Internet radiocommunications compromises safety

A commercial pilot recently reproduced local air traffic radiocommunications over the internet, without the consent of the parties concerned or the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) received a complaint from the airport, concerned of a likely compromise to the safety and integrity of airport operations resulting from unwanted publication of the communications.

Articles 17 and 18 of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulations apply to secrecy of radiocommunications, by both licensees and the general public. New Zealand gives effect to those requirements in the Radiocommunications Act 1989. It is an offence for anyone to disclose the contents, or to reproduce, or to make use of radiocommunications not intended for that person. The Radiocommunications Act 1989 provides for a penalty of up to $30,000.

In consultation with the CAA, who were concerned that the internet streaming breached International Civil Aviation Organization principles, and with assistance of airport staff, RSM was able to quickly locate the offender and visited the property. The pilot, who co-operated with an inspection, was formally warned.