On September 1st an ECP “European Common Proposals” paper has been pushed onto the CEPT website. This document is the outcome of the work that was done during the CEPT Ankara meeting and will be discussed in the World Radio Conference 2019 in Egypt.
The ECP paper (download link) still looks like an advanced draft. The part that is the most interesting for us amateur radio operators is goes from pages 12 to 16. There are still lots of criticism to be made to this paper. The actual need of frequencies is not assessed and there are still lots of unbacked claims about the high growth of unmanned aircraft. This lack of figures is a point we raised right at the start fo the 2m crisis.
The paragraph j) is quite interesting
that harmonized worldwide allocation would facilitate the implementation of these new aeronautical communication systems;
This makes perfectly sense as a 20km flying aircraft will have a very large footprint and confirms our shred that 144-146Mhz was targeted in order to have a worldwide allocation with the least administrative hassle.
What will happen next? The ECP will be put into on the agenda of the WRC19. If it passes this stages the frequency bands listed in the paper wil be put under study for at least 4 years (until WRC23). Depending on the outcome of those studies the WRC will decide if it is possible or not to have non-safety aeronautical applications on those frequencies.
Frequencies under study will now be:
- 5 000-5 010 MHz
- 5.4-15.7 GHz
- 162.0375-174 MHz
- 862-874 MHz
- 22-22.21 GHz
We will continue to closely monitor this matter, just in case the 144-146MHz band comes back into discussion during the WRC19. Once burned, twice shy