The ACMA

The ACMA

Aircraft and Aeronautical Mobile Stations class licence (information paper)


Introduction

This policy information paper provides information about the Radiocommunications (Aircraft and Aeronautical Mobile Stations) Class Licence 2016 (the Aircraft and Aeronautical Mobile Stations Class Licence).

Aircraft and Aeronautical Mobile Stations Class Licence

The Aircraft and Aeronautical Mobile Stations Class Licence came into force on 18 August 2016. It authorises the operation of a range of aeronautical radiocommunications and radionavigation equipment fixed to, or carried on-board, all aircraft including recreational aircraft. Recreational aircraft include ultralights, trikes, hang gliders, paragliders, gyrocopters, gliders, sailplanes, other like craft and balloons. It also authorises most ground-based aeronautical mobile radiocommunications equipment operating on the common group of aviation frequencies.

Conditions of operation

Licence conditions

Operators of aircraft and aeronautical mobile stations are subject to conditions specified in the Class Licence, and the Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act).

Compliance with mandatory standards, equipment specifications or equipment compliance requirements

Operators are also required to comply with the relevant mandatory standards, equipment specifications or equipment compliance requirements specified in the Aircraft and Aeronautical Mobile Stations Class Licence.

Equipment required to be fitted to, or carried on, an aircraft under Civil Aviation Regulations must also comply with the relevant Technical Standard issued under the Civil Aviation Orders.

Operating frequencies

The Aircraft and Aeronautical Mobile Stations Class Licence authorises any qualified operator to operate an aircraft station that uses a frequency:

  1. on or within a range of frequencies, mentioned in the Schedule of the class licence or
  2. published in the Aeronautical Information Publications (AIP) made under Regulation 4.12 of the Air Services Regulations 1995.

The use of INMARSAT satellite frequencies is authorised under the Radiocommunications (Communication with Space Object) Class Licence 2015.

The use of Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) is authorised in the Radiocommunications (Emergency Locating Devices) Class Licence 2006.

Transmitter power levels

Equipment authorised under the Aircraft and Aeronautical Mobile Stations Class Licence must not exceed the maximum power specified in the relevant standard, equipment specification or equipment compliance requirement.

Breaches of licence conditions

Section 132(3) of the Act provides that:

'Operation of a radiocommunications device is not authorised by a Class Licence if it is not in accordance with the conditions of the licence.'

For instance, an aircraft or aeronautical mobile station operator is in breach of a class licence condition if the operator is operating on frequencies not authorised by the applicable class licence.

Operator qualifications

Only qualified persons under the Civil Aviation Regulations and the relevant Civil Aviation Orders may operate aircraft and aeronautical mobile stations.

Station identification

Under the Aircraft and Aeronautical Mobile Stations Class Licence, operators must ensure that the aircraft station or the aeronautical mobile station must identify the station using a suitable form of identification.

Aircraft stations

The operator of an Aircraft station uses call signs as a form of identification that clearly identifies the station. Call signs are a unique series of letters and/or numbers allocated to identify a station. Call signs must be used for all on-air communications including testing. Call signs allocated to Aircraft stations conform with International Telecommunication Union Radio Regulations.

CASA registered aircraft

CASA requires that radiocommunications call signs used by Australian-registered aircraft either reflect the official aircraft registration markings (VH-aaa) or a word designating the airline followed by the flight identification number.

Table 1 - Aircraft call sign template

VHaaa

Aircraft call sign template (example of typical call sign VHABC)

aaa

alpha character A-Z that represents an aircraft's registration marking

Aircraft stations should employ, as a call sign, their registration marking or an abbreviation of such letters and company titles, in accordance with procedures outlined in the aeronautical information papers issued by Airservices Australia.

Recreational aircraft

For air safety reasons, CASA requires that callsigns for recreational aircraft, use a call sign format that cannot, in any circumstances, be confused with Australian-registered aircraft.

Ultralight aircraft are registered with the Australian Ultralight Federation (AUF) and their registration marking are used as call signs. The aircraft type should be used ahead of the call sign. (Eg "DRIFTER, 2, 1, 2, 1".)

Trikes (powered hang gliders) are registered with the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia (HGFA) and their registration markings are used as call signs.

Hang gliders and paragliders use call signs derived from pilot's certificate registrations issued by the HGFA.

Gyrocopters are registered with the Australian Sport Rotorcraft Association Incorporated (ASRA) and the registration is used as the call sign.

Glider and Balloons are registered as aircraft by CASA and the registration is used as the call sign.

The call sign formats for the various types of recreational aircraft is shown below:

Recreational Aircraft Type

Call sign Format

Ultralights

(aircraft type) nnnn

Trikes (powered Hang Gliders)

TRnnn or TCnnn

Hang Gliders

HGnnnn

Paragliders

HGnnnn

Gyrocopters

Gnnn and Gnnnn

Gliders

VHaaa

Balloons

VHaaa

Note: n = numeric character 0 - 9 a = alpha character a - z

The registration provided for recreational aircraft by the relevant sport's controlling body is only valid in Australia. The use of 'Ua', 'TR', 'TC', 'HG' and 'G' prefix call signs for these stations are therefore limited to use within Australia.

Aeronautical mobile stations

The operator of an aeronautical mobile station must use a form of identification that clearly identifies the station.

Administrative details

Aircraft travelling overseas

Aircraft that travel beyond Australian territories will need to carry a certified signed copy of the Aircraft and Aeronautical Mobile Stations Class Licence (refer to section 139, Volume 3 of the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988). This may be arranged by making a request in writing, including information about the aircraft's registration markings, to:

Australian Communications and Media Authority
PO Box 78
Belconnen ACT 2616

Fax: +61 2 6219 5347
Email: info@acma.gov.au

Last updated: 31 August 2016

Most commented

Most read

Back to top