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8.33 kHz radios.

From 1 January 2018 all aircraft operating in airspace that requires the carriage of a radio must have 8.33kHz-compatable equipment fitted and operational.  This means that all General Aviation (GA) aircraft must comply with this change to UK law to maintain safe communications with ground stations.

Manufacturers, suppliers, maintenance organisations and licensed engineers may struggle to cope if there is a rush to buy and fit radios in late 2017. Consequently, the CAA is encouraging GA aircraft owners to purchase 8.33kHz radios early as we anticipate demand will be high as the deadline approaches.  

The CAA GA Unit, along with associations and key stakeholders, has identified a small number of common frequencies that may qualify for a temporary exemption from 8.33 kHz implementation.  The CAA have submitted a proposal to EuroControl and they should hear the outcome in early 2017.  If successful, it will help reduce the equipage burden for a minority of users. Any exemptions granted will be for a short period of time and will not delay the change in UK legislation. 

Formal engagement has started with radio manufacturers, suppliers, maintenance organisations and licensed engineers to allow them to highlight any concerns that the 8.33 kHz implementation might have.  The main focus is to understand the capacity of industry to support the GA Community from now until 31 December 2017.

The CAA has secured €4.3 million of European Commission funding to encourage the early transition of the UK GA fleet to 8.33 kHz-capable equipment.  The funding will be distributed by way of reimbursal to aircraft owners to contribute toward the cost of new radio equipment.

They are now working closely with the GA associations and key stakeholders to agree on how to distribute the funds to aircraft owners fairly and simply.  More information about how an application can be made will be published on the CAA website towards the end of 2016.   

More detail is contained in CAA Information Notice IN–2013/018




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