8.33 kHz Radio Update

8.33 Implementation

As previously reported, aircraft that need to use 8.33 kHz frequencies must be equipped with 8.33 kHz capable radio equipment by 31 Dec 2017.

UK airfields are to re-equip with 8.33 kHz radios by 31 Dec 2018. So during 2018, a large number of frequencies will change. The CAA intends to promulgate revised airfield frequency information. Pilots are reminded that after 31 Dec 2017, it will be illegal to transmit from an aircraft to an 8.33 kHz frequency using a radio that only has 25 kHz capability.

To ensure adequate time for all aircraft to convert and meanwhile not lose the situational awareness benefits of aircraft operating on and around an air sport operating site being on frequency, a number of air sport 25 kHz frequencies including common glider frequencies will be temporarily exempted from the need to change to 8.33 kHz. The exemption is likely to be for 3 years.

The current exemption status and exempt frequencies are described in a CAA publication CAP1606 which can be viewed here. Please note that the CAP1606 reference to RP34 is incorrect and should refer to page 5 of the BGA publication ‘Managing Flying Risk’.

8.33 Equipage Funding

The CAA is still taking claims for EU part funding of 8.33 radio equipment submitted by aircraft owners – the closing date for submissions is 31st Dec 17. The eligibility criteria remains unchanged and claims will be formally assessed after the closing date. The total funding available is limited to €4.3 million and this will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. You are urged to apply as soon as possible if you have not already done so. Full details, including an online claim form are on the CAA website.