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Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC)

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Question:

With regard to the anticipated/actual benefits of CPDLC I don't understand how it enables a controller to handle more pilot requests simultaneously. My assumption is that a controller cannot do other than send one message to one aircraft at a time, other than the stuck mike broadcast and that he cannot deal with all the texting at the same time as monitoring the radar screen effectively. I am obviously missing something as I am not familiar with the process as it works from the controller's end. I seek enlightenment.

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

the correct text of the article bullet point is

"More pilot requests can be dealt with simultaneously; "

This does not mean that the ATCO could/will mentally process more than one pilot request/separation task at a time, but that the ground system can in practice deal with more than one pilot request simultaneously. It can receive and process multiple downlinked messages, update CPDLC dialogues and display the relevant information to the controller in a second or two. While the controller is uplinking a clearance message to a flight other message(s) can be received, processed and displayed. On the RT frequency only one message can be uplinked or downlinked at a time.

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