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We present in this survey new technologies proposed for the evolution of the aeronautical communication infrastructure. Motivated by studies that estimate the growth of air traffic flow, it was decided to develop a future communication infrastructure (FCI) adapted to the future aeronautical scenario. The FCI development involves researchers, industrials, and aeronautical authorities from many countries around the world, and started in 2004. The L-band Digital Aeronautical Communication System (L-DACS) is the part of the FCI that will be in charge of continental communication. The L-DACS is being developed in Europe since 2007 and two candidates were preselected: L-DACS1 and L-DACS2. In this paper, we first describe the motivations of the FCI. We then give an overview of its development activities from 2004 to 2009. After that, we provide some insights about both preselected L-DACS candidates, at their physical and medium access layers. Finally, we address the challenges on the development of the FCI/L-DACS.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2013