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Garmin GDL 60 Datalink: Revolutionizing Aviation Connectivity

Garmin GDL 60 Datalink: Revolutionizing Aviation Connectivity

-by Dale Berger


A New Frontier in Aviation Technology

Garmin's recent unveiling of the GDL 60 LTE™/Wi-Fi Datalink marks a significant milestone in aviation technology. This advanced connectivity system is designed for Garmin-equipped aircraft, offering pilots an unprecedented level of access to crucial flight information and services. It promises to transform the way pilots interact with their aircraft, streamlining operations and enhancing the overall flight experience.

Innovative Features of the Garmin GDL 60 Datalink

At the core of this advancement is the Garmin GDL 60, a device that bridges the gap between aircraft and Garmin's diverse range of services. It enables dual connectivity through LTE and Wi-Fi, alongside cockpit and cabin access via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. This versatile gateway ensures pilots always have up-to-date avionics databases, including navigation SafeTaxi®, enroute/terminal charts, terrain, and obstacle data. In areas without LTE and Wi-Fi coverage, the GDL 60 continues to update databases wirelessly through Garmin Pilot™.

Comprehensive Data Access for Informed Flying

The GDL 60 Datalink offers pilots access to a wide array of real-time data, crucial for making informed decisions and enhancing flight safety:

  • ADS-B In Traffic Data: Provides information about nearby air traffic, enhancing situational awareness.
  • FIS-B Weather Information: Delivers real-time weather updates, crucial for route planning and weather avoidance.
  • AHRS Data from Built-in Sensor: Offers accurate aircraft orientation and movement data.
  • Magnetic Heading, GPS Position, Velocity, and Time Data: Essential for precise navigation.
  • Uncorrected Barometric Altitude: Used by the transponder and ADS-B for accurate altitude reporting.

Key Benefits for Pilots and Aircraft Owners

The GDL 60 brings several significant benefits to aviation operations:

  • Automatic Database Updates: Simplifies database management with automatic, wireless updates.
  • Versatile Connectivity: Supports uploading of aircraft and flight data, remote aircraft status monitoring, and enhanced Connext® PED Connectivity.
  • Seamless Integration: Joins the Connext® ecosystem for an enhanced wireless connection between compatible devices.

Garmin Equipment Compatibility

The GDL 60 is compatible with a wide range of Garmin avionics systems, enhancing its utility for various aircraft configurations. It can be integrated with:

  • GTN Xi Series Navigators: For advanced GPS/NAV/COM capabilities.
  • TXi Series Flight Displays: Offering comprehensive flight instrumentation.
  • GI 275 Electronic Flight Instruments: For versatile display functionality.
  • Select Garmin Integrated Flight Decks: Enabling a unified avionics solution.

Understanding the Service Commitment with Garmin

Investing in the GDL 60 Datalink involves a commitment to Garmin’s service plans, which are crucial for accessing its full range of features:

  • Ongoing Subscription Plans: Necessary for LTE and Wi-Fi enabled features, including automatic database updates and remote aircraft status checks.
  • Multiple Plan Options: Garmin offers various service plans, each tailored to different connectivity needs and preferences.

Subscription Service Tiers

Garmin’s service plans for the GDL 60 come in different tiers, providing flexibility and cost-effectiveness:

  • LTE North America Plan: Priced at $30 per month, offering automatic database updates, remote aircraft status, and flight log uploading via LTE and Wi-Fi.
  • Wi-Fi Only Plan: A more economical option at $10 per month, excluding LTE-based updates and remote status checks.

Extended Capabilities and Future Prospects

The GDL 60 is not just a static solution but an evolving technology. Garmin plans to expand its capabilities, including automatic transmission of engine and flight log data to cloud storage, accessible via the Garmin Pilot app or This forward-looking approach ensures that the GDL 60 will continue to meet the growing needs of the aviation community.

Final Thoughts: Embracing the Future of Aviation Connectivity

The Garmin GDL 60 Datalink is more than just a technological innovation; it's a gateway to a new era of connected aviation. By offering comprehensive data access, seamless integration with Garmin equipment, and flexible service plans, the GDL 60 is set to transform the pilot experience, making flying safer, more efficient, and more enjoyable.

For pilots and aircraft owners looking to elevate their aviation experience, the Garmin GDL 60 Datalink represents an investment in the future of flight. It's an opportunity to harness the power of advanced connectivity and data management, reshaping the way we interact with the skies.   Here is a link to a Youtube Playlist from Garmin Aviation going into greater detail on the use of the GDL 60 and PlanSync.

This product is available for purchase and installation through our sister company, Aero-Pro Avionics LLC.  Contact me for more details.


-Dale Berger has been immersed in aviation for over 40 years.  A USAF veteran and private pilot since 1986, he has been Chief Inspector for 3 different avionics shops.  He and his wife Kim currently own and operate Essco Aircraft, an aviation publications and pilot supplies business in Barberton Ohio. 

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