Main IATA navigation

HomeProgramsOperations & InfrastructureAir Traffic ManagementAviation Radio Spectrum

Aviation Radio Spectrum

Aviation depends on access to an adequate and predictable radio spectrum. Spectrum is a very limited and ​valuable resource required for flight, airlines and air traffic management operations.​ Global allocations of radio spectrum are agreed by the member States of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC), which meet every 3-4 years. IATA takes a leading role in defining and representing airline requirements at these meetings.
The resolutions that come out of these meetings become radio regulations and, once signed by states, have the status of international treaties. 

ICAO Collaboration for WRC 2019

We work closely with ICAO through Frequency Spectrum Management Panel in developing joint aviation positions in preparation for these ITU conferences. We encourage our member airlines, States and air navigation service providers to support ​ICAO aviation position for WRC-2019​ (pdf). 

WRC 2015 Outcomes

Decisions taken ​​at the WRC have far-reaching effects on air transport. Recent WRC allocations which are favorable to aviation include allocations for space-based ADS-B and recognition for frequency requirements to support Global Aeronautical Distress & Safety System (GADSS). Read the outcomes of the most recent meeting, WRC 2015 (pdf) and the accompanying Appendix A (pdf) to the WRC 2015 summary.

Learn more about aviation usages of frequency spectrum​ (pdf). ​

Need Help?

Contact us
Explore more

Our mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry

Additional information