What is RCH on Airbus A320? (Small Unit Of Measurement)

When it comes to aviation, precision and accuracy are of utmost importance. Even the smallest unit of measurement plays a significant role in ensuring safety and efficiency in aircraft operations. On the Airbus A320, a popular narrow-body commercial airliner, one such small unit of measurement is the RCH. In this article, we will explore what the RCH is and how it is used on the Airbus A320.

Understanding the RCH on the Airbus A320

The RCH, which stands for “Radio Communication Handset,” is a small handheld device used by pilots and cabin crew on the Airbus A320 for communication purposes. The device is connected to the aircraft’s intercom system and allows personnel to communicate with each other and with air traffic control (ATC) during various phases of flight.

The RCH has a compact design that allows for easy handling and portability. It features a built-in microphone and earpiece, enabling clear and seamless communication even in noisy cockpit or cabin environments. The device also has a push-to-talk button, which allows users to transmit their voice over the intercom system when pressed.

By using the RCH, pilots can efficiently communicate with other members of the flight crew, such as the first officer, flight engineer, and cabin crew, ensuring smooth coordination and enhancing operational efficiency. The device also enables direct communication with ATC, allowing pilots to receive and transmit important information, such as weather updates, air traffic clearances, and landing instructions.

The RCH serves as a vital tool during critical phases of flight, such as takeoff, landing, and emergency situations. It allows for immediate communication between the flight crew and ATC, enabling prompt decision-making and necessary actions in various scenarios. This enhances the overall safety of the Airbus A320 and its occupants.

Role and Importance of the RCH

The RCH plays a crucial role in ensuring effective communication within the aircraft and between the aircraft and ground personnel. It facilitates seamless information exchange, which is essential for safe and efficient flight operations. The key functions and importance of the RCH on the Airbus A320 are as follows:

1. Inter-Crew Communication

On the Airbus A320, the RCH enables effective inter-crew communication. Pilots can communicate directly with other crew members, including the first officer, flight engineer, and cabin crew, using the device. This allows for timely coordination and enhances situational awareness among the flight crew.

For example, during takeoff and landing, the pilots can use the RCH to communicate important instructions and confirm crucial parameters, such as the aircraft’s speed, configuration, and runway conditions. This ensures that all crew members are aware of the status of the aircraft and can respond promptly to any deviations or emergencies.

2. Communication with Air Traffic Control (ATC)

An essential aspect of flight operations is communication with air traffic control (ATC). The RCH on the Airbus A320 allows pilots to establish direct communication with ATC and receive instructions and clearances. This direct line of communication enables pilots to receive real-time information, such as changes in routing, altitude, and weather conditions.

During approach and landing, pilots rely on ATC instructions to navigate accurately and conduct a safe landing. The RCH serves as a vital tool in exchanging critical information with ATC, ensuring that pilots have the necessary situational awareness to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions.

Moreover, in emergency situations, the RCH allows pilots to communicate the nature of the emergency to ATC and receive guidance on the appropriate course of action. This enables efficient coordination between the flight crew and ATC, enhancing the safety of the aircraft and its occupants.

3. Emergency Communications

In the event of an emergency, clear and immediate communication becomes even more crucial. The RCH on the Airbus A320 serves as a reliable means of communication for the flight crew during emergency situations, allowing them to quickly relay information and receive instructions.

For instance, in the case of a medical emergency on board, cabin crew members can use the RCH to contact the flight deck and seek immediate assistance from the pilots. This enables the flight crew to assess the situation, coordinate with ground medical services if necessary, and take appropriate actions to ensure the well-being of the affected passenger.

The RCH also enables communication in other emergency scenarios, such as engine failures, loss of pressurization, or abnormal situations that require immediate attention. By using the RCH, pilots can promptly inform ATC about the nature of the emergency and receive guidance on the best course of action to mitigate risks and prioritize the safety of all on board.


The RCH, or Radio Communication Handset, is a small yet essential unit of measurement on the Airbus A320. It allows for effective communication between the flight crew, cabin crew, and air traffic control. By using the RCH, pilots can coordinate with their colleagues and receive real-time instructions and clearances from ATC, ensuring safe and efficient flight operations.

The RCH serves as a vital tool during critical phases of flight, emergency situations, and inter-crew communication. Its compact design, built-in microphone and earpiece, and push-to-talk button facilitate clear and seamless communication, enhancing operational efficiency and the overall safety of the Airbus A320 and its occupants.

So the next time you see an RCH in the cockpit or cabin, remember its importance in enabling effective communication and teamwork among aviation professionals.

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