Radio transmitters used in aviation require radio licence
The radio systems used in aviation are divided, on the basis of the place of use, to ground-based radio equipment and radio equipment used on board an aircraft. In addition, there are portable radio equipment which can be used both on ground and on board airborne aircraft in accordance with the conditions of the radio licence. Radio licences are granted only for equipment that meet the requirements.
Apply for a radio licence in the electronic service
The user of a radio transmitter must have a special rating, issued by the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (TraFi), for operating aeronautical radio communication.
Ground-based radio equipment are radio equipment used on ground or on board aircraft on ground. Ground-based radio equipment and their operational frequencies:
|RADIO SYSTEM||OPERATIONAL FREQUENCIES|
(Non-directional radio beacon (NDB), inner/outer approach beacon)
|Voice radiocommunication (VHF COM)
(VHF base station transmitter, VHF multi-channel transmitter, VHF standby transmitter, portable radiotelephone, vehicular station)
|ILS marker transmitter (outdoor marker/middle marker transmitter)||75.000 MHz|
|ILS localizer (LLZ)||108.100–111.950 MHz|
|VHF omnidirectional radio range (VOR)||111.975–117.975 MHz|
|ILS glide path transmitter (GP)||328.600–335.400 MHz|
|Distance measuring equipment (DME)||962.000–1213.000 MHz|
Further information on reducing the channel spacing to 8.33 kHz in the VHF frequency band can be found in FICORA's notice Smaller channel spacing for VHF radio equipment in the future.
Uncontrolled aerodromes, i.e. so-called backwoods airfields, are aerodromes without air traffic control. The use of radio equipment in aerodromes like these (e.g. in private aviation, hang glider towing) on frequencies intended for aviation requires a radio licence. The radio licence entitles to use radio transmitters on all uncontrolled aerodromes in Finland on frequencies allocated in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP), part AD2 EFXX.
Air competitions require a radio licence. The radio licence entitles to use radio transmitters in competitions on a frequency allocated for competition operations.
Handphones which operate on VHF frequencies intended for aviation and which may be used, according to licence conditions, both on ground and on board airborne aircraft (e.g. aeroplanes, hot-air balloons, hang gliders) are called as aeronautical portable radio equipment.
Aeronautical portable radio equipment can be used, for example, in conjunction with hang glider towing or paragliding. Therefore, the use of the equipment differs from the use of ground-based radio equipment. The use of ground-based radio equipment usually requires frequency planning.
If a VHF handphone is a permanent part of the aircraft's radio station, the radio station is reported in the radio licence application for the aircraft.
All radio equipment on board aircraft constitute the radio station of the aircraft. Examples of radio equipment used on board aircraft are
- Distance measuring equipment (DME)
- Cospas-Sarsat emergency location transmitter (ELT)
- Radioaltimeter (RAM)
- Satellite telephone (SATCOM)
- Traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS)
- Transponder (TRP)
- Aeronautical VHF radiotelephone (VHF AER)
- Weather radar (WRD)
- Doppler navigator (DNV)
- Emergency radio telephone (ERT)
- Aeronautical HF radiotelephone (HF).
In some cases, the radio station on board an aircraft can also contain a VHF radiotelephone operating on maritime frequencies. This concerns primarily aircraft intended for maritime rescue.
The topic is covered in detail on page Remotely piloted aircraft.
Licence-exempt radio transmitters may be used in aviation, if the requirements set for radio transmitters are fulfilled.