For those who have been in and around the military radio hobby scene for some years, you will no doubt at some stage have come across the titles Airwaves and Callsigns.
For those who are unaware of such titles, these were annual A5-sized books published and were handy reference guides to VHF and UHF military airband frequencies, air-to-air refuelling areas, AWACS orbiting zones and current callsigns being used by squadrons in the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, USAF and other military air assets.
These would regularly become some of the most commonly used items in the radio shack when spending hours in front of the radios. The pages would become covered in pencil marks and the corners bent and torn, but there was nothing quite as exciting as flicking through the latest callsign book to identify who you had just intercepted.
The annual frequency update process was also something to enjoy each year as the new Airwaves book dropped through the letter box. A lot of this was taking place back in the days when radio scanners were manually programmed, and computer uploads facilities were only just starting to appear for many. We still have numerous copies of both Airwaves and Callsigns in the shack purely for historical purposes as the information will now be wildly out of date.
The last Airwaves and Callsigns books were published in 2016 and since then there has been a large gap in the hobby scene for a good quality hard copy publication focussing on frequencies. There’s a vast array of online resources available but in our opinion you can’t beat a printed copy to work your way through.
And now we have that opportunity once again with the UK Airband Frequency Guide 2020 produced by Rick King. The printed ring-bound book now well and truly fills the void which was left following the end of Airwaves.
The UK Air Frequency Guide 2020 includes the following:
Common frequencies (airports, gliders, ops)
Airports A to Z (both civil and military)
ATC including civil, military and high-level Euro
Military frequencies including air defence, air-to-air refuelling and operations
Air Display frequencies
Frequency list in ascending order
Costing only £15 the UK Air Frequency Guide 2020 is well worth the minimal investment which also includes an annual subscription to regular frequency updates online through their website. As well as the UK Air Frequency Guide, the website also hosts a range of other low-cost services which may be of interest to the military radio enthusiast including subscription-based frequency download in various formats for easy upload to your radio scanner, civil and military callsigns, various open source aviation maps to name but a few.
For the price of what in real terms would be a few pints down in the local pub (pre-lockdown of course) the book is an excellent addition to your radio collection. The online services also cater for those who prefer digital downloads and regardless of how long you have been involved in the military radio hobby, the site is worth a visit.
Our edition of the UK Air Frequency Guide is now readily accessible in the shack and is getting frequent use, and we will certainly be continuing to subscribe to future editions of the publication in years to come.
Find out more about the UK Air Frequency Guide at https://ukafg.co.uk