Handheld radios approved for use in flight in UK

Handheld radios approved for use in flight in UK

2-Dec-2013 Source: CAA

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has simplified the approval process for all handheld radios capable of 8.33 kHz channel spacing. The decision follows a fresh review by CAA specialists which concluded that radios conforming to existing European standards for non-airborne operation can provide the required levels of safety and performance for airborne use.

The approval takes immediate effect and allows pilots of ‘non EASA’ aircraft’, to use handheld radios on their Aircraft Radio Licence outside of Class A, B and C airspace. Non EASA aircraft, also known as ‘Annex II’ includes microlights, kit built and many vintage aircraft. Full details, including the conditions and limitations, can be found on the aircraft equipment page of the CAA website.

The CAA added that this decision is the latest example of its declared intent to introduce a more proportionate and risk-based regulatory regime for the UK GA sector. With the creation of a dedicated GA Unit within the CAA – due to open for business in spring 2014 – similar announcements are expected to follow.

The announcement coincides with this year’s Flying Show at the Birmingham NEC, the largest indoor UK event of its kind for sport and recreation aircraft – pilots of which will benefit from the CAA’s decision.

Mike Barnard, the CAA’s General Aviation Programme Manager, added: “Pilots who fly aircraft that cannot be equipped with fixed radio sets will now have a viable and safe alternative. The latest handheld radios now have equivalent performance capabilities to fixed radios but without the need to modify aircraft systems. Allowing their use in flight will greatly improve the ability of pilots to build a mental picture of other airspace users, positively contributing to safety in the GA sector.”

Full details of the decision are contained in a CAA Information Notice

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