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Author Topic: FAA and FCC Approvals  (Read 1664 times)
G4EAB
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Posts: 4




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« on: July 15, 2010, 05:06:58 AM »

Hello everyone, I have a question not strictly related to Amateur Radio but I have come here as a 'first port of call' to find the answer.  I'm certain that several amongst us may be able to give the answer I need or at least, a steer in the right direction!

Having recently taken up flying here in UK, I see the range of radios for ultralights seems to be severely limited to some really obsolete types (Icom A2 and the like).  This morning a member of a forum wrote "I was looking at the (company name) website at their (model) VHF Aviation Radio Transceiver and noticed it has already received FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and FCC (Federal Communications Commission) approval for its use in the USA, but no sign of an EASA approval nor indeed a local UKCAA approval". 

The problem we have over here is that manufacturers seem to be unwilling to spend money to get an approval for a radio that will be delivered in very small numbers - hardly worth the investment.

That set me thinking that - if the radio concerned meets with approval in USA, and if the approval process is quite closely similar to the approval process on this side of the Atlantic, then perhaps a case could be presented to our governing body to seek approval here.

So my question is, where do I find the FAA and FCC approval processes on the internet?  Any further views would also be most welcome.
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N9DG
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010, 06:53:40 AM »


Do a web search for "FAA cfr title 14" which will get into area of US regs that cover aviation. Along with the CFR's found there will be some "Advisory Circulars" related to avionics that may help answer your questions.

For the FCC piece of it a search for "FCC cfr title 47" will get you into the FCC part of the US regs. The aviation radio regs are primarily covered under Part 87 of the FCC rules.
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G4EAB
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2010, 08:24:04 AM »

    Duane, thank you very much for the information - it sure looks like I'm going to be busy over the coming weeks!  I don't yet know if my plan will come together but it'll be worth trying, I think.  Greatly appreciate your help, thanks again.
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NA0AA
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2010, 09:35:49 PM »

Why not look at Sporty's Pilot Shop - they usually have a selection of Aviation VHF radios suitable for ultralight use.  Of course, you need to get a limited radiotelephone license [which used to be a fill it out yourself form you mailed in and cut out a coupon].

I would suggest that there is probably someone on your side of the pond who sells the same equipment.  BTW, I've been a licensed pilot for going on 30 years - aviation radios have not changed a lick in that time.
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G4EAB
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2010, 03:13:54 PM »

Thanks for the pointer to Sporty's!  The trouble is that although a piece of avionics is approved on the West side of the Atlantic it doesn't mean that it is approved over here!  Perhaps if the radio is fitted to an N-reg aircraft which is subsequently sold over here it would be ok as it is original equipment, I don't know for sure.  You try getting that same piece of electronics through the paperwork minefield to fit it to something European registered and you are in for a long haul.  The tech. spec. doesn't change and somewhere there must be an international agreement on minimum specifications for radios, depending on what use they are put to - marine, broadcasting, PMR, flying etc.  The problem I am trying to resolve is probably unsolvable as someone, somewhere would miss out on a great deal of money, just for going through the motions of ensuring that a tech. spec. meets the requirements of the European aviation regulators.  This was my point - that an approval given to a Stateside radio would surely meet Euro regs specifying the minimum- therefore enough to present the regulators with a 'done deal'.  Locating all the relevant bits of regulation is going to take some time........
By the way, your method of getting a licence - is that for the installation or operation?  To operate a VHF set over here one needs to gain an FRTOL entailing an exam and cash, of course!
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NA0AA
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 08:07:45 AM »

The pilot radio licence is a limited radiotelephone operators permit - it only allows the pilot to use the airplane radios.  Does not allow you to install or certify them - of course, an HT does not really qualify as 'installed' I suppose.  The installer has to have some sort of license, but I don't know what.

The first thing I would do is to go to your local aerodrome and ask the FBO - I can't believe it's all that difficult - aviation radios are used world wide so I suspect an FCC approved one will meet the same requirements - I mean, they sell Collins, King and Icom aviation radios all over the world.



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AA4PB
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 08:34:34 AM »

they sell Collins, King and Icom aviation radios all over the world.

Yes, but they must be certified by each separate country where they are used. An FAA certification is good only on U.S. licensed aircraft. I expect

Back when I was working in avionics, the FAA certified the avionics shop, but the FCC licensed the maintence personnel. A second class radiotelephone was the minimum requirement at that time.
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