Isavia ANS ehf., Reykjavíkurflugvelli, 102 Reykjavík /
Isavia ANS, Reykjavik Airport, IS-102 Reykjavik, Iceland
Sími / Telephone: + 354 424 4000 

AIC A 010 / 2021
Effective from  23 APR 2021
Published on 23 APR 2021
Verklag til að minnka álag á fjarskiptatíðni flugturns Reykjavíkurflugvallar/
Procedures to decrease frequency-load on tower frequency at Reykjavik airport

Content Responsibility: Isavia ANS

1 Introduction

1.1 Frequency load

High load on tower frequency 118.0MhZ at Reykjavik airport has been identified.

In 2019, frequency load was assessed in order to analyzed whether there were any opportunities for improvement.

Two days were chosen at random and recordings of the busiest hour each day analyzed. 

1.1.1 Analyze

May 29, 11:00 - 12:00.

  • Runway 13 active. 67 recorded movements.
  • TWR frequency was busy for 1.694 sec. out of 3.600, 47% of the time.
  • Between 11:40 and 11:50 the load was 93%

June 6, 12:00 - 13:00.

  • Runway 01 active. 53 recorded movements.
  • TWR frequency was busy for 1.832 sec. out of 3.600, 51% of the time.
  • Between 12:30 and 12:40 the load was 85%

2 To decrease the frequency load

A project team examined which factors were most likely to create a load on TWR frequency (118.0) and considered possible solutions to reduce that load.

Six items were identified, one of which was to level out the load between Ground and Tower by reducing the time that aircraft are on TWR frequency (118.0) before departure and after landing.

In order to reach that goal, a change was made to ATC procedures in BIRK TWR.

3 Implementation

The change was implemented on December 18, 2019.
Now valid:

  • Aircraft shall remain on ground frequency (121.7 MHz) and controlled by Ground before take-off to the runway holding position and after landing as soon as aircraft has vacated the runway being used for landing.
  • Vehicles shall remain on ground frequency (168.6 MHz) and controlled by Ground exclusively.
  • Tower and Ground coordinate runway movements.


The change effects pilots by:

  • Communication with ATC, which prior to the change took place on tower frequency for taxi before and after each flight, to a greater extent now take place on ground frequency.
  • Pilots can now expect to receive instruction to cross or taxi via runway from Ground. Prior collaboration takes place where Tower approves, dependent on traffic, a request made by Ground to cross or taxi via runway.
  • Instructions to line-up should always take place on tower frequency.

Some pilots have found this change uncomfortable which is understandable as the change affects old habits and customs.

4 Contacts

The following may be contacted for information or to provide feedback:


Netfang / Email:

Sími / Phone:  +354 424 4000


AIC hereby cancelled:  

AIC A010/2020, AIC 003/2019, AIC012/2016, AIC 009/2015 


NOTAM incorporated in this AIC: