• From 2 November 2018, Aeronautical Radio Licences will be issued and administered by Ofcom. See the letter sent to Aeronautical Radio Licence holders for more details. 

    The CAA is currently contracted to administer radio licences for UK aircraft and ground stations on behalf of Ofcom. You can contact us by email at radio.licensing@caa.co.uk or call 020 7453 6555.

    Administered incentive pricing for VHF aeronautical ground stations

    Following an extensive consultation process, a new fees structure for VHF aeronautical ground station licences was determined by Ofcom in 2012. Additionally, Ofcom decided to rename these licences to reflect ICAO service types. The current and ongoing fees are published by Ofcom.

    Changes in the maximum level of bespoke fees for aeronautical licences:

    These licences attract bespoke fees that reflect the amount of spectrum used. Fees are derived from the DOC (or the polygonal area for Area services such as VDL), which then have a formula applied to them. The formulae are set by Ofcom but are based on ICAO separation rules. The fee for a 50 kHz channel is twice that of an equivalent 25 kHz channel. The fee for an 8.33 kHz channel is one third of that of an equivalent 25 kHz channel. 

    Licence class Channel 2016 onwards
    Aeronautical station (Air/Ground, AFIS and Tower) 8.33 kHz
    25 kHz
    Aeronautical station (Approach) 8.33 kHz
    25 kHz
    Aeronautical station (Aeronautical broadcast) 8.33 kHz
    25 kHz
    Aeronautical station (ACARS) 8.33 kHz
    25 kHz
    Aeronautical station (Area control) 8.33 kHz
    25 kHz
    Aeronautical station (VDL) 25 kHz
    50 kHz
  • Our code states our aim to provide you with a prompt and efficient service and outlines our procedures for handling enquiries and monitoring customer feedback. It outlines the standards of service you can expect from us and offers useful advice on how to get the best from the services we offer.

    Our Commitments

    We are committed to providing you with a professional service and we have put into place a number of Quality Assurance measures to ensure that we can meet our set standards of service. 

    These are:

    • Despatching a new licence application form within 1 working day (except where bulk orders are placed)
    • Processing a licence application within 5 working days of receipt
      (provided that all forms, correct documentation and fee are enclosed and payment has cleared, and there is no frequency assignment required)
    • Sending a renewal reminder 6 weeks before expiry
      (To all licensees. However these will be for information only for direct debit customers)
    • Processing a licence renewal within 5 working days of receipt (from clearance of correct payment)
    • Notifying a customer where a licence has lapsed

    As part of our commitment to you, Radio Licensing staff will:

    • Always answer the telephone by identifying themselves by name;
    • Wherever possibly, handle your enquiry via one point of contact;
    • Aim to resolve any problems swiftly and to your satisfaction;
    • Provide clear, accurate, helpful information and advice at all times;
    • Treat you with respect and courtesy at all times;
    • Encourage feedback to help us improve our service to you; and
    • Keep private any personal information you give us by abiding by the Data Protection Act.

    Customer Feedback

    We will endeavour to seek and listen to all your comments and suggestions about the service we provide. These will be reviewed regularly and used to develop and further improve our levels of customer service.

  • This depends on how and where you are using your radio.

    If you are using radio in an aircraft, an aircraft radio licence will be required if you are using fixed or permanently installed equipment. If you only use a VHF portable radio in multiple aircraft you can apply for a transportable licence. If you have a portable radio which is used for one aircraft only it should be licenced as an Aircraft Radio.

    If you are using radio equipment to speak to aircraft from the ground you will need to apply for an aeronautical ground station licence. You must also obtain an Air Navigation Order approval, and the application form for this doubles as the application for the approval. The radio licensing team will pass a copy of the form to the air traffic management team.

    We endeavour to issue licences as quickly as possible. For aircraft and transportable licences we will issue a licence within five working days of receipt of a completed application form and licence fee. Aeronautical ground station and navigation aid applications will often take longer due to the need to allocate a frequency, which may need to be coordinated internationally.

    You will automatically receive a renewal reminder approximately six weeks before your licence is due to expire. You can then send in payment or telephone radio licensing team on 0207 453 6555 to renew the licence by credit or debit card. If you have set up a direct debit you need do nothing at this point.

    No we are not able to accept renewal payments more than six weeks in advance of the licence expiry. If you are expecting to be away during the six week period before your licence expires you are advised to set up a direct debit.

    If we do not receive a response to the reminder notice we will issue a final reminder approximately one week before the licence is due to expire. This will be followed by a proposal to cancel notice on the licence expiry date and a cancellation notice one month after the expiry date.

    Under European law we are obliged to give licencees fair notice of their licence's date of expiry and fair opportunity to renew it.

    If you respond to the first reminder or set up a direct debit for renewals you will not receive further notices from us.

    For registered aircraft you should notify the Aircraft Registry of any changes to the ownership or address details of the aircraft owner/radio licensee. To certify the validity of the WT Act Licence, please ensure that any changes to the radio installation is notified in writing to the radio licensing section, with the equipment make, model and CAA/EASA approval number of the replaced equipment. Changes to an Aeronautical Ground Station or Navigation Aid licence should be submitted on a application form SRG1417 to the radio licensing section.

    No, licences are not transferable between licensees or aircraft. Aircraft Licences have a 3 year term and there is no pro rata refund. CAA do not have the authority to make a refund where a licensee has been granted a licence but wishes to give it up.

    For new licences we accept cheques, postal orders, debit and credit cards. There is also the option for licensees to set up a direct debit to pay for licence renewals.

    The radio licensing team collects licence fees on behalf of the Office of Communications (Ofcom). Ofcom sets licence fees to contribute to the cost of its work in managing the radio spectrum. This includes the issue of radio licences, provision of an enforcement service to investigate and deal with interference complaints and its work in protecting aeronautical radio frequencies internationally.

    The Office of Communications (Ofcom).

    For aircraft radio installation please contact your CAA approved maintenance organisation or your local CAA regional office.

    As of September 2003 EASA took on the role of issuing approval for radio equipment. Existing CAA approval numbers are still current, but approval numbers for newer equipment will be found on the EASA website.

    If you have difficulty locating the appropriate approval numbers you should contact either the manufacturer, retailer of the equipment, or the radio licensing team on 0207 453 6555.

    If you still wish to use the radio equipment you will need to apply for a new licence using the appropriate application form. It is an offence to operate aeronautical radio equipment without a valid Wireless Telegraphy Act radio licence.

    The most common aeronautical radio operator certificate is the Flight Radio Telephony Operator's Licence and it is normal this is granted as part of the training a pilot goes through for their private pilots licence (PPL). Information on this and other types of operator certification is available from the flight crew licensing department, which is part of the CAA shared services hub.

    Glider pilots operating on nominated glider frequencies are exempted from the requirement to hold an operators certificate as long as they are operating outside of controlled frequencies. Student pilots are also exempted whilst they are under the control of an instructor.

  • Related Information

    • Ofcom - the UK's communications industry regulator