Radio Operator's Certificate

This page provides information about the radio operator's certificate.

The term 'Radio Operator's Certificate' is used to describe the CAA Air Ground Communication Service (AGCS) and Offshore Communication Service (OCS) Radio Station Operator's Certificate of Competence.

The AGCS Radio Operator's Certificate is required to be held by those persons who operate VHF aeronautical radio equipment in Aeronautical Radio Stations providing an AGCS at an aerodrome or other location in the UK.

The OCS Radio Operator's Certificate is required to be held by offshore radio operators, Helideck Landing Officers (HLO), Helideck assistants, crews of Emergency Response and Rescue Vessels (ERRV) and persons on other support or supply vessels who are required to operate VHF aeronautical radio equipment within UK Offshore waters.

The Radio Operator's Certificate should not be confused with the Flight Radiotelephony Operator's Licence (FRTOL) which is required to be held by those persons operating VHF aeronautical radio equipment in UK registered aircraft. 


AGCS and OCS Radio Operator's Certificates

Persons who hold the following aeronautical qualifications may apply directly for an AGCS or OCS Radio Operator's Certificate without having to take the written and practical radiotelephony examinations:

  • UK CAA Air Traffic Controller's Licence with a current Unit Licence Endorsement
  • UK CAA Flight Information Service Officer's Licence with a current validation at an Aerodrome/Area Control Centre
  • ATC Certificate of Competence issued to a member of HM Forces

Please note that a Medical Certificate is not required to be held by a person acting as an AGCS or OCS Radio Operator.

ACGS Radio Operator's Certificate
A written and practical radiotelephony examination will need to be taken before an application for an AGCS Radio Operator's Certificate can be made.

OCS Radio Operator's Certificate
Persons who hold the following maritime qualifications that have been issued in the United Kingdom may apply for exemption from the practical examination for an OCS Radio Operator's Certificate but will need to take the written examination:

        Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)

  • General Operator's Certificate (GOC)
  • Restricted Operator's Certificate (ROC)
  • Long Range Radiotelephone Operator's Certificate (LRC)
  • First and Second Class Radio Electronic Operator's Certificates

        Pre-GMDSS

  • Restricted Radiotelephone Operator's Certificate
  • Radiotelephone Operator's General Certificate
  • Maritime Radiocommunication General Certificate (MRGC)
  • First and Second Class Radiotelegraph Operator's Certificates (Postmaster General (PMG) 1 and Postmaster General (PMG) 2)

Please note that the Restricted (VHF only) Radiotelephone Operator's Certificate is not acceptable.

Please note that maritime radio operator’s certificates or other radio operator’s qualifications issued or obtained outside the United Kingdom are not acceptable.

Otherwise a written and practical examination will need to be taken before an application for an OCS Radio Operator's Certificate can be made.

 


 

Written and Practical Radiotelephony Examinations for the AGCS and OCS Radio Operator's Certificate

The CAA appoints and authorises examiners to conduct written and practical radiotelephony examinations for the AGCS and OCS Radio Operator's Certificates either independently or in conjunction with organisations providing training courses.

Please note that the CAA does not approve any training courses for the Radio Operator's Certificates, or any organisations or persons that may provide them.

Please note that the person or organisation responsible for the operation of an Aeronautical Radio Station in the UK will need to apply to Air Traffic Standards for an Air Navigation Order (ANO) Approval and to the Radio Licensing Section for a Wireless Telegraphy (WT) Act Licence.

  • Applications for ANO Approval are subject to a technical assessment  of the radio equipment to be used, the purpose of the communications required and other factors on an individual basis.
  • Suitably qualified Radio Operators may be engaged by the person or organisation responsible for such Aeronautical Radio Stations to operate the radio equipment subject to a written authorsation, which is generally by means of an endorsement of the Radio Operator's Certificate by the WT Act Licensee for that Aeronautical Radio Station.

Please note that if you are the person or representative of an organisation who will be responsible for the operation of an Aeronautical Radio Station in the UK and have not already applied for and been granted an ANO Approval and WT Act Licence, you are strongly advised to contact Air Traffic Standards before undertaking any training course or arranging any examinations to see whether an application for an ANO approval is likely to be successful.

 


 

Further Information

CAP 452 Aeronautical Radio Station Operator's Guide is both a guide and reference document for persons who operate or wish to operate Aeronautical Radio Stations. It covers AGCS, OCS and Operational Control Communications (OPC) (also known as Company Communications).

CAP 413 Radiotelephony Manual is the prime source of information on radiotelephony procedures and phraseology for all Air Traffic Services, AGCS, OCS and OPC. The radiotelephony phraseology previously included in CAP 452 has now been deleted and references made to CAP 413.

If you require further information of have any queries concerning the Radio Operator's Certificate, please contact the ATS Licensing Section by telephone on +44 (0) 1293 573700 or by e-mail at ats.licensing@caa.co.uk.