When it comes to aviation communication, there can be no interference.


Having a basic knowledge of the spectrum and aeronautical communications systems that are operated in very high frequency (VHF) bands is essential to understand frequency management for civil aviation communications. For those working in communications, navigation, and surveillance (CNS) or interested in working in the field, it is important to identify the frequency bands that are dedicated to specific navigation and communication uses.

Knowledge of the spectrum management concept and practical knowledge and skills of frequency management is required for maintaining quality service of VHF communication systems for everyday use.  Radio communications are a critical link in the air traffic control system where there is a bond between the pilot and air traffic controller, and specific terms and/or abbreviations related to VHF Voice communications are used. To be familiarized with these, it is important to understand how air traffic control works generally and to understand the stages in the operations of air traffic control units (ATCU) from departure to arrival of an aircraft.

Our Communications, Navigation, Surveillance and Frequency Spectrum Management (CNSS) Section is the primary focal point within ICAO’s Air Navigation Bureau for standardization and implementation support of aeronautical communication, navigation and surveillance systems, as well as aeronautical radiofrequency spectrum management. They advise States, as well as ICAO’s Council and Air Navigation Commission on CNSS matters, and they have the overall responsibility for Annex 10 – Aeronautical Telecommunications and other CNS-related guidance documents.  They maintain a primary coordination role with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the CNS-related network. Additionally, CNSS has developed a frequency finder tool to assist Member States in frequency management.

The Section conducts studies and manages work programmes aimed at evolving the required CNS systems roadmap and frequency spectrum access strategy and its rollout plans, in the short-, medium- and long-term, in a performance-based and service-oriented manner.

Aligned with this work, CNSS developed training that begins with a basic explanation of Spectrum-focusing on the VHF range. The online Aeronautical Spectrum Use with Special Focus on VHF (ASU) training also covers the stages of operations and illustrates them with explanations of how communication systems support pilots and ATCU during aircraft operations.

This course opens with explanations of specific terms used by civil aviation authorities/air navigation service providers, including technical personnel at local air navigation facilities, but it also covers key terms and issues related to spectrum such as spectrum usage, channel spacing, signal and modulation and others.

All air-ground communications are equally important for aircraft operations since any communication problems or breakdowns between aircraft and ground may result in hazardous situations. There are different types of air-ground communications and not all of them will cause potentially hazardous situations. Therefore, aeronautical communications services are classified into several orders of priority, which are regarded as safety and non-safety. This course explains how safety priority works and helps differentiate between the categories of messages depending on the priority of information being transmitted.

This course is offered online and is available in English. Participants who successfully complete this training will gain valuable skills in identifying the basics of specific aeronautical communications and navigation systems operating in VHF.

To find out more about this course and consult the course structure, click here.