Mobile Text Alerts Blog

How Pilots Text to Communicate


We text everywhere.

At home. At work. At the mall. At school. At church.

Sometimes it seems like we glue our eyes to our devices. But one place they still make you turn off your phone is on an airplane.

But what if you could text on an airplane?

Pilots are doing just that—but they’re not texting their wife or mom.  Learn how pilots text to communicate!

An airplane texting tale

“Airline pilots and air traffic controllers are on schedule to switch to text communications at most of the nation’s busiest airports by the end of the year,” reports ABC News. This change will potentially “reduce delays, prevent errors and save billions of dollars in fuel cost.”

Air traffic communication through radio suffers from some efficiency issues. With radio, words must be spelled out meticulously using military alphabet code—alpha for A, Charlie for C, etc.

As can be expected, this method of communicating takes up a lot of time. This can be problematic, especially when time is of the essence.

New technology allows instead for air traffic communicators to type in a message into a computer and send it directly to the pilot’s cockpit display. This process of messaging will increase efficiency and save time for everyone involved!

According to Chicago Tribune, “Data Comm [the text messaging program] is already in use at 45 airports and should be available at 11 more by the end of the year.” The system as of now is not used for “in-flight communications” but rather for “on-the-ground messages.”

What does this mean?

Learning how pilots text provides even more evidence that text-based communication continues to overtake voice as the preferred means of communication in many surprising industries. Businesses finally realize the power of texting and adjust accordingly.

It’s time to catch up with the times and let go of outdated notions that texting is unprofessional!

This is one instance in which the “everybody else is doing it” mantra actually applies.

Try a free test text alert system today at

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