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Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services, SMATSA LLC, has selected SITA as its primary datalink service provider to comply with a key European Union (EU) mandate that will modernize its air traffic control communications.

SITA is only one of two providers that can provide compliant datalink services in the EU. Uniquely, SITA can also offer its services via the new pan-European network service (NewPENS), an upgraded telecommunications network used by many Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) today. SITA is the primary provider of datalink services to 24 EU Member States and a shared provider for a further EU country.

Under the Single European Sky regulatory framework, ANSPs in the EU must deploy Controller–Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC) on a modern Aeronautical Telecommunication Network (ATN). SITA was an active participant in the strategic initiatives supporting this move to the CPDLC mandate in Europe. CPDLC is a more reliable digital-based form of communication to complement conventional voice communications.

SITA's ATN, combined with its multi-frequency VHF Digital Link Mode 2 (VDLm2) solution, will enable SMATSA to deploy CPDLC for all routine air traffic control communications, such as clearances, in the upper airspace. The shift to more text-based messages will help the ANSP increase the efficiency, capacity, and performance of air traffic management as air traffic demand grows.

The digital capability allows for messages to be sent concurrently, and a pre-defined message feature for receiving/requesting clearances and reporting information. It will enable SMATSA’s air traffic controllers to handle multiple requests and reduce errors caused by misunderstandings between pilots and controllers with voice communications. With improved, increased, and near real-time communication, controllers will have more time to identify aircraft conflicts and offer more optimal routings for aircraft.

Around 90 ANSPs globally use SITA’s ATC Datalink Service today. SMATSA joins 25 other European ANSPs deploying SITA’s leading ATN/VDLm2 solution for CPDLC in Europe.

SITA will also add a new very high frequency datalink radio station in the region to improve coverage, complementing the existing datalink infrastructure implemented by SITA that supports European airspace and the implementation of CPDLC in the EU.

Predrag Jovanović, CEO, SMATSA LLC, said: “We turned to SITA as the leading provider of datalink services in Europe to enhance capacity, efficiency, and performance while maintaining the safety levels of our air traffic control services to comply with EU requirements”.

Yann Cabaret, CEO, SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, said: “We’re delighted to help ANSPs across the globe to implement leading technologies and standards to address the challenges of modern air traffic management. Our proven ATN/VDLm2 solution in Europe will enable SMATSA to streamline operations and paves the way for future trajectory-based operations.”

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