AeroMACS is a digital communication medium intended for air/ground communication while the aircraft is on the airport surface. AeroMACS protocols are based on IEEE 802.16e protocols operating in protected aviation spectrum. AeroMACS is part of FAA’s NextGen Plan and EUROCONTROL’s Future Communication Infrastructure (FCI) Plan. The AeroMACS protocols are based on the Internet Protocol Suite (IPS) and are further profiled by RTCA and EUROCAE standards.
The AEEC has prepared airborne radio transceiver standards for AeroMACS. ARINC Characteristic 766: Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communication System (AeroMACS) Transceiver and Aircraft Installation Standards, defines a radio intended for broadband wireless communication on the airport surface using the AeroMACS profile of IEEE 802.16e WiMAX. The radio will operate in the protected aeronautical frequency band, 5091 to 5150 MHz, utilizing the IEEE 802.16e protocols.
The AeroMACS Radio Unit is expected to support existing datalink applications, Air Traffic Service (ATS), FANS, ATN, Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC), and Aeronautical Operational Control (AOC).
Airport operators are exploring the technical and financial benefits of AeroMACS use at the airport. AeroMACS should ease VHF congestion by providing an industry standard high throughput alternative to VHF based Air Traffic Management (ATM) and ACARS communications. When airports are in the position to offer AeroMACS services, aircraft equipage will begin. Future work will be determined by infrastructure improvement programs.