Published on May 11th, 2021 | by Mark Dwyer0
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.