8.33kHz – Refunds for GA radio upgrades

A consortium led by IAOPA Europe and aviation consultants Helios has applied for EU funds to offset the costs of upgrading equipment to meet new rules on 8.33kHz channel spacing – and they are calling on General Aviation (GA) users and aerodromes to pre-register now to obtain refunds where applicable.

Expansion of the voice channels available helps relieve congestion in the VHF band as mandated by SESAR – Single European Sky. Upper airspace has already been addressed and regulatory attention is now switching to lower airspace below FL195, commonly used by the GA community. The new regulations will affect all radios operating in the 117.975-137MHz band (the VHF band) – both airborne and ground based – and come into force from 31st December 2017 also for VFR.

If the consortium’s application is successful, a refund of at least 20% will ease the financial burden for all general aviation aircraft and aerodromes in no less than 19 countries with the expected upgrades needed costing up to 147 million Euro. The countries covered are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.

For Luxembourg the association that made the effort of collecting the data and put together the national application is UPL – AOPA Luxembourg. The number of local aircrafts estimated to be in need of a radio upgrade is 148 and the estimated amount to be spent is 985 567. If IAOPA application is successful about 197 113 Euro will be refunded to the local GA community during the year 2017 and 2018.

“We are here to help…we are deeply involved in solving our local GA community… it is in our AOPA DNA to protect the interest of our members and with this project the interest of the entire GA community….or similar”

Commenting on the initiative, Dr Michael Erb, Senior Vice President IAOPA (Europe) said: “New 8.33 radios in certified aircraft cost an average of around €5,000. So, it’s definitely worth making a claim. We’ve applied for almost €37 million in grant funding, which would support the upgrade costs for over 26,000 airframes.”

Philip Church, Helios’ project director noted: “The timescales for the mandate are tight and the period to admit claims will be short. To increase the chance of getting a partial reimbursement of your costs we recommend that owners sign up right away and actively plan on equipping within the project timescales. It is a very simple registration procedure and you do not need to submit any documentation at this stage.”

IAOPA Europe invites all GA aerodromes, aircraft owners, pilots and AeroClubs of all aircraft registered or owners based within the participating countries to find out more and pre-register at their dedicated website http://833.iaopa.eu. The refunds will be available for upgrades of radio equipment after February 7, 2017 on a “first come, first served” basis.


27 February 2017

About UPL – AOPA Luxembourg:

The “Union des Pilotes Luxembourgeois” or UPL – AOPA Luxembourg represents more than 330 pilots and aircraft owners involved in general aviation and aerial work activities in Luxembourg and abroad.

About IAOPA Europe:

IAOPA Europe is the European branch of The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) a non-profit federation of 28 autonomous, nongovernmental, national general aviation organizations.

More than 27000 aircraft owners and pilots are members in the EU AOPA making IAOPA the leading EU General Aviation advocacy organization.

Worldwide the combined total of individuals represented by these constituent member groups of IAOPA is over 470,000 pilots, who fly general aviation aircraft for business and personal transportation. IAOPA has represented international general aviation for nearly 50 years.

For further information, contact Communication Officer Jacob Pedersen on iaopa@iaopa.eu.

About Helios:

Helios is the aviation consultancy of Egis, delivering management consultancy, strategy, investment and technical advice across the globe. Combining analytical rigour, strategic context and creativity, we bring independence and insight to every opportunity we address. We are ISO 9001 certified, with offices in the UK, Slovakia and United Arab Emirates.

Our parent company, Egis, is an international group headquartered in Europe, with over 13,000 employees and a turnover of €1 billion. Egis also operates 14 international airports.

With a worldwide reputation for excellence and integrity, our multinational aviation team provides a compelling offer that encompasses consultancy and engineering services to ATM, institutions, airports and aircraft stakeholders.

For further information, contact Philip Church on philip.church@askhelios.com or Marketing Manager Sian McCart on sian.mccart@askhelios.com.

 About the consortium:

Full membership of the consortium is available at http://833.iaopa.eu/index.php/en/the-team.