I read that on the A380 and A350, certain features on the Navigation Display can be controlled via the Keyboard and Cursor Control Unit (KCCU). However, I did not find a full list of these features. I only found the On-Board Airport Navigation System (OANS) and Brake to Vacate (BTV) as examples.

Does it include, for example, selecting elements (waypoints, navaids) for the flightplan with the cursor?


2 Answers 2


This is what the KCCU looks like:

enter image description here
Source: A380-800 Flight Deck and Systems Briefing for Pilots

Each KCCU is connected to its FMS:

enter image description here
Source: A380-800 Flight Deck and Systems Briefing for Pilots

From the Airbus booklet cited above:

The flight crew uses the KCCU to:
• Navigate through the FMS pages on the MFD
• Enter and modify data on the MFD
• Perform some flight plan revisions on the lateral ND.


The KCCUs enable the flight crew to directly interact with the onside ND, MFD and the mailbox section of the SD.

The KCCU can be used, for instance:

  • To select an airport
  • To navigate throughout the Airport Moving Map (drag technique)
  • To set some marks (flags and crosses) for drawing a path
  • To activate the correct database.

(source: Getting to grip with surveillance

This figure shows what is reachable with the KCCU:

enter image description here
Source: A380-800 Flight Deck and Systems Briefing for Pilots

As there are two KCCU:

Each KCCU displays a different cursor. If both cursors are displayed on the SD, only one can be active.

There is a functional redundancy between the keyboard and the cursor control unit.

The Onboard Airport Navigation System which displays a moving airport navigation map, is also accessible using the KCCU interactively.

You may also have a look at the book Introduction to Avionics Systems:

The Multi-Function Display (MFD) displays textual data; over 50 FMS pages provide information on the flight plan, aircraft position and flight performance. The MFD is interactive; the flight crew can navigate through the pages and can consult, enter or modify the data via the Keyboard and Cursor Control Unit (KCCU).

The Keyboard and Cursor Control Unit (KCCU) enables the flight crew to navigate through the FMS pages on the MFD and enter and modify data on the MFD, as mentioned above, and can also perform some flight plan revisions on the lateral Navigation Display (ND).

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. You mentioned that the KCCU can be used to "set some marks" , "draw a path" and "perform some flight plan revisions" on the ND. Do you have any more specific information about that, because those are exactly the functins I was looking for. $\endgroup$
    – Jonas87
    Feb 16, 2017 at 7:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Jonas87: For the details, the right document to read would be the FCOM, however some elements are available online, e.g. this document in German, translated using Google. Overall, point and click, as well as drag-move is possible with the trackball and validation pushbutton. It is possible to display contextual menu too. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Feb 16, 2017 at 8:47

As far as I know the whole FMC (or as it is called in an airbus: MCDU) is controlled by this cursors. So you don't have the limited options by just using scratchpad and line select keys, but you can graphically interact with the items on the screen by using the cursor.

A flight management system (FMS) is a fundamental component of a modern airliner's avionics. An FMS is a specialized computer system that automates a wide variety of in-flight tasks, reducing the workload on the flight crew to the point that modern civilian aircraft no longer carry flight engineers or navigators. A primary function is in-flight management of the flight plan. Using various sensors (such as GPS and INS often backed up by radio navigation) to determine the aircraft's position, the FMS can guide the aircraft along the flight plan. From the cockpit, the FMS is normally controlled through a Control Display Unit (CDU) which incorporates a small screen and keyboard or touchscreen. The FMS sends the flight plan for display to the Electronic Flight Instrument System (EFIS), Navigation Display (ND), or Multifunction Display (MFD).

Wikipedia - Flight Management System

  • $\begingroup$ thanks, but I was specifically interested in what features can be controlled on the Navigation Display, not the MFD/MCDU. For example, can the cursor be positioned over a waypoint depicted on the ND and then insert this waypoint into the flightplan? Or can the pilot enter arbitrary positioned waypoints via clicking on any position in the ND? $\endgroup$
    – Jonas87
    Feb 16, 2017 at 6:59

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