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Flight Radiotelephony Operator's Licence

If you are going to operate an Aircraft Radio Station in a UK registered aircraft in the air or on the ground, whether you are flight crew or not, then there is a requirement to hold a valid Flight Radiotelephony Operator’s Licence (FRTOL). The FRTOL is a national licence.

There are exceptions for flight crew under training and for sailplane pilots when transmitting on frequencies specifically allocated for glider operation.

Points to note:

  • The FRTOL is an operator’s licence and therefore does not provide privileges for the installation or establishment of a Radio Station.
  • The FRTOL does not entitle the holder to operate a radio station installed anywhere other than in an aircraft.
  • All Aeronautical and Aircraft Radio Stations require a Radio Licence issued by the CAA in accordance with the Wireless Telegraphy Acts as amended.
  • The holder of a FRTOL is responsible for ensuring that the aircraft radio station they operate has a valid radio licence. Failure to do so will render them liable to prosecution under the Wireless Telegraphy Acts.

UK radiotelephony procedures are detailed in CAP 413 - The Radiotelephony Manual, which also forms part of the syllabus of training for the UK written PPL Communications examination & practical test. (See CAP 804 – section 6 for all references to the syllabus)

CAP 413 & CAP 804 can be accessed on the CAA website - see the links on the left.

  • The minimum age that an applicant for a FRTOL can be is 16 years old.

FRTOL Examination and Test Requirements:

Subject to the allowable credits (see CAP 804 – section 6) an applicant for the FRTOL shall pass:

  1. a theoretical written PPL Communications examination, and
  2. a practical RTF Communications test. (the candidate is required to have a pass in the written examination prior to attempting the practical test)

Upon successful completion of the examination and test a FRTOL, limited to VHF operations only, can be issued.

For allowable credits, validity periods of examinations and tests, and full details on Radio Licences refer to section 6 in CAP 804.

Newcastle International Airport (EGNT) Runway 25 departure