ACARS (Aircraft Addressing and Reporting System) is a digital data link system between aircraft and ground stations, transmitted via VHF radio, which allows airline flight operations control operators to communicate with their aircraft.
This VHF digital transmission system, used by many civilian and business aircraft, can be likened to "email for airplanes", as the registration of each aircraft represents a unique address in the network. The system was developed by aeronautical radio giant ARINC (Aeronautical Radio, Inc.) and all traffic is routed via ARINC computers.
With ACARS, such routine items as departure reports, arrival reports, passenger loads, fuel data, engine performance data, and much more, can be requested by the ground control and retrieved from the aircraft at specified intervals. Reciprocally, instructions to the crew can be relayed automatically and printed out on a cockpit printer.
WiNRADiO users can get obtain access to ACARS information very easily. All that is needed is a WiNRADiO receiver (such as WR-G305e) and the WiNRADiO Advanced Digital Suite software. The software is very easy to use and allows its user to watch pilot's instructions exactly as they are printed on the cockpit printer, in addition to other interesting information being transmitter to and from the aircraft.