Future Air Navigation System (FANS)
The 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 aerospace industry to allow more aircrafts to safely and efficiently utilize a given volume of airspace.
Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN)
Until the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) became available, Boeing and Honeywell built a FANS application to run on the existing ACARS system. This avionics package became known as FANS-1 and was certified on a Qantas 747-400 in June 1995. The Airbus equivalent system is known FANS-A or A+, and these systems are known collectively as FANS-1/A.
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 an aircraft.
Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs)
Industry committees, including the Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), have determined that the short-term solution to alleviate route congestion, primarily in the North Atlantic routes (see map), is to reduce the aircraft lateral separation minimums (RLSM). This permits more aircraft to fly in reduced airspace. To accomplish this, the ANSPs have designated certain routes as “FANS routes,” reserving the best airspace for the best- equipped aircraft. Although the FANS routes are currently confined to FL360 – FL390, this airspace expanded to FL350 – FL390 in 2015, and again to FL290 and above in 2020.