Frequency Assignment

Airservices is responsible for the Aeronautical Mobile (Route) Service AM(R)S Spectrum within Australia and its Territories. Airservices is able to provide a frequency assignment service as a first step to obtaining a aeronautical apparatus licence to operate a radio transmitter within the AM(R)S bands.

Assignments can be made for radio communications within the AMR(S).

The AM(R)S covers

  • Aeronautical HF communications;
  • Aeronautical VHF communications (118-137 MHz);
  • Precision and Non Precision Navigational Aids and
  • Landing Systems.

For frequency assignment of these facilities contact the Airservices’ Spectrum Manager.

ACMA Technical Details and Determinations

Forms and notes

Obtaining a Frequency Assignment

To operate a radio transmitter, a radio communications apparatus licence issued by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) must be obtained.

Under the Aeronautical Licence type, there are two licence options available:

  1. Aeronautical Non Assigned
    There are a list of standard frequencies listed in Part 3 and Schedule 1 of the Radiocommunications (Aircraft and Aeronautical Mobile Stations) Class Licence 2016. There is no frequency assignment made if these frequencies are issued but a Non Assigned apparatus licence is required.
  2. Aeronautical Assigned
    For frequencies outside of the standard frequencies listed in Part 3 and Schedule 1, an individual frequency assignment is required. An aeronautical licence authorising an Aeronautical assigned station is required. Note: Fixed (Non-Mobile) aeronautical stations are always likened as Aeronautical assigned. For example, an airline company’s base station, AWIS, ATIS.

To obtain an apparatus licence, an applicant may engage the services of an accredited frequency assigner (Accredited Person – AP).

The AP will help with:

For an Aeronautical Assigned Licence, a frequency assignment can be obtained from:

A – Airservices Australia

A frequency assignment may be obtained from Airservices Australia. Details necessary for Airservices Australia to provide these assignments are contained in the ACMA’s form:

Apply for an aeronautical apparatus licence.

Once completed, the applicant should send a copy to Spectrum Manager.

It is important to provide as much information as possible. Incomplete information can slow the assignment process.

Based on this information, Airservices Australia will issue a Frequency Assignment Certificate. Obtaining a Frequency Assignment Certificate does not authorise the use of that frequency.

Airservices can complete the application to the ACMA via the online system on your behalf.

B – Accredited Person - AP

Fees and Charges

The frequency assignment fee is designed to recover Airservices Australia’s costs in performing the frequency assignment task.

Aeronautical Assignment Fee: example – $260.70 for VHF

Note: The actual fee depends on the density of existing assignments in the area and the range and service height requested. The fee includes GST and is subject to change without notice.

This fee corresponds to what the ACMA calls the frequency assignment task. Note that the ACMA will levy its own charges for the “new issue.”


Accredited person - Section 263 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 provides for the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to accredit persons to perform certain activities related to the use of the radiofrequency spectrum. Such activities include frequency coordination and emission level management.

Aeronautical license - Authorises a station that:

  • is not fixed to an aircraft;
  • is operated on aeronautical frequencies;
  • is operated for purposes relating to the operation of an aircraft, or airport or aerodrome operations; and
  • includes a mobile station operated on board the aircraft or on the ground in communication with aircraft.

Frequency Assignment – Is a process of frequency selection to minimise interference to or from other users. While care is taken to assign a frequency this does not guarantee that its use will be interference free.


ACMA – Australian Communications and Media Authority

AM(R)S – Aeronautical Mobile (Route) Service

ARFU - Aerodrome Frequency Response Unit is a VHF transceiver which provides an automatic response when the pilot transmits on the traffic frequency (normally a CTAF) for a particular non-controlled aerodrome.

CASA – Civil Aviation Safety Authority

CTAF - Common Traffic Advisory Frequency. The frequencies allocated, are those on which pilots can arrange mutual separation at non-controlled aerodromes. Airservices will assign new CTAF channels only at the request of CASA.

HF - High Frequency is the radio frequency spectrum between 3 MHz and 30 MHz.

ICAO – International Civil Aviation Organisation

MBZ - The Mandatory Broadcast Zone frequencies are nominally used within 15NM radius of a designated aerodrome up to and including 5,000FT AGL, unless otherwise specified. The frequencies allocated, are those on which pilot can arrange mutual separation at non-controlled aerodromes.

PAL - Pilot Airport Lighting

UHF - Ultra High Frequency is the radio frequency spectrum between 300 MHz and 3 GHz, aeronautical UHF channels are managed by the Department of Defence.

Unicom - Universal Communications is a non-ATS communications service provided on the CTAF frequency to enhance the value of information normally available about a particular non-controlled aerodrome.

VHF - Very High Frequency is the radio frequency spectrum between 30 MHz and 300 MHz.