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Aviation Communication International standards

Posted by Ward on September 17, 2004

In Reply to: International standard posted by Shae on September 17, 2004

: : : : : : : : This term is common enough and used in radio communications, and even now, more casually in email communications. eg. I'll be off the air for a while, but I'll email you later.

: : : : : : : : I assume this originated from the term 'air waves', but can anyone tell me when?

: : : : : : : : Also there seem to have been some transitions re communication rules as well.

: : : : : : : : eg. Once to acknowledge receipt of a radio communication people would say 'roger', 'over' - seems to be used to indicate that you've finished what you're saying but you're 'handing over' for a response, 'out' seems to finalise the communication. Dunno what 'Roger Wilco (sp?)' is supposed to signify. But I've heard variations such as 'roger that' - which seems to be yes, I acknowledge or understand, but then I also thought that 'roger' meant the same thing - so when was the word 'that' appended? And the very latest is 'copy that', which seems to mean the same thing.

: : : : : : : : Are there consistent international rules? Does anyone know them? What is the correct lingo now?

: : : : : : : We've had a number or good discussions about "Roger" (note the R) and "Wilco" (will comply) ... all available in the archives. try typing these words into the Search box.

: : : : : : Yes, I did search for something different hence I didn't find all that. ie. I was looking for on & off air.

: : : : : : But doing a Roger and Roger Wilco search still only answers one of my questions. So I'll list the remaining questions...

: : : : : : When and why was 'roger that' introduced and did it replace 'roger' or 'roger wilco'?

: : : : : : When and where would 'over' and/or 'out' be used instead and by whom?

: : : : : : As above for 'copy that'?

: : : : : : What is the current standard - or is there a current standard?

: : : : : : Who introduced the term on/off the air and when?

: : : : : Roger didn't replace anything. It appeared in 1941 and was subsequently replaced by Romeo.

: : : : :
: : : : : But if you really want to know the history of Aviation terminolgy, chapter and verse, the site below is a good start, plus there are quite a few others according to Google.

: : : : Isn't Romeo just part of the communication alphabet (representing 'R') (ie. the IPA) - eg. alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, echo, foxtrot, golf, hotel, india, etc., I don't recall it ever being used in lieu of signifying the end or passing over of radio communication? I don't remember a cross over of Roger and Romeo during my pilot training - but hey, it's been a while.

: : : : In fact, when I first learnt to fly we had to say 'over' whenever we finished our comms & wanted a reply, but apparently these days in Australia - when flying small planes we no longer bother with any of that 'roger', over and out stuff - that's something I read on the net as being our latest standards, not something I've experienced.

: : : : So, that takes me back to wondering if there's an international standard and if so, what that is. Remembering that it's more than aviation, it's used by the army,the navy, police, even private industries requiring radio comms such as major construction, etc., and if we believe the 'Bourne Supremacy' - (well it WAS in colour so it HAD to be true), the Secret Service, etc.

: : : : I did some googling (and used other engines) to see if I could find a standard, but could only find technological standards, not terminology standards.

: : : : OK, so now I'm trying one more idea. My brother's in the army. Done his time in East Timor etc., so he's gotta be good for something. I can't ring him til tonight Darwin time, but I'm gonna ask him if he can sort me out on this one. Meanwhile however, any other contributions gratefully accepted.

: : : There's definitely an international standard for aviation. I think it maybe based on the American FAA. I know the standard language is English.

: : The international standard for aviation and marine purposes is at

: I should have qualified that by saying the international standard for *civilian* aviation and marine purposes . . .

: Military, police and citizen band enthusiasts have their own jargon.

Two things...........the early days of aviation had radios that were pretty crappy with lots of noise. So the alphabet and the jargon 'wilco','roger', and all was an attempt to get a standard set of words that would less likely be misunderstood in all the static. The protocall of messages with 'over and out' and all that specific terminology was part of that attempt to construct phrases that would be heard in the noise.
Yes, there are a set of international standards for aviation radio communication. And yes, they are based on, but not totally congruent to the FAA standards. They cover the technology (frequencies, etc) and the form of communication and the words. These standards are designed to make best use of air time, and, because of the regular formats, make it easier for pilots to anticipate what might be coming and to understand the instruction/comment with little need for additional dialog. I've flown in different parts of the world, and although the universal language of aviation is supposed to be English, you couldn't tell sometimes--- although the air traffic people can usually understand and react appropriately to an English speaking pilot.