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Air Ground Communications Systems (AGCS) Subcommittee

Last Update: November 6, 2017

Chairman: Robert Holcomb, American Airlines
APIM 13-011A:
Iridium Satcom (771) (pdf, 59K)

Goal: The goal of the Air/Ground Communications Systems (AGCS) Subcommittee is to ensure that current and emerging satellite air-ground communication systems are aligned with airline operational requirements and defined for cost-effective implementation based on existing and anticipated aircraft architectures. The AGCS Subcommittee is developing and maintaining satcom standards.

Benefits: The standards provide the air transport industry with global air-ground communications capabilities that support character-oriented protocols (e.g., ACARS) and the more efficient bit-oriented protocols (e.g., ATM applications, including ADS and CPDLC). Updated standards will lead to improved network performance, increased uniformity in data link service provider interfaces, and expanded Air Traffic Services (ATS). Additionally, the air transport industry benefits from this standardization via the continued competition among communications service providers.

Project: Document Satcom Subnetworks

Scope: The scope of this project is to develop and maintain satcom standards (ARINC Characteristic 741, 761, 771, and 781). This includes support for the standardization of SwiftBroadband safety services (including security segregation solutions). This project supports the airlines in attaining a standardized satcom capability that is designated for air traffic control service data link applications (e.g., FANS-1/A services: ADS-C and CPDLC), Airline Operations Control (AOC) services, and In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) services.

Benefit: The overall benefits of satcom system standardization are simplified system definitions and lower non-recurring engineering and equipment installation costs associated with providing satcom services. Stakeholder-specific benefits include:

  • The benefits for airlines are cost-effective and secure air traffic services and added revenue from IFE services and lower equipment installation costs.
  • The benefits for airframe manufacturers are simplified L-band system installations and the increased ability to offer competitive solutions to meet the diverse customer needs.
  • The benefit for avionics equipment suppliers is an expanding market for standardized equipment that is applicable to multiple airplane manufacturers and models.

Meeting Announcement:

Air-Ground Communications System (AGCS) Subcommittee (pdf, 80K)
February 27-March 1, 2018, in Cape Town, South Africa
sub bulletRegister On Line

Working Papers:

Current Drafts:

Draft 3 of Supplement 1 to ARINC Characteristic 771: Low-Earth Orbiting Aviation Satellite Communication Systems

Last Meeting Report:

Air-Ground Communications System (AGCS) Subcommittee
June 13-15, 2017, in Fucino, Italy

Click here for information about Ku-Band and Ka-Band Satcom.

Staff Contact

Jose Godoy