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Why does an airport with a Control Tower frequency also have a UNICOM frequency?

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General Aviation

Why does an airport with a Control Tower frequency that's also it's CTAF have a UNICOM frequency?  After the tower closes should pilots use the CTAF or the UNICOM to advise others of position and intent?  What is the value of the UNICOM frequency?

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1 Answers

  1. Nathan Parker on Nov 14, 2011

    If you train at a non-towered field, you accept as normal that the UNICOM frequency is also the CTAF.  This isn’t always true.  The UNICOM frequency has a more fundamental purpose than serving as a CTAF; it’s intended to allow airplanes to communicate with a ground station to request services or airport information.
    At a towered field, the tower frequency is almost always used as the CTAF when the tower is closed.  There will be a UNICOM frequency depicted, but it won’t be the CTAF.

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