The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

FANS Video Series: Understanding ADS-C & CPDLC

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 @ 08:50 AM

Contributed by Justin Vena, Avionics Installation Sales Rep

FANS avionics video

Future Air Navigation Systems (FANS) provides direct data link communication between the pilot and air traffic controller.

A lot has changed in the world of air traffic control during the past 70 years. To help diagram some of the more recent changes, I have created and released a four-part video series on Understanding Future Air Navigation Systems (FANS), the avionics system that provides direct data link communication between the pilot and air traffic controller. Below are the highlights of the first video: ADS-C & CPDLC.

What is FANS

The acronym FANS stands for "Future Air Navigation System." It is designed to increase the communication between the pilot and controllers by providing a common language that is not influenced or interrupted by language barriers or accents. FANS can be divided into two parts, Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract (ADS-C) and Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC).


With ADS-C, there are three types of contracts that can be set up by your controller and one set up by the pilot.

Periodic contracts are time-based and can be varied when necessary by Air Traffic Control (ATC) needs.

An Event contract is a contract set up by the ATC that predesignates your aircraft’s altitude, vertical speed or any of several other different parameters. If you deviate from any of these parameters, they are notified immediately.

Demand contracts are initiated by ATC when they want to know where every play is right now. Everyone responds on demand.

A Mayday Message contract is controlled and initiated by the pilot during emergency circumstances.  


CPDLC is a standardized, formatted language that is used in text messages sent between ATC and the cockpit of the aircraft.

View the entire four-part FANS video series at

At Duncan Aviation, we consider ourselves to be on the cutting edge of all avionics technology, and the subject of FANS 1/A is no different. We have done ample research and talked with hundreds of our customers to develop the most valuable information we can provide.

In addition to this video series about FANS 1/A, our team of avionics experts have developed Straight Talk booklets for NextGen and other systems including Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums (RVSM) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). Visit for more information.

Duncan Aviation's FANS 1/A webinar coming in December

On December 18, 2012, at 2PM Eastern (EST), I will be hosting an hour-long FAN 1/A internet webinar for operators researching FANS compliance for their aircraft, and all aviation enthusiasts with an interest in FAA NextGen initiatives. There is no charge for the event and seating is limited, so register early and reserve your spot today!

FANS Webinar Registration

Justin Vena is an Avionics Installation Sales Rep at Duncan Aviation’s Battle, MI, facility. He has a passion for understanding the world’s NextGen initiatives that has led to a four-part video series on the on the subject of FANS. He is an industry leader on the subject of FANS and has been asked to conduct classes and give presentations all across the country. He specializes in NextGen Initiatives. His Aviation career began in 1988.

Tags: Avionics Installation, FANS, Webinar


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