An Introduction to
Airline Communication Types

Today’s global airliners use a wide array of communications technologies to ensure safe and efficient use of controlled airspace for flight operations. These communications technologies range from human/voice radio transmissions to transponders, GPS, ADS-B, ACARS, SATCOM, and 4G LTE. This white paper briefly describes each of these technologies along with sample use cases in the commercial airline industry.


  • The various types of airline communication capabilities on modern airliners
  • The main purpose of each airline communication type
  • The benefits of each airline communication type