The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has revealed it paid out more than £2.65m in grants to the GA community towards purchase of 8.33 kHz compatible radios. The funding, provided by the EU, helped over 6,000 GA pilots and private aircraft owners change from their existing 25 kHz radios to 8.33 equivalents. All aircraft operated in the EU, that are required to carry a radio, had to be using equipment compatible with 8.33 kHz spacing by the end of 2018.
Claimants were allowed to apply for a 20 per cent grant on any purchase of an 8.33 kHz radio, either fitted or hand-held. The CAA had originally applied for the funding from the EU in 2016 to assist with conversion of the UK GA fleet to 8.33. The EU's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) accepted the application and made €4.3m available in several tranches. A dedicated team at the CAA has been processing claims since the first tranche of funds were made available in 2017.
The CAA's project manager Bob Liddiard, said: “This has been a lot of hard work and we are very pleased with the outcome of this funding scheme. We recognised the challenges that many GA pilots and aircraft owners faced in having to upgrade their existing radio equipment and the grants made available by the EU assisted a high percentage of our GA community.”