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FCC Aviation Licenses

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) is not something you might think of when you are considering getting your pilot’s license. When you fly you will need to use radios for communication. While the regulations have changed over the years and in general have become less strict, it is still important to look into what licenses you need as a pilot and as an aircraft owner.

In the past, the FCC has required that all pilots have a license to operate the radios on board airplanes. They have done away with this requirement for pilots flying only in the United States.  If you plan on operating an aircraft only within the country, then odds are that you don’t need to pursue an FCC license at all. However, if you are planning to fly outside the borders you will need to look into getting licensed. Legally you are required to have all appropriate licenses when flying internationally, though the enforcement can be somewhat lax. Often you will have most need of them to reenter the United States. The license you need is the restricted radio operator’s permit. This is issued to individuals, so you must take care of it yourself. There is an online form that will allow you to apply for the license, and the process is fairly simple. Keep in mind that you will have to pay for it though.

An FCC license is also required for aircraft. If you own a plane you must obtain an aircraft radio station license.  This does not need to be issued to an individual however, so if the aircraft is company owned, the license can be issued to the company.  These licenses are good for 10 years, and once again are required only for aircraft making international flights. Be sure you know if it is possible that your plane will fly outside of the United States and prepare accordingly. Once again there is an online form for this license, and the process is relatively painless.

 

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