I'm studying IFR. Does an aircraft equipment suffix specify if and how many VOR radios are installed?

I'm guessing that the suffix is used by ATC to know if they can give you an RNAV or a an approach that requires DME, so maybe the number of VOR radios is irrelevant? Or maybe ATC assumes that you have a certain number of VOR radios installed?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Are you asking about US Domestic (FAA) or ICAO codes? $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Apr 30, 2018 at 1:16
  • $\begingroup$ I was originally thinking FAA codes. $\endgroup$
    – slantalpha
    Apr 30, 2018 at 1:33

1 Answer 1


If you look at the AIM TBL 5−1−3 Aircraft Equipment Suffixes it is split into two parts. The first part has the codes for RVSM which don’t apply to you since I presume you aren’t flying above FL 290. The second part doesn’t mention VORs at all, presumably because historically VOR and DME were almost always used together for IFR navigation. So ATC doesn’t know if you have any VORs based on your equipment suffix. However, if you use /A then they would assume you have VOR capability.

If you have a GPS installed in your plane, then you would be a /G and ATC would know that they can give you an RNAV approach. If you have a GPS installed, then you can use it in lieu of DME. The footnote to Table 1-1-6 gives the conditions when it is applicable.

3 Requires current database or verification that the procedure has not been amended since the expiration of the database.

ATC wouldn’t know if your database is current, so it is up to you to accept or reject the clearance.

AOPA has a good article describing when you can use GPS in lieu of ADF and DME.

There is also a StackExchange question that discusses it as well.


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