NASA Brings Airport Communications into the Digital Age

Air traffic control managers have communicated with airline pilots verbally for decades but with AeroMACS messages can quickly be sent digitally. (Credit: NASA)

As air travel has increased, the challenge of keeping track of all the moving parts of an airport has only grown. A digital wireless airport communications system developed in part by NASA is now poised to change the game.

The Aeronautical Mobile Aircraft Communication System (AeroMACS) will allow Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) staff in control towers to send safety-critical information digitally and securely. It will eventually phase out the use of voice communication as the primary method of information sharing for airport ground operations.