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Asked by: 6644 views Airspace, FAA Regulations

What is the difference between multicom and unicom? Thank you for the feedback.

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4 Answers

  1. John D Collins on Oct 03, 2013


    You ask a fair number of questions that are covered in basic aviation publications. Good resources to answer many of these questions are the AIM, the Instrument Procedures Handbook, The Instrument Flying Handbook, and others and FAA order 7110.65 regarding guidance for controllers. If you don’t have a PDF form of these documents, download them.

    You can find the answer to your question by searching the AIM for “Multicom”. It is also found in the Pilot/Controller Glossary which is included in both the AIM and 7110.65. Research the answer to your question and post it here in your response.

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  2. Dan Chitty on Oct 03, 2013


    Unicom serves as a CTAF at a airport without a tower. A tower freq. also usually serves as a CTAF when the tower is closed which is classified as unicom

    Multicom is for airports without a tower unicom frequency. There are 5 frequencies designated as unicom.

    KINT for example lists tower feq. 123.75 as also CTAF when tower is closed. But I do see unicom 122.95 but I am not clear as to the purpose of 122.95 when you can simply use 123.75 as the CTAF.

    Let me know your thoughts. Your feedback is much appreciated.

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  3. John D Collins on Oct 04, 2013

    At a towered airport, usually the tower frequency is used as the CTAF when the tower is not operating. A unicom frequency at a towered airport is normally assigned to one of the FBO’s at the airport and is available for the pilot to communicate with the FBO, Normally communicating with the FBO is only done when when off the taxiway – runways and on the non movement area of the airport (IOW the ramp where you are not required to be in contact with ground control. Other uses of the unicom might be while airborne to arrange for services with the FBO or to alert them and those you will be meeting of the time of your arrival. I have used it to have the FBO call a taxi for me. If you are receiving ATC services, you need to get permission to leave the frequency to talk to unicom. If you are VFR, not receiving services from ATC nor required to be in contact with ATC, you are free to call unicom when in range.

    At an un-towered airport, if there is a Unicom, it is normally used as the CTAF frequency. It is normally manned by the local FBO or airport facility. You use this frequency for position reports, talking to other aircraft at the airport, and obtaining services from the FBO.

    If the un-towered airport does not have a Unicom, then typically the Multicom frequency 122.9 is used by aircraft as the CTAF frequency.

    In any case, consult the AFD or sectional to determine which frequency to use as the CTAF frequency. On the sectional, the CTAF frequency is followed by a white c inside a circle with a filled in background.

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  4. Dan Chitty on Oct 04, 2013

    Thank you John. Much appreciated. Hope all is well.

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