Clear, unambiguous, timely and uninterrupted communications are central to the efficient and safe management of air traffic. In time, controller pilot data link communications (CPDLC) will replace voice as the medium for passing a large proportion of information, intentions, requests, and instructions between pilots and controllers, but voice communications will always have a role to play in emergency situations and in tactical intervention.
Not surprisingly, communications related problems are a factor in many flight safety incidents. This Action Plan specifically addresses the subject of Air-Ground Communications Safety (AGC Safety) and is the result of the combined efforts of organisations representing all areas of airline operations - International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations, Flight Safety Foundation, European Cockpit Association, European Regions Airline Association and EUROCONTROL. European Commission (EC) supports the plan and Eurocontrol Agency will continue working with the EC for addressing this hazard, including but not restricted to the use of data from European Co-ordination Centre for Aviation Incident Reporting Systems.
Those organisations have contributed to and endorsed this Action Plan and are totally committed to enhancing flight safety by advocating the implementation of the recommendations that it contains.
The recommendations, when implemented, will assist in reducing the number of incidents, including level busts and runway incursions where communication problems are a contributory factor. This will be achieved by the consistent and harmonised application of existing ICAO provisions, increased awareness, and the adoption of best practice in air-ground communications.
The Action Plan includes a series of briefing notes that give detailed information and guidance: