Front Page: Traficom
Front Page: Traficom

The European Commission approved in 2017 a 10-year transitional period of the 8.33 kHz channel spacing introduction of frequencies used for aeronautical radio equipment in Finland. There are just over four years left for radio equipment channel spacing changes, the transition period ends on 31 December 2027.

All voice radio equipment using the aviation frequency band 117.975–137 MHz must be capable of 8.33 kHz channel spacing by 31 December 2027 at the latest. Only the radios, mentioned in Article 2, Sections 4-5 of the European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No.1079/2012, which are intended to be used only on a frequency that is required to continue using the 25 kHz channel spacing, may deviate from this requirement:

  • emergency frequency (121.500 MHz)
  • additional frequency used in search and rescue (123.100 MHz)
  • VHF datalink frequencies (VDL) (136.725 MHz, 136.775 MHz, 136.825 MHz, 136.875 MHz, 136.925 MHz and 136.975 MHz)
  • Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) frequencies (131.525 MHz, 131.725 MHz and 131.825 MHz)
  • offset carrier system (Climax) frequencies working within a channel spacing of 25 kHz.

If new radio equipment is installed on the aircraft during the transition period or the equipment is updated, the equipment must be ready for use in the 8.33 kHz channel spacing. A faulty 25 kHz device can be replaced with a similar device during the transitional period.

When the Finnish air navigation service provider Fintraffic ANS switches to using the 8.33 kHz channel spacing on the frequencies used by the air navigation service, the 8.33 kHz channel spacing will also be used in other aviation radios used in Finland required by the implementing regulation (EU) No. 1079/2012.

Traficom will renew radio licenses in 2027

The channel spacing changes have implications on the radio licences granted by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. Traficom will renew radio licenses during 2027 in accordance with the license-specific expiration date, when the channel widths, license conditions and other related content in the licenses will be changed to reflect the valid regulation on channel width.

Transitional period background

Under the European Commission implementing Regulation (EU) No 1079/2012, aeronautical radio equipment used in voice channels must have the 8.33 kHz channel spacing, i.e. channel width, capability by 31 December 2017. The Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi (from the beginning of 2019 the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom) in 2017, based on the feedback received from the aviation sector, made a notification to the European Commission about the introduction of a national exemption according to the implementing regulation. A transition period of 10 years was set for the introduction of the 8.33 kHz channel spacing on the frequencies 117.975–137 MHz used by the air navigation service provider. The transitional period also concerned the use of aeronautical radio equipment with 25 kHz channel spacing.

On 27 July 2017, the European Commission approved the following exemption of implementing regulation for Finland: As approved by the European Commission, the transition period for the introduction of the 8.33 kHz channel spacing on the frequencies used by the air navigation service provider ends in Finland on 31 December 2027. The same transition time is also for radio devices operating within a channel spacing of only 25 kHz. However, the Commission can examine the impact of the exemption on the aviation VHF communication network already before the end of the transition period. 

Further information

Trafi’s Regulation OPS M1-30 (External link) from 2017, Derogation from the introduction of radios with 8.33 kHz channel spacing (in Finnish)

Read more about radio equipment in aviation  

Commission Implementing Regulation (External link) (EU) No 1079/2012 

Mikko Saari, Radio Network Specialist, tel. +358 (0)295 390,460,

Petteri Jokela, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 (0)295 390,472,

Kimmo Urhonen, Senior Inspector, tel. +358 (0)295 346,128,

Jari Lyytinen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 (0)295 346,234,