8.33 kHz handheld radios approved for use in flight

The CAA is to allow 8.33 kHz handheld radios to be used in flight following a review 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 will allow pilots of ‘non-EASA’ aircraft’ to use handheld radios on their Aircraft Radio Licence outside Class A, B and C airspace; non-EASA aircraft, also known as ‘Annex II’, includes microlights, kit-built aircraft and many vintage aircraft.

Mike Barnard, the CAA’s General Aviation Programme Manager, said: “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.”

The changes come in with immediate effect and further information can be found on the CAA’s website.