Emergency Locator Transmitter

The owner/operator of an aircraft registered in the Isle of Man is responsible for registering, or re-registering, ELT/PLBs on their aircraft with the UK Beacon Registry who are the Isle of Man and UK point of contact for ELT/PLB registrations.

All 406 MHz ELT/PLBs associated with an M-registered aircraft must be registered with the UK Beacon Registry, even if not fitted to an aircraft. Many ELT/PLBs are inadvertently activated when in storage or in transit and such false alerts can initiate search and rescue action if the owner cannot be identified and questioned.

It is vitally important that points of contact 24 hour telephone numbers are provided when registering the ELT/PLB and that the UK Beacon Registry is informed as soon as possible of any changes to the points of contact or telephone numbers.

Registration is accomplished via the UK Beacon Registry online registration service at: https://www.gov.uk/register-406-beacons

Tel +44 (0)20 3817 2006
Fax +44 (0)1326 319264

E-mail - [email protected]

ICAO recommends that each ELT/PLB is assigned a unique identification code and this is provided by a 15 character Hexadecimal ELT/PLB identification (15 HEX ID) code. It must be UK-coded and begins with 1D or 9D. If it is a GPS-integrated, location protocol ELT/PLB, the default 15 digit code is required, i.e. not containing position information, so it should normally end with FFBFF or FDFF or 81FE0.

ICAO has defined five coding options which can be used and each ELT/PLB digital message is required to contain information from one of these coding options as shown in the table below. All aviation coding methods include a country code which, for the Isle of Man and UK, is 232.


Available coding options for user protocols
1 Unique Serial Number of ELT
2 Aircraft Operator Designator and Operators Serial Number
3 Aircraft Registration Mark
4 Isle of Man issued 24-bit Mode S Aircraft Address
5 Serial Number of PLB

Note: The 24-bit Mode S Aircraft Address is issued to an aircraft by the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry on receipt of an application for registration.

The ELT/PLB digital message shall contain information relating to the message format, coding protocol, country code, identification data, and location data as appropriate.

For ELT/PLBs with no navigation data provided, the short message format, Cospas-Sarsat Technical document T.001 shall be used, making use of bits 1 through 112. For ELT/PLBs with navigation data, if provided, the long message format shall be used, making use of bits 1 through 144.

The ELT/PLB make and model number will have been assigned a Cospas-Sarsat Beacon Type Approval Certificate (CSTA) number. This number can also be found on the Cospas-Sarsat website using the Beacons tag.

All ELTs carried on board an aircraft, including those contained within life rafts, are required to operate on 406 MHz and 121.5 MHz simultaneously in order to meet the frequency specifications of ICAO Annex 10, Volume III, Part II, Chapter 5.

Such ELTs onboard M- registered aircraft are required to be UK-coded and registered with the UK Beacon Registry. If, for a limited period, the operator is unable to comply, they may apply for an Exemption from the requirement for the ELT to be UK-coded by completing a Form 37a.