Radio transmitters used in aviation require radio licence

In aviation, various radio systems are used for communication between the air traffic control, aircraft, airline and those involved in recreational aviation. The radio systems used in aviation also include aircraft navigation and landing systems. The possession and use of such radio transmitters require a 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

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
Beacon
(Non-directional radio beacon (NDB), inner/outer approach beacon)
255.000–495.000 kHz
505.000–526.500 kHz
Voice radiocommunication (VHF COM)
(VHF base station transmitter, VHF multi-channel transmitter, VHF standby transmitter, portable radiotelephone, vehicular station)
117.975–137.000 MHz
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

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

Air competitions require a radio licence. The radio licence entitles to use radio transmitters in competitions on a frequency allocated for competition operations.

Aeronautical portable radio equipment

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.

Radio equipment on board 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.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

The topic is covered in detail on page Remotely piloted aircraft.

Licence-exempt radio frequencies

Licence-exempt radio transmitters may be used in aviation, if the requirements set for radio transmitters are fulfilled.

FICORA Regulation 15 on collective frequencies for licence-exempt radio transmitters and on their use


See also:

Contact form

Conformity of radio equipment

Frequency fee

Frequency Allocation Table

AIS

EASA

Key words: Spectrum , Licences

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