Wings Magazine

406 MHz ELT’s Becoming Mandatory in Canada


406 MHz ELT’s Becoming Mandatory in Canada

The COSPAS satellite monitoring of the frequency 121.5 Mhz is going to be discontinued on Feb. 1, 2009.

April 25, 2008  By Carey Fredericks

April 25, 2008 – UHF ELT’s (406 Mhz) have been around for some time now. Back in 2003, Transport Canada issued a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) dealing with the issue of compliance to ICAO operating rules by Canadian operators. At that time ICAO policy was that as of January 2005, all ELTs should have the capability to operate in both 406 Mhz and 121.5 Mhz simultaneously.

At the time, Transport Canada proposed the introduction of a requirement that Canadian aircraft used in international air transport services should be equipped with 406 Mhz ELTs. Transport Canada did not at that time mandate the use of 406 Mhz ELTs for domestic operations.

That is about to change…. In the very near future – Feb 1, 2009 to be precise – the COSPAS
satellite monitoring of the frequency 121.5 Mhz is going to be discontinued. That will dramatically reduce the level of safety provided by VHF ELT’s. Basically the only form of VHF ELT detection available after that date will be by other aircraft, and SAR resources. Accordingly, Transport Canada has now tabled NPA’s 2007- 031/032/033.

These NPA’s mandate that all Canadian-registered aircraft are to be equipped with UHF ELT’s. Older VHF ELT’s will not be acceptable under the new requirements. We anticipate that these NPA’s will be ‘fast-tracked’ into formal CAR’s regulations by the middle of this year, given the timeline on the discontinuance of satellite monitoring. The compliance window for equipage is anticipated to be 2 years from the date of Final Rule, subject to certain caveats.


KAAV recently announced an exciting new supplier relationship that is significant and timely.
We are very pleased to be appointed as the Eastern Canada Service Center and Distributor for the Artex line of ELTs. Artex is the world leader in the manufacture of UHF ELT Systems.

The Artex product line is extensive, and designed to fill the needs of all segments of aviation from light GA to heavy Air Transport. Pricing on their UHF ELT Systems starts at $995.00 – plus installation costs. These are available now, both with and without Nav Interface capability (which enables broadcast of last known Lat/Long position).

For more information or discussion on this or other issues, please contact either Barry Aylward or Bill Arsenault. You can reach them by email at and


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