Let's say I am building a single seat aircraft for flying in one's own country(India). What should be minimum set (Not only from compliance prospective but to have core set of communication for security and safety reasons with ATC or other receivers ) of things I must have on my aircraft?

Background : We are planning to provide this set of Radio systems for Hobby Aircraft builders.

Update : As per the answer, It is cleat that one do not need to have radio system always in the flight.

  • $\begingroup$ The minimum equipment required (if any) will be defined by the DGCA regulations. The minimum equipment that pilots want (and are prepared to pay for!) may be different. It seems that there's at least one EAA chapter in India, and they might be a useful source. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Apr 18, 2018 at 14:39

2 Answers 2


According to DGCA Rule 63 you need a radio onboard to operate both VFR and IFR

63. Aircraft for which radio apparatus is obligatory-

(1). All aircraft registered in India and required to be operated in accordance with VFR/IFR condition shall be provided with communication equipment which is capable of conducting two-way communication at all times with those aeronautical stations and on those frequencies as prescribed by the appropriate authority. The communication equipment so provided shall be of a type approved by the airworthiness authority of the country of manufacture of aircraft and acceptable to the Director General.

(2). An aircraft shall be provided with navigation equipment which will enable it to proceed :

(a)   in accordance with the flight plan; and

(b)   in accordance with the requirement of air traffic services, except
      when, if not so precluded by the appropriate authority, navigation for
      flights under the visual flight rules is accomplished by visual
      reference to landmarks at least every 110 kms (60 Nautical Miles).

DGCA Rule 9 also adds some stipulations to the operation of the radio its self

9. Radio-telegraph apparatus -

(1) No person shall operate radio transmitting apparatus in any aircraft registered in India unless he holds a licence of the type required by the provisions of Part V in respect of aircraft required by these rules to carry radio-telegraph or radio-telephone apparatus, as the case may be, and issued in accordance with those provisions.

(2) Radio-transmitting apparatus carried in aircraft shall be operated under the conditions defined by the International Tele-communication Convention (Madrid, 1932) and the general radio-communication regulations annexed thereto as far as these apply and shall be operated only during the hours in which such operation is permitted by the Central Government.

(3) Aircraft registered in India and required by these rules to carry radio-telegraph apparatus shall be fitted with such apparatus in accordance with the provisions of Part VII.

(4) Nothing in this rule shall exempt any person from those provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and the rules made thereunder which require that radio-telegraph apparatus shall be licensed.

You can find the rest of the rules here. I went through them briefly and cant find a whole lot on certifying home built aircraft. Or what rules they would actually fly under. There is a short list of things related to actually getting an airworthiness cert here but it does not touch on VFR/IFR classifications related to that.

As for the safety aspect of it, that depends on your countries aviation infrastructure and if carrying a radio benefits you. If no one is listening on the other end then its not going to add much but weight to the aircraft. From a regulatory standpoint you may need it to enter certain airspaces (you may also need a transponder for that as well) I cant find a whole lot on the DGCA website about airspace regulations so its hard to say exactly when you would need one. I can only compare it to places I have flown and here in the US while you don't legally need a radio in uncontrolled airspace its still a good idea to have one and to use it as you should (CTAF announcements, flight following if you like, 121.5 if you need it etc.)


The minimum? Nothing.

Requirements may be different in each country (but I'm fairly certain this is standard throughout the world) here in the U.K. there is no requirement to carry a radio in an aircraft - this of course limits which airports you can fly into and which airspace you can fly in.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't see how this answers the question, which is about equipment requirements in India. If you can link to the Indian regulations or another reliable source, that would be helpful. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Apr 18, 2018 at 11:58

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