Does the ATC have any licenses e.g ofcom

I was just wondering if the ATC has a Amateur or Business License that can be used outside of the PMR 446 frequencies?

P.S Sorry is this is in the wrong topic area.

No licenses. The ATC has permission to use certain allocated MOD frequencies for official ATC purposes, using full, published procedures.

Some squadrons or wings may have purchased Ofcom licences to permit the use of business radio frequencies, but as with PMR446 those may not be used with ATC callsigns or authentication procedures - just plain speech.

Right okay thats cleared everything up thank you very much

Out of interest, why were you asking?

Just curious as to what you might need to do outside of Victor, Uniform, or PMR446…

Maybe he’s thinking of increased range or Digital like DMR which offers a bit more security rather than ATC freq which can be found on any web site Search

I don’t get why sqns would want to spend money on business licences? Your business supplier will be able to program your business handhelds to ATC frequencies. And with cheap chineese radios being as cheap and serviceable as they are, why would you want to use pmr446?

The most basic licences are really not a lot of money. For that you can use decent kit but without the additional baggage that comes with the RAFAC frequencies. Sometimes you just need to chat and coordinate with others without wasting many, many seconds on callsigns and sometimes those seconds count.

We used to use PMR446 for that, but they are low power, require specifically built handsets and you may end up fighting with kids playing or bike training companies passing by. Ofcom business licences are also shared but I find less traffic on them and greater separation from the general public.

We can also use the same hardware as we do for ATC frequencies and can programme them up ourselves, quickly. The ATC radio world is focussed on procedural training/practice and ignores the fact that sometimes we actually need to use radios to communicate.


The other option here is download zello onto mobile phones set up a password protected Chanel and use it. You can apply for a NR xxxx callsign which is free. Downside is you need to have data on mobiles or use wi-fi

A fairly severe downside, especially in areas with little or no cellular coverage. It sounds like it could be quite a battery drain too.

Please could you link where you register for the free callsign

The ‘Network Radios’ main channel,, was created by Karl Hobson (G1YPQ) in January 2018. It has seen phenomenal growth, with around 8500 subscribers, and over 4000 of those users were trusted within the last 9 months! In addition to the main channel, there are six other related Network Radios channels to choose from. You can find and add any or all the channels by searching with the keywords “Network Radios” in the Add Channel function.

Channel subscribers are mainly made up of licensed Hams (around 90% of users) operating with Amateur protocols, but the channels welcome radio hobbyists of all backgrounds.

The remaining 10% or so unlicensed folks are encouraged to use a call sign of their choosing. You can also register for an NR callsign (e.g. NR 234) to use with the channel - a register is kept by the admins and moderators to avoid duplication.

The other thing is you could speak with your wing radio officer about your cadets doing the ham radio course. The issue with this only those who pass the course and get a licence can operate on ham radio bands, plus they would need to buy radio sets. Some you can get dirt cheap.

If you have Facebook theres a network radio page, join it and as an mod or admin for a NR callsign you can vhose NR xxx or have a NR xxxx number one explain you are air cadets and would like x number of them,. Secondly for what it’s worth contact you local.ham radio club ask them in for a evening, most clubs are delighted to visit and they can do s talk on ham radios but include things like DMR, hotspots etc and you may get advice on what’s best for your needs. Zello is free you can down load it onto PC etc and use that as a Ops room then download on to iPhones, Android etc yes you need wifi or data on your phone most folks using it non stop say they use 500mb a month but cadets not likely to touch that level . Once you have zello download you can set up a private passworded channel, just change password when one of the radio users leave cadets