Aeronautical Radio Spectrum & Frequency Assignments

This section provides information on the arrangements for the management of of the aeronautical radio spectrum, the issue of frequency assignments and the topic of radio interference.

The CAA's Surveillance and Spectrum Management are responsible for the management of the aeronautical radio spectrum in the UK and provide appropriate frequency assignments for the operation of aeronautical radio stations and navigation aids as part of the application process for ANO Approvals and WT Act licences.

Whilst some frequencies are ‘pre-assigned’ and available for use by aeronautical radio stations for specific purposes, most are subject to International co-ordination according to the process defined by the ICAO Frequency Management Group (FMG) and adopted for use within Europe, which may result in a delay of several weeks before a WT Act Licence and ANO Approval can be issued.

Reports of radio interference have been attributed to aircraft station transmissions outside the Designated Operational Coverage (DOC) of the aeronautical radio station with whom they are in contact. Radio operator’s and WT Act Licensees should endeavour to reduce the potential for co-channel interference from aircraft station transmissions outside the DOC by ensuring that the aircraft operators, airlines and pilots have access to, or are made aware of, information on frequency assignments and their DOCs for the aeronautical radio stations under their control and by refraining from calling aircraft stations where they are known to be outside the DOC unless an emergency situation exists.

Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) AIC 126/2006 (Pink 109) ‘Reporting and Investigation of Interference caused to Air Traffic Services using the frequencies in aeronautical bands’ provides guidance on how to deal with interference other than that due to the sharing of frequencies with other authorised users of the aeronautical spectrum.