RIC-21 — Study Guide for the Restricted Operator Certificate With Aeronautical Qualification (ROC-A)

Issue 3
February 2010

Spectrum Management and Telecommunications
Radiocommunication Information Circular

Preface

Radiocommunication Information Circulars are issued for the guidance of those engaged in radiocommunications in Canada. The information contained in these circulars is subject to change without notice. It is therefore suggested that interested persons consult the nearest district office of Industry Canada for additional details. While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure accuracy, no warranty is expressed or implied. As well, these circulars have no status in law.

Comments and suggestions may be directed to the following address:

Industry Canada
Spectrum Management Operations Branch
300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C8

Attention: Spectrum Management Operations

E-mail: spectrum_pubs@ic.gc.ca

All Spectrum Management and Telecommunications publications are available on the following website: http://www.ic.gc.ca/spectrum.


Contents

  1. Intent
  2. Background
  3. Candidate Requirements
  4. Regulations
  5. Operating Procedures
  6. Emergency Communications
  7. Urgency Communications

1. Intent

The intent of this document is to provide study information for the ROC-A. Restricted Operator Certificates are issued for life and no revalidation is required. Contact your local district office of Industry Canada if your certificate is lost or requires replacement.

2. Background

An ROC-A is required by operators of radiotelephone equipment on board aircraft and at aeronautical land (fixed and mobile) radio stations using aeronautical mobile frequencies. The radiotelephone equipment at such stations shall be of a type that requires only simple external switching, has a power output not exceeding 250 watts effective radiated power (e.r.p.) – equivalent to 400 watts peak envelope power (PEP) – and where all frequency-determining elements are preset within the transceiver.

3. Candidate Requirements

3.1 Exam

Examinations for the ROC-A are to be conducted by examiners accredited by Industry Canada. These examiners are typically individuals who are engaged in the aeronautical industry.

Please visit Industry Canada's website at www.ic.gc.ca/radio-operator to find an examiner near you.

The examination may consist of written, practical and oral exercises. The candidate must satisfy an examiner that he or she:

  • is capable of operating radiotelephone equipment;
  • possesses a general knowledge of radiotelephone operating procedures and of international regulations applicable to the aeronautical service, specifically those regulations relating to the safety of life; and
  • possesses a general knowledge of the Radiocommunication Act and the regulations made thereunder.

3.2 Eligibility

There are no nationality or age restrictions as to who may take the examination or hold an ROC-A. Candidates must attest that they do not have a disability that would impair their ability to operate a radio station safely.

3.3 Documentation

Identification must be presented at the examination. A valid passport, driver's licence, birth certificate, baptismal certificate, citizenship certificate or landed immigrant identification card will all be accepted as proof of identity, at the discretion of the examiner.

4. Regulations

4.1 Priorities of Communications - Aeronautical Service

The order of priority for transmission of messages in the aeronautical service is:

  1. Distress communications.
  2. Urgency communications.
  3. Communications relating to radio direction-finding.
  4. Flight safety messages.
  5. Meteorological messages.
  6. Flight regularity messages.
  7. Messages relating to the application of the United Nations Charter.
  8. Government messages for which priority has been expressly requested.
  9. Service communications relating to the workings of the telecommunication service or to communications previously exchanged.
  10. All other aeronautical communications.

4.2 Privacy of Communications

Radio operators and all persons who become acquainted with radiocommunications are bound to preserve the privacy of those communications. In accordance with subsection 9(2) of the Radiocommunication Act, no person shall divulge the contents, or the existence, of communications transmitted, received or intercepted by a radio station, except as permitted by the addressee of the message or his/her accredited agent, or to authorized officials of the Government of Canada, officers of the court or an operator of a telecommunications system as is necessary to forward or deliver the communication. These restrictions do not apply to a message of distress, urgency, safety or to messages addressed to "ALL STATIONS" (i.e. weather reports, storm warnings, etc.).

As outlined in section 9.1 of the Act, any person who violates the privacy of communications is liable, on summary conviction, in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both, or, in the case of a person other than an individual, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding seventy-five thousand dollars.

4.3 Control of Communications

In communications between aeronautical ground stations and aircraft stations, the aircraft station shall comply with instructions given by the ground station in all matters relating to the order and time of transmission, the choice of frequency and the duration and suspension of communications. This does not apply in the cases of distress or urgency communications, where the control lies with the station initiating the priority call.

The operation of an aircraft station is under the control of the pilot or another person in charge of the station.

In communications between aeronautical ground stations and aircraft stations, it is normally the ground station that retains communications control. In communications between aircraft stations, however, the aircraft station being called is the controlling station.

If the station called is in agreement with the calling station, it shall transmit an indication that from that moment onwards it will listen on the working frequency or channel announced by the calling station. However, if the station called is not in agreement with the calling station on the working frequency or channel to be used, it shall transmit an indication of the working frequency or channel to be used.

Examples:

(a) Ground station calling an aircraft (the ground station has control of radiocommunications)

PIPER CHARLIE FOXTROT X-RAY QUEBEC QUEBEC
THIS IS
OTTAWA RADIO
GO AHEAD ON TOWER FREQUENCY ONE TWO TWO DECIMAL ONE
OVER

(b) Aircraft calling a ground station (the ground station has control of radiocommunications)

OTTAWA RADIO
THIS IS
PIPER CHARLIE FOXTROT X-RAY QUEBEC QUEBEC
ON FREQUENCY ONE TWO TWO DECIMAL ONE
OVER

(c) One aircraft to another aircraft (the aircraft being called has control of radiocommunications)

CESSNA CHARLIE FOXTROT X-RAY QUEBEC TANGO
THIS IS
PIPER CHARLIE FOXTROT X-RAY QUEBEC QUEBEC
ON FREQUENCY ONE ONE NINE DECIMAL SEVEN
OVER
PIPER CHARLIE FOXTROT X-RAY QUEBEC QUEBEC
THIS IS
CESSNA CHARLIE FOXTROT X-RAY QUEBEC TANGO
CHANGE TO SEARCH AND RESCUE FREQUENCY ONE TWO
THREE DECIMAL SIX
OUT

4.4 Superfluous Communications and Interference

Radiocommunications between aeronautical stations should be restricted to those relating to safety and flight regularity. In accordance with subsection 32(1) of the Radiocommunication Regulations, superfluous communication, as well as profane and obscene language, is strictly prohibited.

Any person who violates the regulations relative to unauthorized communications, profane or obscene language is liable, on summary conviction, in the case of an individual, to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both, or, in the case of a corporation, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars.

The Act clearly states that all radio stations shall be operated so as not to interfere with or interrupt the working of another radio station. The penalties for doing so are the same as those noted above. The only situation under which you may interrupt or interfere with the normal working of another station is when you are required to transmit a higher priority call or message, for example, distress, urgency or other priority calls or messages.

4.5 False Distress Signals

Paragraph 9(1)(a) of the Act clearly states that no person shall knowingly send, transmit, or cause to be sent or transmitted any false or fraudulent distress signal, message, call or radiogram of any kind. Penalties for this offence, on summary conviction, in the case of an individual, can include a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both, or, in the case of a corporation, to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars.