Computerised Message Switching - 1973

click here to download Getting Our Message Across in the Jet Age

Whenever an aircraft operating under the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) moves anywhere in the world, a plethora of messages between ground stations accompany it. These range from flight plans, to position reports, to company load messages. These messages were sent on a world-wide network called the Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network (AFTN).

To handle the growing amount of aeronautical message traffic, in 1973 DCA commissioned its first computerised message-switching system.

The system was described in the DCA house journal of the day, DCA News, in the April-May 1973 issue. You can download the story, Getting Our Message Across in the Jet Age, by clicking on the image at left (1.13 MB .pdf file).

Click here to see a 1966 flight plan for Ansett Lockheed Electra VH-RMC

Click here to see a 1989 flight plan and AIREP message from the non-stop England-Australia flight by Qantas Boeing 747 VH-OJA

Click here to see a 1990 flight plan for historic Douglas DC-3 VH-AES

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