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The lower part of the band, from 108 to 117.975 MHz, is reserved for navigational aids such as VOR beacons, ATIS and ASOS messages, and precision approach systems such as ILS or LAAS. Some types of aviation-related stations, such as NDBs and DMEs, do not operate on these frequencies; in the case of NDBs the longwave frequency band is used. The rest of the airband is allocated to voice communications using amplitude modulation.
Channel spacing on the airband has been 25 kHz. However, increasing congestion has led to further subdivision into 8.33 kHz channels in the ICAO European region; all aircraft flying above 19,500 feet are required to be capable of handling this reduced spacing. A switch to digital radios has been contemplated, as this would greatly increase capacity by reducing bandwidth. However, this has yet to happen, partly because the mobility of aircraft necessitates complete international coordination.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Airband". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|