Skykraft delivers world first space-based VHF communication for Air Traffic Management


A world first trial of space-based VHF voice communications has been successfully completed by Skykraft as part of their development of satellites to provide space-based aviation communications and surveillance services. This trial supports the work on operational space-based aviation VHF services leading up to the World Radio Congress 2023.

Voice radio communications in the VHF band are used for communications between pilots and air traffic controllers. VHF radios are standard aircraft equipment around the world and are vital in ensuring the safety of air travel. Currently, VHF voice communications services are only available when the aircraft is within range of a ground-based radio. This means that large areas of the Earth’s surface, including much of the world’s oceans, are not covered.

Skykraft’s trial of space-based voice communications in the VHF aviation band demonstrates the feasibility of satellite communication directly with aircraft using existing equipment. The use of satellites in place of ground-based radio systems will enable global real-time communications between pilots and air traffic controllers for the first time.