Readers ask: Aviation Communications What Does On Station Mean?

How do planes communicate with ground stations?

The most common form of communication in aviation, very high frequency (VHF) radio calls are what we use for around 95% of our communications with ATC. In simplified terms, the transmitting station sends a signal that travels in a straight line and is picked up by the receiving station.

What are the three main categories of aeronautical communication services?

ACARS messages may be of three types based upon their content:

  • Air Traffic Control (ATC)
  • Aeronautical Operational Control (AOC)
  • Airline Administrative Control (AAC)

Do airplanes use AM or FM?

Aviation voice radios use VHF AM. AM is used so that multiple stations on the same channel can be received. ( Use of FM would result in stronger stations blocking out reception of weaker stations due to FM’s capture effect).

What is the best frequency to listen to aircraft?

Very High Frequency (VHF) To support full VHF communications, the FAA recommends that all aircraft with older 360-channel systems should be retrofitted with a 760-channel piece of equipment with 25 kHz channel spacing which is capable of operating in the 118.000 to 136.975 MHz band.

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Why is niner not nine?

Aviators often speak “pilot English” to avoid miscommunications over radio transmission. “Tree” for instance, means three, “fife” is the number five and “ niner ” means nine, says Tom Zecha, a manager at AOPA. The variations stemmed from a desire to avoid confusion between similar-sounding numbers, he says.

Why do pilots say super?

So the FAA instructs controllers to build in distance between a large aircraft and the jet following it, allowing these vortices to dissipate. This is where the “heavy” and “ super ” call signs come into play.

What frequency do pilots use?

If you wish to talk to the pilot of another airplane, use the air-to-air frequency of 122.75 MHz. It is not considered good etiquette to fill other frequencies with pilot -to- pilot chats. VOR frequencies are between 108.0 and 117.975 MHz, immediately below aviation communication frequencies beginning at 118.0.

What is aeronautical communication?

A military aeronautical communications system would include everything necessary to allow the pilot of a military aircraft aqywhere in the world to communicate with his command headquarters. The ground/air radio link, radio, wire, microwave, or forward scatter point-to-point links are included.

What type of communication does Acars provide?

Communication details ACARS can send messages over VHF if a VHF ground station network exists in the current area of the aircraft. VHF communication is line-of-sight propagation and the typical range is up to 200 nautical miles at high altitudes.

What frequencies do police use?

Public Safety Spectrum

Frequency MHz Available for Public Safety
25-50 MHz (VHF Low Band) 6.3 MHz
150-174 MHz (VHF High Band) 3.6 MHz [non-contiguous]
220-222 (220 MHz band) 0.1 MHz
450-470 (UHF Band) 3.7 MHz [non-contiguous]
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What are the aviation frequencies?

The VHF 108 to 136 MHz Civil Aviation Band

Frequencies llocation SLC Receiver Receivable
118.000- 136.000 MHz Aviation Communication (720 Channels) Yes
121.500 MHz Aviation Distress Yes
121.600 MHz Civil Air Patrol (Authorized use only) Yes
121.700 MHz Aviation Ground Control Yes


Why am is used in aviation?

While FM has many advantages, AM is typically used in aviation. The reason for this is the capture effect. This is one reason that the aviation industry has chosen to use AM for communications rather than FM, allowing multiple signals to be broadcast on the same channel.

Is 121.5 still monitored?

DOES ANYONE STILL MONITOR 121.5 MHZ ELTS? Even though satellites no longer monitor 121.5 MHz signals, the search and rescue community will still respond when notified through other means. ELTs were originally intended to use 121.5 MHz to inform air traffic control and pilots monitoring the frequency of an emergency.

How do I listen to aviation frequencies?

Most scanners pick up the entirety of the aircraft band. You can also listen to air traffic control facilities from around the world at websites including,, and

Is listening to air traffic control legal?

So it is illegal to listen in on ATC communications between ATC and pilots if you’re not required to be listening (for instance, if you’re flying in the same region). You can listen to ATC if given permission, e.g. at an air show.

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