General Aviation

Published on May 11th, 2021 | by Mark Dwyer


Listening Squawk

Pilots operating in Class G airspace in the Shannon FIR in an aircraft fitted with a radio are encouraged to listen to the local ATC unit. Those with a transponder are encouraged to use it. Rather than squawking A7000, the IAA has provided two transponder codes so that the pilot can show ATC that they are listening to Shannon Information Frequency 127.5MHz (2655) or Dublin Flight Information Frequency 118.5MHz (0401), as appropriate. These are officially called Frequency Monitoring Codes.

Pilots monitoring the frequency are not required to make a radio call to the Flight Information Service (FIS) but the controller can call the pilot if they need to resolve an actual or potential airspace infringement or to advise them of other traffic. Of course, pilots remain responsible for their own navigation and may only enter controlled airspace after obtaining a clearance to do so – this is just an extra layer to help ensure safety.

If the pilot and ATC establish two-way communications, there is no requirement to change the squawk back to 7000. The squawk should be changed when you leave the area or change frequency.

What do you need to do?

  • Tune into the Flight Information frequency BEFORE selecting a listening squawk.
  • Select the appropriate listening squawk, using ALT (Mode C) if you have it
  • Listen out for any transmissions with your callsign or position

Why do you need to do it?

Using a Frequency Monitoring Code

  • May provide an early indication of navigational error and prevent an inadvertent entry of Controlled Airspace without a clearance.
  • Will enable ATC to resolve an infringement quickly and efficiently.
  • Is good airmanship.

It also means that should a pilot suffer an in-flight emergency that might need help from ATC, an appropriate local frequency is already selected on the radio, perhaps saving precious time in a difficult and stressful situation. Monitoring Codes are listed in AIP IRELAND ENR 1.6.

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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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