Current/Past NAT HF Frequencies

The current (November/2018) North Atlantic (MWARA - Major World Air Route Area) HF frequency structure used by Shanwick is as follows:-

Family
2/3 kHz
4/6 kHz
8 kHz
11/13 kHz
18 kHz
A
3016/QA
5598/TA
8906/VA
13306/YA

B 2899/QB 5616/TB 8864/VB 13291/YB
C 2872/QC 5649/TC 8879/VC 11336/XC
13306/YC

D 2971/QD 4675/TD 8891/VD
11279/XD


F 3476/QF 6622/TF 8831/VE 13291 17946
H* 2965
3491
5583
6556
6667

10021
10036
11363
I*
2860
2881
2890
3458
3473
3488
5484
5568
6550
6595

10066
J*
2869
2944
2992
3446
3473
4651
4666
4684
5460
5481
5559
5577
6547
895411276
VOLMET 3413 5505 8957 13264

* These are the Regional Domestic Air Route Area (RDARA) frequencies, which are used on a tactical basis and are used individually or by common network agreement between the NAT aeronautical stations.

Family A: assigned to flights with reporting coordinates between 43N and 47N
Families B & C: assigned to flights with reporting coordinates between 47n and 64N. Primary assignment for aircraft flying central routes.
Family D: assigned to flights with reporting coordinates north of 62N
Family F: assigned to aircraft routes entirely within the Gander and Shanwick areas. Assigned on a tactical basis and coordinated between Shanwick and Gander.
Families H, I & J: RDARA assigned on a tactical basis.

(Note: The two letter alpha designators, (e.g. 'QA' for 3016) are codes assigned by Shannon Aeradio that appear in internal printouts, etc., rather than displaying the actual frequencies.)

Since the 22nd April 2013, is that the historical practice of assigning aircraft registered west of 30° west HF Family 'B' frequencies and east of 30° west HF Family 'C' frequencies, will no longer apply.

During the 1960's the frequency assignment was slightly different, e.g. 5649 was 5638 and 8906 was 8947, etc. In addition extra stations were operating on the 'net' (not Internet!), i.e. Goose Bay, Frobisher, Lisbon, London (Birdlip), Paris, Madrid, Copenhagen, Prince Christian, Sondrestrom, Stavanger and of course Shannon (Ballygirreen) and Prestwick were separate stations.
Generally the American registered flights routinely worked Shannon and the European registered flights worked Prestwick.
The aeronautical radio station of Birdlip (call-sign 'London') was established by the RAF at Birdlip (receiver site) and Winstone (transmitter site), in the Cotswolds, UK during the Second World War, it was later operated by the civil authorities for air traffic communications. In January 1966 Ballygirreen took over the communications role from Birdlip. For further detailed information on the Birdlip operation see my book (details below).
Although much of this particular U.K. based structure was demolished by 1970, some of the site still remains to-day (see current image of the old Winstone transmitter location below):-

Also on HF were the various Ocean Station weather ships, A/B/C/D/E/I/J/J/K/M, for example OWS 'J' operated on 2868, 3023.5, 3095, 5626.5, 8913.5 and 13324.5

Indeed during 1980 the following stations were still working the Atlantic with HF coverage, as per the frequencies listed (click on this image to enlarge):-

These earlier reports were all copied on my first valve driven, non-digital, Philips domestic SW receiver, image below:-

Compare this to my current equipment (image below). The Eddystone 680X (bottom set on the LHS) although a vintage machine, was only acquired in 2012. The majority of my monitoring these days is done on the digital Lowe HF-225, simply due to the ease of the digital frequency display, coupled with the fact that I can punch in the frequencies directly from a remote keypad. The screen on the RHS is used to display VHF/HF ACARS traffic and the centre monitor for military/civil UK tracking.


By May 2016, after three years research, I had completed writing the history the old U.K. based Birdlip station (see comments above) but due to popular demand this was quickly sold out. I have now (December 2018) published a revised, enlarged edition, with some 470 pages and over 250 b&w illustrations; see copy of the book covers below. It is available from me, at STG£27.50 (inc' p&p), with payment via PayPal, via my e-mail address:- downrange@eircom.net -