Check your beacon carriage requirements
CASA is Australia’s air safety regulator and has the primary responsibility for the maintenance, enhancement and promotion of the safety of civil aviation in Australia.
We recommend checking the distress beacon carriage requirements for your aircraft with CASA to ensure you are compliant.
Note 1: Analogue beacons using a 121.5 MHz frequency have not been licensed for use since 2010 and can no longer be operated in Australia.
Note 2: 121.5MHz beacons are no longer being monitored by satellites. They will not be detected by the satellite tracking system when activated.
We recommend switching to a GPS equipped 406 MHz beacon as soon as possible. Don’t put your safety in the hands of an unreliable beacon.
Register your beacon
Our online beacon registration system is a mobile friendly and accessible means for registering and updating your beacon information from your mobile phone, tablet or laptop.
Make sure your details are up to date in your online beacon registration account. This includes your contact details and emergency contacts.
You can upload details about your trip plans and photos of your aircraft to help identify you in an emergency.
Having a registered beacon could make all the difference in a life threatening situation.
Save your proof of registration
When required by law, providing proof of registration is easy. The four options are:
- SMS—save your SMS registration confirmation on your mobile phone.
- email—save your confirmation email on your mobile phone or tablet.
- print—print your registration confirmation, or if you have no email, request a printed copy to be sent via mail.
- online—check your beacon registration status online.
If you have an existing beacon registration sticker it will remain valid until it expires.
Check your battery expiry date and dispose responsibly
Regularly check your beacon battery expiry date. If your beacon battery is expired, visit the distress beacon website for responsible beacon disposal options.
It should be noted that even though the beacon appears to be functioning correctly (ie the light operates) after the battery expiry date, this does not mean it will work correctly in a distress situation. Make sure you service your beacon and replace the battery before the expiry date.
If you decide to replace your expired beacon, make sure you dispose of it responsibly.
Australia's SAR system commits many hours and valuable resources searching for unwanted beacons in rubbish tips. This diverts important SAR resources away from real distress situations.
Current disposal options that we offer:
Contact your local battery store to check whether they disconnect and dispose of beacons. A small fee may apply.
Contact your local maritime safety agency. They may be able to provide disposal advice.
Western Australia has individual disposal arrangements and further information is available from the Department of Transport or Department of Transport beacon information.
Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions which may suggest beacon battery servicing or replacement options. Then contact your local waste management facility to ask about disposing of your unwanted beacon in an environmentally friendly way. A small fee may apply.
Store your beacon correctly
Although ELT’s are installed permanently in an aircraft, PLBs and EPIRBs should be kept within easy reach in case of an emergency situation.
It is important to keep distress beacons away from:
- items that may accidentally knock the activation switch
- magnetic sources, such as microphones and radio speakers
- high pressure water sprays
- children who may play with the beacon.
To prevent your beacon being stolen, keep it locked away or out of sight when not in use.
Test your beacon correctly
When testing your beacon, ensure that it is in ‘test mode’ and not in the ‘operational mode’ (refer to the manufacturer’s instructions). Testing in the ‘operational mode’ may accidentally activate the SAR system resulting in the initiation of a SAR response.
If you accidentally activate your beacon, phone us immediately on 1800 815 257. There is no penalty for inadvertent alerts.
To register your beacon or for more information visit the Beacons website or phone 02 6279 5000.