Business & GA

FAA, FCC Investigating Misuse of ‘Mayday’ Frequency

By S.L. Fuller | August 17, 2017

File photo

File photo

The FAA and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Enforcement Bureau are investigating the misuse of the frequency 121.5 MHz, according to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). Commonly known as the “Mayday” frequency, it is dedicated for use in emergency and distress situations.

An FAA report on the nonemergency use of 121.5 MHz led to the first FCC Enforcement Advisory of the year, NBAA said. The advisory emphasized that the FCC Enforcement Bureau “will aggressively enforce the rules related to aviation radio operations,” according to the association.

FCC rules prohibit false distress and emergency messages, as well as “all superfluous communications,” NBAA said. It continued that this includes obscene, profane or indecent messages; general calls not addressed to a specific station; routine messages; radio tests; and recorded audio such as music.

For air-to-air communication, NBAA said pilots should use 122.750 MHz.

Receive the latest avionics news right to your inbox