R ealizing the FAA’s NextGen vision for air traffic control (ATC) modernization, such as equipping for its upcoming surveillance system mandate, is costly for airlines. One NextGen program airlines and controllers welcome, for the operational benefits it conveys, is the agency’s Data Communications (Data Comm) effort, which supplements voice communications between pilots and controllers with digital, text-based messages. Data Comm now is available at 62 airports in the U.S. The ...

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