Help us improve the process for aeronautical licensing

We want your feedback about the aeronautical licensing process. Answer three quick questions to help us make it better.

Aeronautical licence products

18 March 2022

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.

Aircraft radio licences

The aircraft radio licence is available in two forms:

Aircraft equipment types

The aircraft radio licence lists and permits the main equipment types that are used on aircraft. These are selectable in the application form. Please see below for a brief description of each type:

Aeronautical ground station licences

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:

Radio equipment

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.

Use of the equipment

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.