View Full Version : RT Interference at BHX

3rd May 2005, 12:39
This was on the BBC website:

Pilots flying into Birmingham were welcomed with the sounds of an illegal radio station as they tried to speak to air traffic controllers.
Communications watchdog Ofcom was called in to track down the pirate broadcasters after two pilots complained of the musical interference.

Ofcom seized radio equipment after tracking it to a tower block in the Highgate area of the city.

A spokesman said such broadcasts could pose "significant" problems.

He added that passenger safety was not threatened.

The spokesman told BBC News: "The pirate radio station was using a very poor-quality transmitter. It's a lot harder to find the studio than the transmitter

Ofcom spokesman

"It was so malfunctional it was transmitting on two frequencies at the same time.

"We went out and within a matter of hours we found the transmitter at fault and dismantled it.

"Unfortunately, people don't transmit from the same location as the equipment.

"They don't sit next to it with a bag of records. They connect to it remotely from their studio.

"It's a lot harder to find the studio than the transmitter and that's why we haven't made any arrests yet."

He added that they were still investigating the case and were "confident" of finding those responsible.

A spokesman for National Air Traffic Services described the illegal broadcasts as a "minor problem", and added: "It shouldn't happen, these are protected frequencies, but we do have reserved frequencies we can switch to."


3rd May 2005, 13:08
Absolutely nothing new... similar problems have been going on for years - and it will continue while there is so little effective policing of the airwaves in the UK.

Glad the NATS man described it as a minor problem - he's obviously never worn a headset.

3rd May 2005, 13:20
You are correct on one point there, OFCOM, the UK communications regulator is one of the most ineffective regulators I have ever come across.

As an organisation they exist purely to line the pockets of the executives.

You try and get a sensible answer from them, maybe they should be known as the Office of Lack of Communication!

3rd May 2005, 17:39
As an organisation they exist purely to line the pockets of the executives.

Quite a rash statement that would do you no good in court.

Ofcom are virtually useless but this should not be blamed on the people at the top as their hands are tied with the way that Ofcom is structured and the way it has to run - at a PROFIT.

Ofcom suffers from two major problems.

The first is the insistance by central government that there is less regulation - preferably non at all - and that it must be profitable for as long as it exists. This is not party political. The previous administration required the RA (forerunner of Ofcom) to run at a profit.

The second is the attempts by middle rankers within Ofcom to cobble together a variety of scenarios, bypass the bosses and go straight to ministers with the ideas. In some circles it has been alleged that these deals favour major players in big business and will advance careers outside Ofcom.

As the government - whatever flavour - continues with the reduction of regulation then Ofcom will continue to shrink in funding, size, efficiency and scope. You think it can't get much worse? - don't hold your breath.

As the maritime radio licensing has now been disposed of by Ofcom and the CAA is responsible for aircraft/crew licensing so the budget has been slashed. They now plan to dispose of SSL at Bristol who manage the few remaining regulated radio licensing requirements.

When this happens then Ofcom will exist for one purpose only. To look after the frequencies used by telephone systems and digital tv.

This means that the policing of the airwaves will be down to the licensing authority. In respect of the airband frequencies this will be down to the CAA.

A very sad state of affairs driven by greed and stupidity.

3rd May 2005, 18:03
Birmingham's becoming an interesting place to fly into.

A few years ago, on approach there, I had a firework rocket shot at me from a housing estate to the left of the flightpath. I reported it to ATC, who merely replied " Yes, that happens quite a lot there".

4th May 2005, 11:06
The following are fact:

1. Ofcom's running costs far exceed the combined costs of the 5 regulators who were "merged" to form it.

2. The upper management have salaries 3 or 4 times that of the previous regulators.

3. Ofcom is a "Public Corporation" funded by the government (at the moment), they will eventually become self funding through licence fees. They are in no way a profit making organisation.

4. Staffing levels are reducing through compulsary redundancies in line with Lord Currie's "Shrink, shrink, shrink" policy.

Sorry to rant, this is my final posting on this subject. Maybe the thread can now get back on track.

Onan the Clumsy
4th May 2005, 12:13
Maybe he just had the ADF turned on :}

As for getting rockets fired at you, did you release the chaff?

I was out working in the garden at the weekend and now I have big red blotches all over my face and my arms are itching too. Now THERE'S a rash statement.


7th May 2005, 23:17
"i have big red blotches over my face and my arms are itching too"
did she use the name trudy? slim well kept mid forties operated in the crawley area and change from ten quid.

8th May 2005, 12:57
And there was me thinking BHX atco's were serenading us!!