FANS - Future Air Navigation System

Future Air Navigation System (FANS) is a concept that was developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in partnership with Boeing, Airbus, Honeywell and others in the air transport industry to allow more aircraft to safely and efficiently utilize a given volume of airspace. Today FANS is used primarily in the oceanic regions taking advantage of both satellite communication and satellite navigation to effectively create a virtual radar environment for safe passage of aircraft. FANS plays a key role in supporting many of the evolving CNS/ATM (Communication, Navigation, Surveillance / Air Traffic Management) strategies and mandates – an evolution that has been underway for more than ten years. Today, FANS-1 is the standard used on Boeing aircraft while the Airbus standard is known as FANS-A. Both are considered first generation FANS architectures. Second generation FANS will be discussed under the FANS Evolution paragraph.The first FANS routes made their debut in the Pacific in early 1996 and were originally flown by three airlines with the Boeing 747-400. These B-747 FANS 1 equipped aircraftuse Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and Inertial Reference Systems (IRS) to fix their position and an on-board Honeywell Flight Management System (FMS) to manage the navigation solution and flow of information. The position of theaircraft is then transmitted through a communications router and sent to Air Traffic Control (ATC) via either VHF or SATCOM. The FANS standard mandates the use of INMARSAT SATCOM when out of VHF range. This Communication (VHF or SATCOM),Navigation (GPS / FMS) and automatic dependant Surveillance (ADS-A) concept enables ATC to create a clear picture of the traffic in a given block of oceanic airspace much in the same manner as ground-based radar does today over land.