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Watch out for new RCO locations and frequencies

(Brochure and map now available!)

In some parts of the country pilots are discovering they can no longer raise the FIC on 126.7.

The reason is that the redesign of the Remote Communications Outlet (RCO) system, including frequencies, is taking effect as was highlighted in AIC 23/05. FICs no longer monitor 126.7 in areas where a new Flight Information Service En route (FISE) frequency has been established but they still use 126.7 for the Aeronautical Broadcast Service (SIGMET and urgent PIREP) and to conduct communication searches.

For example, recently Jasper-Hinton area, the following FISE RCO change will be made:
• Frequency 126.7 MHz will be installed. This frequency will not be used for FISE or monitored by the Edmonton FIC. It will however be used by the FIC, as required, to provide the aeronautical broadcast service (broadcast of SIGMET and urgent PIREP) and to conduct communication searches for overdue aircraft. It will be published as “126.7 (bcst)”. Pilots will continue to use the 123.55 MHz RCO for FISE.

Fort Good Hope area, the following FISE RCO changes will be made:
• A new FISE RCO frequency 123.55 MHz will be installed at Fort Good Hope. Pilots who require flight planning, weather or NOTAM information should contact the North Bay FIC (call sign "Arctic Radio") on this new frequency.
• 126.7 MHz will no longer be used for FISE or monitored by the FIC. It will however be used by the FIC, as required, to provide the aeronautical broadcast service (broadcast of SIGMET and urgent PIREP) and to conduct communication searches for overdue aircraft. It will be published as “126.7 (bcst)”.

A new FISE RCO frequency 123.55 MHz will be installed at Rankin Inlet. Pilots who require flight planning, weather or NOTAM information should contact the North Bay FIC (call sign "Arctic Radio") on this new frequency.
• 126.7 MHz will no longer be used for FISE or monitored by the FIC. It will however be used by the FIC, as required, to provide the aeronautical broadcast service (broadcast of SIGMET and urgent PIREP) and to conduct communication searches for overdue aircraft. It will be published as “126.7 (bcst)”.

The Mont-Joli FISE RCO frequency will change from 123.25 MHz to 123.37(5) MHz. Pilots who require flight planning, weather or NOTAM information should contact the Quebec FIC (call sign "Quebec Radio") on this new frequency.
• 126.7 MHz will no longer be used for FISE or monitored by the FIC. It will however be used by the FIC, as required, to provide the aeronautical broadcast service (broadcast of SIGMET and urgent PIREP) and to conduct communication searches for overdue aircraft. It will be published as “126.7 (bcst)”.

All the changes above will take effect May 31, 2012 at 0901 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The appropriate aeronautical publications will be amended.

As the transition to the new RCO system occurs, it is important to remember where to find the most up to date information. Currently, the best source to obtain RCO locations and up-to-date frequencies is in the CFS under the FIC entries: Halifax, Quebec, London, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Pacific Radio (Kamloops) and Arctic Radio (North Bay IFSS).

To help further inform pilots of the RCO redesign Nav Canada has published a brochure that describes the RCO Redesign and expands on the AIC which was issued last year. The brochure, along with a map, can be found at

(English) or (French).

The map will be periodically updated as changes occur.

Nav Canada will also publish 126.7 where it is unmonitored. The symbol will be “126.7 (bcst)” with an explanation in legends indicating the frequency is unmonitored and inactive except when the FIC uses it to provide the Aeronautical Broadcast Service or to conduct communication searches.

COPA has been working with Nav Canada over the past few years to help design and implement this change. In addition to the changes noted in this article, we have also requested that all aerodromes in the CFS include a RCO frequency in the COMM section and this will be investigated as well as other options for publication of RCO information in the CFS, on maps and charts.

We have also suggested that Nav Canada ensure that the aeronautical data that they provide to international agencies be formatted so that the FSS “nearest to” function in GPS units will highlight the appropriate FISE frequency.