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Aeronautical Communications

1.Outline of the Aeronautical Communication

  1. i.Air Traffic Control System

    This is a system rendered between the Air Traffic Control Institutions and the aircraft to secure the safety and the mobility of aircraft by providing ground navigation or advice, information about aircraft and the airport weather condition.

    • VHF Cordless Telephone, HF Cordless Telephone
    • Air Route Surveillance Radar (ARSR), Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR), Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR)
  2. ii.Air Control Communication System

    This is a communication system that the airline companies use for determining aircraft position to secure the navigation of their proprietary aircrafts.

    • Cordless telephone by way of VHF, HF, and Inmarsat Satellite Communications
    • Data Transmission by way of VHF and Inmarsat Satellite Communications
  3. iii.Aircraft Telephone

    This is an on-board public telephone service that aircraft passengers use to communicate.

    Now, the satellite communication telephone service which went via the Inmarsat satellite.

  4. iv.Radio Navigation System

    This is a radio navigation system that the navigating aircraft uses to detect its position.


    Furthermore, the development of a satellite navigation system utilizing GPS has been in progress.

  5. v.Aircraft Landing System

    This is a system used for navigating the aircraft by radio waves onto the airport for its landing in safety.

    • Instrument Landing System (ILS)
    • Landing Navigation by iv. Radio Navigation System

    Furthermore, as a satellite navigation system by GPS has been more popular, the development of a system that utilizes it has been in progress.

  6. vi.Aircraft-loaded Radio Equipment

    There are different kinds of radio equipment loaded on the aircraft, while their two main targets are for navigation and communication.

    • Navigation Equipment
      VOP/DME, ATC Transponder, Weather Radar, Radio Altimeter, Rescue Radio, ILS Receiver, ADF Receiver
    • Communication Equipment
      VHF/HF/Inmarsat Satellite Cordless Telephone, VHF/Inmarsat Satellite Data Transmission, Aircraft Telephone

    Figure: Concept Diagram of Aircraft Communication

2.Aircraft Communication Type

Table: Aircraft Communication Type
Aircraft Communication Communication Air Traffic Control (ATC) –› VHF Cordless Telephone, HF Cordless Telephone
This is a communication rendered by the air traffic control institutions to the aircraft to secure the safety and mobility of the air traffic.
Aeronautical Operational Control (AOC) –› VHF Cordless Telephone, VHF Open Space Datalink, etc.
This is communication by the aircraft pilot for normal navigation and so forth.
Aeronautical Administrative Communications (AAC) –› VHF Open Space Datalink and so forth
This is business-use communication for airline companies, etc.
Navigation Radio Navigation –› VOR, DME, TACAN, NDB
This is communication for receiving response radio waves and catching information such as directions or distance by receiving ground radio waves or emitting request radio waves from onboard.
Satellite Navigation –› GPS
This is communication to receive radio wave from multiple artificial satellites and catch 3D position.
Surveillance Ground Surveillance –› ASR, SSR, ARSR, ORSR
This is communication to determine the position of the aircraft by the ground radar.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance –› Communicate the position data by GPS, etc. by Inmarsat, MTSAT, etc.
This is communication to attain navigation data automatically without any human intervention, based upon the navigation data from the aircraft.
Cooperative Information Systems –› Development in progress.
This is communication to attain 3D position data automatically without any human intervention by using multiple positioning satellites.
Reference: History of Aircraft Communication
International Domestic
October, 1919 The "Treaty regarding Aircraft Law" is signed. The International Aircraft Committee (a permanent organization of the International Federation) is founded.
1929 The Aircraft Communication Work starts. (The medium wave radio telegraph is set in use.)
1941 The operation of the radio beacons starts. (The medium wave radio beacon station)
1945 The operation, manufacturing, or research of the civil aircraft is banned by the GHQ memorandum.
June, 1950 The "Instrument Landing System (ILS)" is adopted as the ICAO International Standard. The "Domestic Transportation " is promulgated and the domestic aircraft transportation is re-started. (The JAL "The Jupiter" commemorates the first flight between Haneda and Fukuoka in October, 1951.)
July, 1959 The Air Route Control Right is transferred from the US Army to Japan.
1977 ARINC starts the VHF Open Space Datalink Service in the North American continent.
1985 The Insarmat Treaty Amendment is adopted. (The Insarmat Satellite Communication Service is introduced into the aircraft.)
April, 1990 December, 1990 The VHF Open Space Datalink Service starts. The Insarmat Satellite Communication Service starts.
Division in Charge:Fixed and Satellite Radio Communications Division