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Dimensioning the mobile link for aeronautical communications between aircraft and the satellite is a critical issue due to the limited power available, in particular if an omnidirectional antenna is used on board the aircraft. Also there are large channel variations due to the different effects occurring on the L-band mobile link and over-dimensioning of the user terminal or satellite should be avoided. In this context, this paper analyses the interest of using Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) for the mobile link of future aeronautical satellite systems in L band for a European coverage. It analyses in particular the different effects to be compensated, their impact on the link budget and the link dimensioning and performance improvement when using ACM. Finally complementary analyses that would be necessary to further investigate this topic are identified and presented at the end of the paper.