8.33kHz deployment status in the airspace below FL195

20-07-2017 10:47:30 - Radio equipment

8.33kHz Voice Channel Spacing (VCS) Communications have been progressively introduced in the European upper airspace since 1999. With the adoption in 2012 of the European Commission’s Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 1079/2012 (VCS Regulation), the airspace in which 8.33kHz channel communications are required is being extended down to the ground.

According to Article 5(4) of the Regulation “from 1 of January 2018 an operator shall not operate an aircraft in airspace where carriage of radio is required unless the aircraft radio equipment has the 8.33kHz channel spacing capability”.

This implies that after 1st of January 2018 all aircraft (including GA airspace users and VFR operated flights) operating in the airspace of Switzerland, Norway and EU Member States, in which radio carriage is mandatory, have to be equipped with 8.33kHz channel spacing capable radio stations. This is required because during 2018 all frequency assignments used for communication by the ATS service providers in the states mentioned above will be converted to 8.33 channels.  

According to the same Implementing Regulation “by 31 of December 2018 at the latest, all frequency assignments have to be converted to 8.33kHz channel spacing”.

In anticipation of this change, several European States have already extended the airspace in which 8.33VCS capability is required below FL195, in airspaces classes A, B, C and D (e.g. UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Italy etc.). This deployment has been done after analysing the proportion of already equipped aircraft operating in these parts of the airspace and considering the impact on VFR GA operated flights if applicable.

Since the evolution of the 8.33kHz VCS deployment is dynamic in each of the concerned States, to provide a better visibility of the areas, sectors and parts of airspace in which 8.33kHz capable radio are required a dedicated website has been created at:


By selecting the desired altitude on the left hand side ruller, the map displays a section through the sectors defined in the European area and provides by the means of different colours if 8.33kHz radio equipage is required (green) or not. In the right hand side corner a description of the selected sector can be observed including the vertical dimensions of the area concerned.

The website provides a graphical representation of the European airspace in which 8.33kHz radio equipment is required on board aircraft. The chart is provided as generic information and is not intended to be used for navigation. Depending on the class of airspace and the flight rules, equipment requirements may vary from case to case. Also note that the information provided on the https://ext.eurocontrol.int/833/Airspace_8.33kHz_Radio.html website refers only to airspace requirements; specific requirements for access into aerodromes, airports and/or availability of FIS (e.g. ATIS, AFIS, etc) have to be extracted directly from other aeronautical information sources.

The website information is automatically updated each AIRAC cycle with new data provided by the air navigation service providers. However, pilots and aircraft operators are required to consult the local AIP and AIC publications for the 8.33kHz radio equipment requirements in the area in which they intend to fly. If before operating you submit a flight plan please make sure you include the correct equipage information in the corresponding fields to allow a correct processing and eventual feed-back from the service providers.