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AeroMACS Working Group

Last Update: March 17, 2017

Chairman: Bob Slaughter - American Airlines

APIM 11-013A: Airport Surface Communication (AeroMACS) (pdf, 127K)


The aging airport surface communication infrastructure requires updating to an advanced, secure digital network leveraging on Internet Protocol Suite (IPS).

Goal: The goal of the AeroMACS Working Group is to develop a standard for an airborne radio transceiver designed for broadband wireless communication with an Airport Surface Network.

Scope: The AeroMACS Working Group is developing ARINC Project Paper 766: Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communication System (AeroMACS) Transceiver and Aircraft Installation Standards as authorized by APIM 11-013A.

The AeroMACS Radio Unit (ARU) is envisioned to support Air Traffic Service (ATS), FANS, ATN, Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC), and Aeronautical Operational Control (AOC) operation. It is expected to offload congested and less effective VHF terminal communications.

The AeroMACS airplane terminal will exchange data with the AeroMACS Airport Base Station (BS) only when the aircraft is on the ground. The ARU will operate in the protected Aeronautical C-band frequency Band of 5091 MHz to 5150 MHz, utilizing the IEEE 802.16e WiMAX protocol.

The AeroMACS installation characteristic will define ARU and Antenna form, fit, function, interfaces, and Security Considerations. Communication of messages in the Aircraft Control Domain (ACD) will be separated from the Airline Information
Services Domain (AISD).

Benefit: AeroMACS is expected to improve airport surface communications. It is considered one of the future radio components bringing System Wide Information Management (SWIM) to the aircraft.

AeroMACS should ease VHF RF congestion by providing an industry standard high throughput alternative to VHF based ACARS communications. It complements efforts for multiple VDLM2 frequencies to off load the common signaling channel.
AeroMACS supports:

  • ATC communications
  • CPDLC
  • ATN
  • FANS 1/A and B
  • AOC communications
    • Broadband data connection between aircraft and AOC center
  • Broadband data connection between aircraft and AOC center

AeroMACS Working Group

Industry Editor: Tom McGuffin, Honeywell


Next Meeting Announcement:

Working Papers:

Current Drafts:

Draft 4 of ARINC Project Paper 766: Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communication System (AeroMACS) Transceiver and Aircraft Installation Standards

Last Meeting Report:

AeroMACS Working Group
November 3-5, 2016, in Annapolis, Maryland


Staff Contact

Jose Godoy
jose.godoy@sae-itc.org
240.334.2583