Aircraft Radio Licence


Aircraft registered in the Isle of Man are required by regulation[1] to hold an Aircraft Radio Licence. Ofcom issue Radio Licences, including those licences relating to aircraft on the Isle of Man Aircraft Register (IOMAR). Please note that no direct IOMAR involvement is required in the aircraft radio license process, should you wish to contact them for assistance with radio licensing enquiries or assistance their contact information can be found herePlease quote your customer number or case reference number when contacting Ofcom.

For the purpose of article 34 (5) (a) of the Air Navigation (Isle of Man) Order 2015 as amended, ‘All radio communication and radio navigation equipment installed in an aircraft registered in the Isle of Man or carried on such an aircraft for use in connection with the aircraft (whether or not in compliance with this Order or any applied regulations) must - be of a type approved by the Department* in relation to the purpose for which it is to be used’.

*This means equipment appropriately certified or approved to the standards identified in the design and manufacturing regulations of EASA, FAA or Transport Canada.


[1] The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 as extended to the Isle of Man by the Wireless Telegraphy (Isle of Man) Order 2007 (SI 2007 No 278)

[2] Ofcom is the communications regulator in the UK 

All uses of radio spectrum generate electromagnetic fields (EMF) and there are international guidelines to help ensure services operate in a way that will not adversely affect peoples’ health. In normal conditions, most uses of radio spectrum for wireless communications present no health risk to humans - but exposure to very high levels of radiofrequency EMF can be harmful.

Visit Ofcom's EMF webpage to find information on how to comply with Ofcom’s rules on EMF.

If you have any questions regarding this matter please contact the Ofcom team directly.


For initial applications or changes to an aircraft radio license: 

  • Refer to the Radio Equipment List online  at and identify the specific approval number for the radio equipment manufacturer, model and part number.
  • If you cannot find an approval number for a specific piece of equipment, perform an internet search to establish whether the equipment was granted a pre-EASA approval (grand-father rights from a current EASA member state).
  • If you continue to have difficulty locating the appropriate radio equipment/approval number(s) you should contact either the manufacturer or retailer of the specific equipment or your maintenance provider who should be able to assist.
  • Complete Form 5 and submit by email to [email protected] 

    You will receive an automated email which will contain a case reference number. Please take a note of this case reference number and quote it in any correspondence with Ofcom. Under usual circumstances Ofcom processes licences on a first come first serve basis. Please allow 5 working days for issue of a radio licence where you have indicated your communication preference as E-mail. Please allow 14 working days for delivery by post.

    Please do not include payment with this form. Ofcom will issue you with an invoice following submission of your application.  Payment of the invoice must be made for the radio licence to be issued. 
  • If the aircraft has a Mobile Communication services on Aircraft (MCA) system (see below), include this information in your covering email submission to Aeronautical Radio Licensing.

Renewals of aircraft radio licenses are the responsibility of the aircraft owner/operator and managed directly with Ofcom.

MCA enable passengers to use mobile apparatus (mobile devices such as handsets, tablets, laptops etc.) during their flight without connecting directly with land mobile networks. MCA systems consist of an aircraft Base Transceiver Station (BTS) and a Network Control Unit (NCU)[3] to which mobile apparatus used by air passengers must connect. The MCA system operates, in essence, similar to that of a land base station. The aircraft BTS and NCU (where fitted) are designed to ensure that the mobile apparatus within the aircraft cabin does not connect with land mobile base stations and that the mobile apparatus on the aircraft only transmits at a height of  3,000m + above ground.

The deployment and use of both the BTS and NCU on an aircraft is subject to wireless telegraphy regulation[4] and the issuance of a variation to the aircraft radio licence. However, there is no mandatory requirement to install MCA systems.

The regulation specifies the technical standards that must be met by a MCA system, including:

  • the need to comply with European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) standards listed in the Regulation;
  • spectrum limitations;
  • minimum operating heights;
  • power limits for the apparatus;
  • maximum external radiated power limits;
  • fuselage shielding or NCU requirements.

The use of a MCA system shall be authorised via an Ofcom Notice of Variation (NoV) to the existing aircraft radio licence administered by the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Requests for a NoV made either as part of an initial license application or at a late date when it is intended to install a MCA system should be made to: [email protected]


[3] NCU are mandatory for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UTMS) technologies and optional for Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies 

[4] The Wireless Telegraphy (Mobile Communication Services on Aircraft) (Exemption) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017 No669).