General Aviation

Published on April 29th, 2015 | by Mark Dwyer


Calling all aircraft owners….IAA Radio Survey

Currently, radios used by General Aviation aircraft in Ireland, are only required to operate with 25 kHz spacing. This means that radios that display 2 decimal places e.g. 127.50. New European Regulations require, by 31st December 2017 at the latest, all radios used for aircraft communications, to have 8.33 kHz channel spacing capability. This means that future radio frequencies will have 3 decimal places e.g. 131.525.  

This requirement will apply to all radios, whether they are installed in an aircraft, handheld or on the ground at an airfield, irrespective of the class of airspace in which they are used.

As part of a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), the IAA is conducting a survey of General Aviation aircraft and ground-to-air radios. The aim of the survey is to understand the impact that this European Regulation will have on the General Aviation community in Ireland and to analyse any measures which can be taken to mitigate that impact. It is important for as many aircraft owners as possible to take part in this survey in order to indicate how many of these radios are in use. We are hoping this will become a solid foundation to make a case for an exemption to the Regulation for all GA aircraft operating below FL100. 

If an exemption is not granted GA Pilots in Ireland will be faced with a bill of over €1500 per aircraft to have an 8.33kHz radio installed or be forced to remove the radio which has obvious safety implications. Ground stations and handheld radios are also affected.

The Aircraft/Ground Radio Survey is available here until Friday 29th May. The survey must be completed for each radio, one set of responses per radio. The information provided will not be used for any purpose other than this Regulatory Impact Assessment.

Your participation in this survey is very much appreciated.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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