Airservices is Australia's air navigation service provider - we provide air traffic control, aviation rescue and fire fighting and air navigation services.

Frequency Assignment

Frequency Assignment

Airservices is responsible for the Aeronautical Radiofrequency Spectrum within Australia and its Territories. Airservices is able to provide a frequency assignment service as a first step to obtaining a radio communication apparatus licence to operate a radio transmitter within the Aeronautical bands. Assignment can be made for radio communications, links, navigational aids, surveillance and landing systems.

The frequency band allocated for Aeronautical VHF communications is 118-137 MHz.

Airservices is also responsible for the Radiofrequency Spectrum used for Aeronautical HF and UHF Communication, Navigational Aids and Landing System.

For frequency assignment of these facilities contact the Airservices’ Spectrum Manager.

Forms and notes

Obtaining a Frequency Assignment

To operate a radio transmitter, a radio communications apparatus licence issued by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) must be obtained.

Under the Aeronautical Licence type, there are two licence options available:

  1. Aeronautical Non Assigned
    There are a list of standard frequencies listed in Part 3 and Schedule 2 of the Radiocommuncations Licence Conditions (Aeronautical Licence) Determination No. 1 of 1997. There is no frequency assignment made if these frequencies are issued but a Non Assigned apparatus licence is required.
  2. Aeronautical Assigned
    For frequencies outside of the standard frequencies listed in Part 3 and Schedule 2, an individual frequency assignment is required. An aeronautical licence authorising an Aeronautical assigned station is required. Note: Fixed (Non-Mobile) aeronautical stations are always likened as Aeronautical assigned. For example, an airline company’s base station, AWIS, ATIS.

To obtain an apparatus licence, an applicant may engage the services of an accredited frequency assigner, or go direct to the ACMA. The accredited assigner will issue a frequency assignment certificate (FAC). Applications for a radiocommunications apparatus licence with an associated FAC (to the ACMA) will attract a lower fee than an application without an FAC, since the ACMA then is not required to undertake the frequency assignment task.

For an Aeronautical Assigned Licence, a frequency assignment can be obtained from:

A – Airservices Australia

A frequency assignment may be obtained from Airservices Australia. Details necessary for Airservices Australia to provide these assignments are contained in the ACMA’s forms:

  1. ‘Apparatus Licence’ (ACMA form R057) and
  2. ‘Additional station information’ (ACMA form R077)

These forms can be downloaded from the ACMA website. Once completed, the applicant should send copies of these forms by letter or email to Airservices Spectrum Manager.

It is important to provide as much information as possible. Incomplete information can slow the assignment process.

Based on this information, Airservices Australia will issue a Frequency Assignment Certificate. Obtaining a Frequency Assignment Certificate does not authorise the use of that frequency.

On receipt of the Frequency Assignment Certificate, the licensee must forward the certificate together with the completed forms ‘Apparatus Licence’ (ACMA form R057) and ‘Additional station information’ (ACMA form R077) to the ACMA to obtain an Aeronautical Apparatus licence. Alternatively, Airservices can complete the application to the ACMA via the online system on your behalf.

B – Another Accredited Frequency Assigner

A frequency assignment may be obtained from any ‘accredited frequency assigner’. The ‘accredited frequency assigner’ must obtain approval for the use of this frequency from Airservices Australia before issuing a licence in accordance with conditions stipulated by the ACMA.

Obtaining a Frequency Assignment Certificate does not authorise the use of that frequency. On receipt of the Frequency Assignment Certificate, the licencee must forward the certificate together with the application for an ‘Apparatus Licence’ (ACMA form R057) and ‘Additional station information’ (ACMA form R077) to the ACMA to obtain an Aeronautical Apparatus licence.

Fees and Charges

The frequency assignment fee is designed to recover Airservices Australia’s costs in performing the frequency assignment task.

Aeronautical Assignment Fee: example – $260.70 for VHF

Note: The actual fee depends on the density of existing assignments in the area and the range and service height requested. The fee includes GST and is subject to change without notice.

This fee corresponds to what the ACMA calls the frequency assignment task. Note that the ACMA will levy its own charges for the “new issue.”

Definitions

Accredited assigner – Section 263 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 provides for the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to accredit persons to perform certain activities related to the use of the radiofrequency spectrum. Such activities include frequency coordination and emission level management.

Aeronautical license – Authorises a station that:

  • Is not fixed to an aircraft;
  • Is operated on aeronautical frequencies;
  • Is operated for purposes relating to the operation of an aircraft, or airport or aerodrome operations; and
  • Includes a mobile station operated on board the aircraft or on the ground in communication with aircraft.

Frequency Assignment – Is a frequency which has been chosen to minimise interference to or from other users. While care is taken to assign a frequency this does not guarantee that its use will be interference free.

Acronyms

ACMA – Australian Communications and Media Authority

ARFU – Aerodrome Frequency Response Unit is a VHF transceiver which provides an automatic response when the pilot transmits on the traffic frequency (normally a CTAF) for a particular aerodrome

CTAF – Common Traffic Advisory Frequency. The frequencies allocated, are those on which pilots can arrange mutual separation at non-controlled aerodromes.

HF – High Frequency is the radio frequency spectrum between 3 MHz and 30 MHz

MBZ – The Mandatory Broadcast Zone frequencies are nominally used within 15NM radius of a designated aerodrome up to and including 5,000FT AGL, unless otherwise specified. The frequencies allocated, are those on which pilot can arrange mutual separation at non-controlled aerodromes.

PAL – Pilot Airport Lighting

UHF – Ultra High Frequency is the radio frequency spectrum between 300 MHz and 3 GHz

Unicom – Universal Communications is a non-ATS communications service provided on the CTAF frequency to enhance the value of information normally available about a particular non-controlled aerodrome.

VHF – Very High Frequency is the radio frequency spectrum between 30 MHz and 300 MHz