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I'm in the process of buying a handheld radio as a backup for when I go flying. According to the owner's manual, I'd need a ground station license to operate it when I'm not actually in an airplane, and to fill out FCC Form 406. But, I can't find any information on a "Form 406" on the FAA's website, and the online application has five different options that seem to be aviation-related ("AA - Aviation Auxiliary Group", "AC - Aircraft", "AF - Aeronautical and Fixed", "CA - Commercial Air-ground Radiotelephone", and "CG - General Aviation Air-ground Radiotelephone"), and I can't figure out which one is applicable.

So, if I wanted to use my shiny new aviation radio on the ground, legally speaking, what license would I need?

(I already have a Restricted Radiotelephone license, if that helps.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Why do you need to use it outside of an aircraft? Just to chat? Or just to listen? $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jan 11 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer I actually can't think of a reason right now why I might need to do so (other than maybe a one-time test). I just like having the option. $\endgroup$ – HiddenWindshield Jan 11 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer - I’ve always wondered if a CFI at a non-towered field would find it useful to be able to use a handheld while their student solos. I know that parachute drop zones have airband ground radios. And, of course, FBOs have them. What about an individual? Just curious. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Jan 11 at 19:11
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    $\begingroup$ Listening probably doesn't require a license, the problem is if you want to talk. FBO's have unicom and are probably allowed under some FAA/FCC rule without the license. If you want to test the radio, sit in the airplane, it's a better test anyway. If you really want the license, I think you need the "CG" version. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jan 11 at 21:37
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    $\begingroup$ There is an FCC form 601, which says it replaces form 406 (and many more) $\endgroup$ – DeltaLima Jan 12 at 22:34

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