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In the 1990s, ICAO determined that future primary long range communications with aircraft would be by HF or SATCOM data link, and so did not make any provision for SATCOM Voice (SATVOICE). However, this transition to data link communications has not happened as envisioned. HF voice communications is still a primary means of long range communication. Under ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), SATVOICE is not recognised as an acceptable means of communication for air traffic services (ATS) purposes.
Some states have allowed SATVOICE to be used instead of carrying a second HF communications system, provided as the aircraft installation and ground segments of the system meet performance standards providing a level of assurance that the system will perform at an acceptable level.
ICAO recognises SATVOICE as a valid means of communication. Satellite Voice Guidance Material (SVGM) has been developed and approved by the ICAO Asia/Pacific Air Navigation Planning and Implementation Regional Planning Group (APANPIRG) and the North Atlantic Systems Planning Group (NAT SPG).
Status in Australia
SATVOICE is not authorised for ATS use in Australia since the Airservices Australia communications infrastructure does not support SATVOICE operations. SATVOICE will not be available for ATS use in Australia for the foreseeable future except as provided for in the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP).
SATVOICE in North Atlantic High Level Airspace (NAT HLA) is permitted when authorised by CASA.
Further information on SATVOICE is available in NAT HLA airspace.