This is Ground-Link

Click HERE to download a printable Ground-Link brochure (PDF format), packed with additional useful information about the standard Ground-Link system, as well as the new Digital system.

Ground-Link was developed for general aviation and commuter airlines by Avtech Marketing, Inc. to provide pilots access to the public telephone network through a VHF radio interface.

The pilot keys the mic on the communication radio, signaling the system to call the appropriate air traffic control (ATC) agency. The pilot can then talk directly with ATC and receive the necessary ATC instructions without leaving the aircraft.

Before the development of this type of system, the pilot had to call ATC using a public telephone. Ground-Link serves as an alternative to dedicated air/ground voices facilities that may be underused or not economically justifiable.

The pilot activates the system by using four "key clicks" on the mic. The system dials the appropriate ATC facility using a pre-stored number. When answered, communications between ATC and the aircraft are transmitted over a VHF radio. The pilot can then obtain or cancel an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) clearance. No changes are required to equipment at the ATC facility or in the aircraft to take advantage of Ground-Link.

The best applications for this system are airports where special communications needs may exist or those with lower traffic.

Benefits to NAS and the pilot
Click HERE for a benefits summary

Enhances Flight Safety
Ground-Link allows ATC to enhance the safety of aircraft movement by increasing the efficiency of the use of airspace surrounding outlying airports. Ground-Link aids pilots to easily obtain IFR clearances prior to departure. The
public telephone method of obtaining the clearances takes time, is often inconvenient, and often encourages the pilot to depart without having obtained a clearance. This often leads to dangerous operating conditions. Thus Ground-Link provides ATC with greater control of the airspace. The system also allows for enhancement of situational awareness on the part of the controller by providing near-term notification of a pending departure.

Cost Effective
Ground-Link is extremely cost-effective to the national airspace system as an alternative to dedicated remote transmitter/receiver facilities. It has been estimated that the acquisition of this type of system will be approximately 15% of the cost of the RCO. Annual operating expenses are nothing more than a telephone line and electricity. This equates to a cost saving of 75% or more over a dedicated facility.

Efficiently Uses Airspace
Procedures currently call for all airspace surrounding an airport to be sterilized when a clearance has been issued with a release time. This means that no other approaching or departing aircraft is allowed to be cleared into that airspace until a positive position is reported from the cleared aircraft is obtained. The amount of time that elapses from release until communications can be established with that aircraft can be extremely long, often tens of minutes. The use of Ground-Link can reduce this time. Reducing delays from 10 minutes or greater down to two or 3 minutes allows ATC to open the airspace for other operations, eliminating the need for holds or other delays for aircraft.