An aircraft flies over an ir traffic control tower

As connected aircraft operations improve efficiencies and reduce costs, the airline industry is expected to see annual savings of around $15 billion. At the same time, these new generation aircraft generate up to four times the amount of Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) data than their predecessors – leading to cost and congestion increases that reduce the overall operational gain. In response, airlines are now looking for new ways to improve throughput and reduce these costs by sending particular messages over different media.

ACARS over IP (AoIP) is the newest option for these communications. AoIP harnesses the advantages of ACARS while also utilizing the growing availability and decreasing cost of broadband cellular connectivity on the ground, and IP capable SATCOM connectivity when airborne. More capacity is continually becoming available, increasing the amount of throughput and data that can be sent/received.

The specific mechanisms vary by aircraft and the type of system used but, in general, standard ACARS 618 messages are encapsulated in IP messages between the aircraft and ground-based message handlers for processing.

Because AoIP uses broadband IP communications, which have a much higher effective throughput than VHF and HF, it is a highly scalable long-term solution. As an additional benefit, cellular and IP capable SATCOM throughput is so much higher, airlines can also use it to improve other parts of their operations including Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications and automated Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) data acquisition.

Of particular value, AoIP provides the ability to offload the growing volume of AI domain ACARS information from VHF, HF, and narrow band safety services SATCOM to broadband connectivity. These ACARS applications do not have the network performance requirements that dispatch critical or Air Traffic Service (ATS) ACARS applications demand; therefore a commercially or publicly available broadband alternative connectivity is not only suitable, but also available at a lower cost.

For more information on how we can help your airline today, contact us at [email protected]