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Aviation depends on access to an adequate and predictable radio spectrum. Spectrum is a very limited and ​valuable resource required for flight, airlines and air traffic management operations.​ Global allocations of radio spectrum are agreed by the member States of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC), which meet every 3-4 years. IATA takes a leading role in defining and representing airline requirements at these meetings.

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The resolutions that come out of these meetings become radio regulations and, once signed by states, have the status of international treaties.

ICAO Collaboration for WRC 2023

We work closely with ICAO through Frequency Spectrum Management Panel in developing joint aviation positions in preparation for these ITU conferences. We encourage our member airlines, States and Air Navigation Service Providers to support ​the ICAO aviation position for WRC-2023 (pdf).

WRC 2019 Outcomes

Decisions taken ​​at the WRC have far-reaching effects on air transport. Following the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from 28 October to 22 November 2019, the Final Acts of the WRC-19 (pdf) were published. WRC-19 agreements are enshrined in the Final Acts for incorporation into the ITU Radio Regulations (edition of 2020), the international treaty governing the global use of radio-frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. Read the outcomes of the WRC-2019 (pdf) pertaining to aviation.


Learn more about aviation usages of frequency spectrum​ (pdf). ​