aimed at the North Atlantic Tracks (NAT), the six ‘highways’ in the sky over the North Atlantic.




Are there other advantages to operators?

Yes. SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) is the first and only global secure IP connection for operations and safety communications, and brings a host of applications and uses for airlines and business jet customers.

Is it fully approved?

Cobham AVIATOR products were tried and tested as part of the evaluation and certification of the FANS 1/A approved Inmarsat network with airlines including United, Hawaiian and Shenzhen. They all meet, and in most cases exceed, the RSP 180 and RCP 240 requirements.

How will it improve communications?

CPDLC (Controller Pilot Data Link) removes the confusion of language and accents by using a text messaging system between pilots and controllers. This increases the response time for route change requests, allowing faster reactions to changes in weather. ICAO Voice can be used over the SATCOM connection, replacing poor quality HF radio. All of which not only increases safety, but reduces weight.

What about operational advantage?

AVIATOR and SB-S can also be used for AOC (Airline Operations Centre) comms, with real-time health monitoring, preventative maintenance, flight optimisation, disruption management and graphical weather just a few of the benefits.

Why is ‘reduced separation’ a good thing?

Accurate GPS position and intent means air traffic control can be a lot more precise, which allows the separation distances of aircraft to be halved to just 30 nautical miles. This means more capacity in the airspace, which means greater availability of desired routes.


Ask your supplier about FANS 1/A Cobham AVIATOR products, or email satcom.aviator@cobham.com.