Aeronautical radio is divided into two main functions – aircraft and ground stations (including both voice and radionavigation).
Ofcom issues licences to authorise these uses of radio.
The Aircraft Radio Licence is available in three forms:
The Aircraft application form lists the main equipment types that are used on aircraft. Please see below for a brief description of each type:
If any of the following equipment types are carried, additional terms and conditions apply. Please download a copy of the aircraft radio licence special equipment terms and conditions (PDF, 634.3 KB).
The following equipment type is not listed on the aircraft application form, but can be requested by writing to Ofcom and is only for genuine search and rescue aircraft with the approval of the MCA.
These licences authorise the installation and use of a radio installations which provide ground to air communication.
We do not normally issue a ground station licence, until we are satisfied that the ground station has been assessed as fit for purpose by the CAA.
Licences normally cover a single site. A separate fee is payable for each assigned working frequency.
There are several types of ground station radio licences to cover the main types of ground to air service. These are as follows:
Ground radio equipment designed for 25 kHz channel spacing must be able to operate on any channel between 118.000 MHz and 136.975 MHz in 25 kHz steps. Equipment designed for 8.33 kHz channel spacing must be able to operate on any channel between 118.000 MHz and 136.475 in 8.33 kHz steps. Under EU legislation, most aeronautical ground station radio equipment must operate on 8.33 kHz channel spacing.
Equipment and systems intended for analogue voice and ACARS data link communications must comply with the Minimum Performance Specification published by the CAA.
Frequencies may only be authorised for use within the United Kingdom Flight Information Region, including the UK Continental Shelf.
Aeronautical radio messages must be limited to those concerning flight safety or flight regularity. Public correspondence and messages relating to air carrier/company business communications and passenger service/convenience are not permitted.