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47 CFR FCC Part 87 Certification Testing of Aviation Services

As a leader in RF regulatory compliance testing, Keystone Compliance recognizes the requirements needed for wireless radio manufacturers. Meeting the ETSI, FCC, and other wireless testing specifications can be challenging. Not only do we understand the challenges, but we help guide companies through the process.

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Summary of FCC Aviation Wireless Testing

Part 87 of the CFR 47 FCC intentional radiator test describes radio station licenses in aviation services. Similar to maritime stations, aviation services must be licensed by the FCC either individually or as a fleet.

Foreign governments or their representatives cannot hold station licenses. Additionally, the following cannot hold aeronautical en route or an aeronautical fixed station license:

  • Any alien or the representative of an alien.
  • Any corporation is organized under the laws of any foreign government.
  • Any corporation of which more than one-fifth of the capital stock is owned of record or voted by aliens or their representatives or by a foreign government.
  • Any corporation directly or indirectly controlled by any other corporation of which more than one-fourth of the capital stock is owned of record or voted by aliens.

Transmitters listed in this part must be certified for a particular use by the FCC based upon specific technical requirements. The applicant must propose frequencies to be used by the station. The frequencies must be consistent with the applicant’s eligibility, the proposed operation, and the frequencies available for assignment.

Common stations used within this FCC test are listed below:

Aeronautical station: A land station in the aeronautical mobile service. In certain instances, an aeronautical station is located onboard a ship or on a platform at sea.

Aircraft earth station (AES): A mobile earth station in the aeronautical mobile-satellite service located onboard an aircraft.

Land station: A station in the mobile service not intended to be used while in motion.

Operational fixed station: A fixed station, not open to public correspondence, operated by and for the sole use of persons operating their on board radiocommunication facilities in the public safety, industrial, land transportation, marine, or aviation services.

Private aircraft station: A mobile station on board an aircraft not operated as an air carrier. A station on board an air carrier aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds is licensed as a private aircraft station.

Scope of 47 CFR Intentional Radiator Aviation Service Testing

Licensees of this grant must be sure that routine maintenance tests on equipment other than emergency locator transmitters are conducted. These tests regulate and refrain interference with the communication of any other radio frequency stations.

There are three circumstances when the operating frequencies of all land-based transmitters are measured. First, when the transmitter is originally installed. Second, when any charge or adjustment is made in the transmitter which may affect an operating frequency. Lastly, when an operating frequency has shifted beyond tolerance.

Frequencies in the Aviation Services will transmit communications for the safe, expeditious, and economic operation of aircraft. Each class of land station may communicate by the particular sections of this part which govern these classes.

Land stations in the Aviation Services in Alaska may transmit messages concerning sickness, death, weather, ice conditions, or other safety matters. This is true if there are no other established means of communication between the points in question.

Part 87 of the FCC wireless test defines numerous symbols for different classes of stations in aviation services. These include but are not limited to:

  • AX – Aeronautical Fixed
  • AVW – Audio Visual Warning Systems
  • DGP – Differential GPS
  • FAX – Airport Control Tower
  • GCO – Ground Communications Outlet
  • RCO – Remote Communications Outlet
  • RLA – Marker Beacon
  • RLS – Surveillance Radar
  • RNV – Radio Navigation Land/DME

Expert Aviation Service Wireless Laboratory Testing

In addition to 47 CFR FCC intentional radiator lab testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including multiple transmitters, licensed exempt radios, and pre-approved radio modules. Keystone Compliance can accommodate fixed, mobile and portable devices of all sizes. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing. 

Request a quote to find out for yourself about the Keystone difference. Have a question about FCC part 87 wireless testing? Contact us or call (724) 657-9940 and we will determine the best course of action.