What Should You Do to Respond To the Data Link LOA A056 Changes

The FAA introduced a new template for LOA A056 for Data Link communications in November 2017. The new template adds two pieces of information that were not previously tracked. The changes focus on the PBCS capabilities, in order to meet the March 29, 2018, PBCS implementation, and the name of the service provider used for Data Link services for each aircraft.

Here are four paths to take when responding to the Data Link LOA changes, depending on your status:

I already have an approved LOA A056 and it is in the new format:

  •  You are in compliance with both the PBCS implementation and Data Link mandate already. No further action is needed.

I already have an approved LOA A056, but it is not yet in the new format:

  • Fill out a new A056 application and ask FSDO to reissue your A056 in the new format.
  • In rare cases your FSDO may issue you the new LOA A056 without a full resubmission. Be sure to speak with your inspector to get a better idea of what exactly they would like you to submit.

I do not have an approved LOA A056, but have submitted an application OR I have submitted a request to add a new aircraft to my LOA A056:

  • Be sure your submission has been prepared using the FAA’s newest format.
  • If you submitted prior to November 2017, and your request hasn’t been approved yet, you will need to re-prepare and re-submit.

I do not have an approved LOA A056, and have not yet applied:

  • Be sure to have your aircraft upgraded to meet Data Link requirements as soon as practical if you intend to keep operating in the NAT. Right now, Data Link is required for any NAT operations at FL340 to FL390.  Beginning in January 2020, Data Link will be required for all NAT operations at FL290 and above.
  • Apply for an LOA A056 using the FAA’s newest format.

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