UNICOM

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A UNICOM (Universal Communications) station is an air-ground communication facility operated by a non-air traffic control private agency to provide advisory service at uncontrolled aerodromes and airports and to provide various non-flight services, such as requesting a taxi, even at towered airports.[1] It is also known as an Aeronautical Advisory Station.[2] The equivalent European/ICAO service is known as (Aerodrome) Flight Information Service, abbreviated as AFIS or FIS.[citation needed]

Description[edit]

UNICOM is employed at airports with a low volume of general aviation traffic and where no control tower is presently active.[3] UNICOM stations typically use a single communications frequency. Some airfields always offer UNICOM service while others revert to UNICOM procedures only during hours when the control tower is closed. Under this protocol, aircraft may call a non-government ground station to make announcements of their intentions. Pilots who join the frequency later can request field advisories, which may include "weather information, wind direction, the recommended runway" and any previously reported traffic.[4]

In some cases, the ground station is not staffed, and attempts to communicate will, of course, receive no acknowledgement. During these times, pilots self-announce their position and/or intentions over the CTAF frequency, which is often the same as the UNICOM frequency.[5] When a part-time UNICOM station is located on the same airport as a part-time control tower, the same frequency will be used by both ground stations to avoid confusion. Many UNICOM stations are operated by a Fixed base operator (FBO), and it may be possible to request services such as fuel trucks, taxi service from the airport, outgoing phone calls, and others.[6]

Frequencies[edit]

The actual frequency used at any particular airport can be found on the relevant sectional, terminal area chart or in airport directories, such as the Canada Flight Supplement.[1]

USA[edit]

In the United States, radio frequencies made available by the Federal Communications Commission for use as UNICOM are:

Canada[edit]

In Canada, the radio frequencies assigned for UNICOM are:[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Transport Canada (April 2010). "TP 14371 - Transport Canada Aeronautical Information Manual (TC AIM) - RAC - 1.0 GENERAL 1.2.1 Universal Communications". Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  2. ^ Air Traffic Organization Policy ORDER #JO 7210.3X; Subject: Facility Operation and Administration, Section 2 - Use of Communications. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  3. ^ Fuera de peligro aeropuerto Mercedita. Omar Alfonso. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. 23 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013 (Printed edition publication data: Recortes en la FAA: Fuera de peligro el Aeropuerto Mercedita. Year 31. Issue 1526. Page 14. 27 February 2013.).
  4. ^ "FAA Aeronautical Information Manual (FAA AIM) - 4-1-9.e. Information Provided by aueronautical Advisory Stations (UNICOM)". Retrieved 2012-07-21. 
  5. ^ Changing Unicom Frequencies. Air Traffic Services and Technology: Air Traffic Services Process Brief. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  6. ^ FBO at small airport using unassigned unicom frequency for airport information. NASA ASRS Report 106369, March 1989. 37000 Feet. August 2007. Retrieved 26 February 2013.