VHF Radio – 8.33kHz channel spacing

Are you ready for 8.33?

As European pilots are aware, on the 1st of January 2018 aviation radios must be 8.33kHz capable. Time is running out and the deadline is getting closer. Trig is here to help. Please see our FAQ’s below. If you have an 8.33 question that is not an FAQ, why not ask our customer support team? Contact them here.

Background Information

It’s against the law in Europe to sell or fit a new radio in an aircraft that is not 8.33 capable. It is also worth remembering that radios used in Europe need to be certified too. This can impact on aircraft owners with EFIS systems, which have a facility to control a radio. Many of these systems are uncertified, they may be legal elsewhere however within Europe they must use a certified controller.

For very light aviation, the CAA in the UK has negotiated an opt out, allowing the use of uncertified 8.33 radios (typically hand held units). Beware – whilst flying across the channel to France is popular check before you go. You may require a certified radio, an uncertified radio might not be legal for use outside of the UK.

What does 8.33kHz channel spacing do?

The old 25kHz spacing has been divided by three.

25/3 = 8.33333. Now, there are lots more channels to use which will help congested airspaces.

How does this effect me?

8.33 is mandatory in Europe as of January 2018. if flying in controlled airspace in Europe, you must have an 8.33kHz radio to meet the mandate.


What happens if I keep my 25kHz radio?

If you do not update to 8.33kHz you may cause interference on adjacent channels for 8.33 radio users.

Also, you will not be able to tune to 8.33 frequencies, and so will not be able to communicate with certain airfields/aircraft.


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