Aviation communications historically have revolved around legacy Type B formatted messages sent over a shared network using legacy communications technology. TCP/IP technology disrupts this legacy approach by facilitating direct connections.
Direct connections are one of TCP/IP’s most important features because they put aviation messaging control into the hands of the user not the provider.
Here’re three reasons why direct connections make sense:
1. Direct connections are the optimum way to message with frequent recipients like government flight and border authorities. Direct connections mean your flight plans and APIS submissions come out of the legacy messaging mix and instead travel through the time and cost efficiencies of the Internet. In other words, these messages travel the most direct means at the lowest cost.
2. Any aviation company can switch almost overnight to the efficiency of direct connections by using AvFinity, an authorized third party provider, to send your messages. AvFinity enables aviation companies to connect quickly through AvFinity’s patent-pending software technology on the plug-and-play AvFinity Integrated Services Router™ (AIRS™). AIRS™, based on the Cisco ISR/AXP platform, contains connectivity software to all agencies to which AvFinity has access authorization. The list includes:
- AFTN (Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network) through the Federal Aviation Administration’s NADIN II
- NAV CANADA
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Transportation Security Agency
- FAA’s Enhanced Traffic Management System for CDM participants
- CARICOM (Caribbean APIS)
- Canadian Border Services Agency (pending)
- SENEAM (pending)
- UK eBorders (pending)
- Additional connections will be added in the Americas, Europe, Asia and emerging markets in coming months
Some aviation companies may choose to establish their own connections. To do that, you must hire developers to write connectivity software, and/or application software, and undergo testing—all of which will take several months and, perhaps, years. We suggest you try AIRS first and see if it doesn’t meet your needs at a low price.
3. Finally, if you’re accustomed to legacy technology, you know that character costs and monthly connection fees are standard metrics for establishing pricing. Direct connections using TCP/IP don’t concern themselves with characters. So you should pay less. AvFinity offers flat pricing for its direct connection services so you know exactly what you pay every month.