A shortage of aviation radio frequencies across Europe means that most existing frequencies are being split to reduce the gap between them, allowing the introduction of more frequencies. As a result owners of general aviation aircraft will need to ensure that any radios fitted can transmit and receive on both 8.33kHz and 25kHz by 1 January 2018.
Dialogue between the CAA, BGA and the BBAC has led to the CAA announcing that to ease the transition the CAA is working on a number of initiatives to:
- Allow UK registered balloons and gliders to use certain handheld 8.33 kHz transceivers (see earlier news item).
- Apply for European Union funding to assist with the cost of radio equipage.
- Apply for an exemption from the European Commission to retain a small number of dedicated 25 kHz frequencies for a limited period of time after the conversion deadline of 31 December 2017.
- Removing the need for aircraft owners to pay a regulatory fee to change a panel mounted radio by seeking to have radio manufacturers arrange a minor modification approval.
As each of these initiatives progresses, information will be available at www.caa.co.uk/ga
The Navboys site provides useful technical information for owners about the upcoming 8.33 kHz equipage changes.