Video: Air traffic on the HF bands

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Hawkins, who writes:

Air traffic bands on VHF is well-known.

Not so well-known are the shortwave (HF) communications networks that must be operated by transoceanic flights.

This is an ARINC station for San Francisco, California. I am located about 70 miles inland from this station. I assume ARINC is using a directional antenna system beamed westward toward the Pacific Ocean.

I recorded this video of an ARINC station late last night for my YouTube channel.

Click here to view on YouTube.

Many thanks, Dan!

I enjoy monitoring air traffic on VHF and often forget that when I’m outside the range of an airport’s tower, I can still hop on HF and often hear international traffic. Thanks again!

Spread the radio love

5 thoughts on “Video: Air traffic on the HF bands

  1. Mario

    Great post Dan, and very inspirational to ute fanciers. Transoceanic HF aero comms have been around for decades and provide interesting listening. Also, if you have MultiPSK, you can try decoding those SELCAL tones, a bit of a challenge but still fun. And don’t forget all the VOLMET broadcasts that are pretty much available 24/7.

    Check out for interesting info on airports, and look at those TAFS (Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts) and METARS ( surface weather obs), which make up the verbiage of the VOLMETS.
    Also the FAA has chart supplements that have info of interest:

    Have fun all and thanks Thomas for posting Dan’s great article.

    1. Tom Servo

      Speaking of VOLMETs, one of them has been airing “no report” from each location over and over for what seems like a week or two. I can’t remember if it’s NY or Gander but someone has been broken for a while.

  2. Tom Servo

    Although the page isn’t updated anymore, I’ve found the list at to be pretty useful. From coastal Alabama I’ve heard bits and pieces from the North Atlantic, North Pacific, Caribbean and one of the South American groups. It just seems to be a matter of being on the right frequency at the right time. The only ones that I really hear both the ground and air are the ones coming from New York, though.

  3. Bill Lee

    Yes, Pacific side dxers were getting, when on a hill, HF from Singapore.

    I think this also results on hits from Diego Garcia, a rare catch.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.