Bill’s Site
[Formerly the Maritimes Scanning Site, and commonly known as Marscan]

Opening page Last updated December 12, 2018
(Subsidiary pages are updated separately)

On the Web since the last century
from Halifax, Nova Scotia


 While this site contains a great deal of information, including some on the Maritimes Trunk Mobile Radio System, it does not list talk groups or identify individual radios.  This note is intended to save you time, if that is what you are looking for!


Over the years this website has evolved and downsized to become a place to visit and learn from descriptive articles, and to find links of interest.   Many of my links and other material go beyond radio and are here strictly for my convenience in my wide-ranging set of interests, you are of course free to use them as well. I am not responsible for content on any linked page.   Please email me  marscan1 AT with any comments.  Please note that descriptive articles are intended for the general radio enthusiast rather than electronics engineers and the like, and therefore may sacrifice detail in favour of general understanding.

Those of you looking for up-to-the-minute lists and discussions regarding scanning in the Maritimes should check the following sites:

For information and discussion re Atlantic Canada radio in general check out and join in.
 For radio information and discussion for practically everywhere, go to

HISTORICAL NOTE: This site is now more than eighteen years old but is now a mere remnant of its former self, which was the Maritimes Scanning Site or “Marscan”.  It was the premier radio website for the Maritimes and was featured internationally in the August 2003 edition of Monitoring Times. Nowadays it covers just a few topics of particular interest to myself that are not adequately covered elsewhere.      My thanks to the many contributors over the years,  some of you very major back in the formative years and some in the later ones... you know who you are, and as well those who contributed once or a few times.   I have heard from some of you that this site was what really got you going in scanning back when we were still trying to figure out TMR1, and in the years since.  I am very pleased to hear that the site was of some use and inspiration to you.  It was a pleasure!   My life has evolved over time and this has greatly affected this site. For one thing I am older and not so full of the energy required to keep this thing updated and dynamic.  Another is that the huge surge surrounding the introduction of the trunked radio systems is essentially over.  Thirdly, much of the radio traffic of greatest interest to many former listeners is now encrypted and therefore "gone".  Fourthly, I myself am now employed within a major component of the radio systems of Nova Scotia and therefore not able to comment or describe as I previously was able to do.



I think it is fair to say that this is my radio specialty. In my commutes I listen to music or broadcast radio, but chances are I will also be listening to aeronautical radio.  Weird you might say, but I enjoy it. I have been interested in aircraft since my childhood days in the fifties, watching Lancasters and CF-100's operating out of Comox on Vancouver Island.  I have been listening to aeronautical radio for several decades and have become very familiar with it, and with the procedures used n air movements.  I combine radio listening with live observation out at the local airport, plus I very commonly watch the flights on sites such as and  that depict aero traffic in real-time and near real-time.  I often use Flightaware for aero arrivals and departures at Halifax and elsewhere. My pages focus on Halifax but are useful for others in the Maritimes and elsewhere.

Many enthusiasts have set up on-line aero radio feeds around the world, so you can listen on your computer or phone without having to own a radio receiver. I sometimes listen to a feed from the vicinity of Halifax airport. Click here to access ATC Live's Halifax page. At this page, select CYHZ Del/Gnd/Twr/App and selecting your favoured medium (MP3, Windows Media Player or in your browser).  To find other areas enter the appropriate code in the search box at the upper left.  I commonly also listen to Moncton Centre remote transmissions from Yarmouth (enter CYQI) and also Boston Center's 133.45 from Cape Cod (enter ZBW)

Listening to high flyers?  What does it mean when they report "light chop" or "moderate turbulence"?  See the explanation of this kind of comment at this page.

Halifax Airport Frequencies at a Glance
(More frequencies, including regional ones are on my pages linked below.)


123.95 Clearance Delivery
121.9 Ground Control
118.4 Tower   
119.2 Terminal
118.7 Terminal VFR
128.55 Arrival (rarely used)
123.275 Halifax Radio


129.25 Jazz/AC De Ice  
122.35 Swissport De Ice (Westjet)
122.95 Inland Tech De Ice (Porter) 
129.1 Gateway FBO 
123.4 Shell Innotech FBO
129.3 Esso Avitat FBO
130.8 Air Canada Ops
130.175 Air Canada STOC
130.375 Air Canada LOAD
128.9 Jazz Ops
129.375 Jazz Maintenance
131.275 Westjet Ops
130.65 Swissport (United / Air Transat Ops)
129.475 Strategic Aviation
(Sunwing & Flair Ops)
131.925 Morningstar (Fedex)
131.875 Cargojet
130.075 Air St Pierre Ops

Some other local area frequencies of note:

126.2 Shearwater Tower and Advisory
134.1 Shearwater Radar
121.7 Shearwater Ground

122.8 Stanley & Trenton Unicom
123.0 Debert Unicom

118.1 Greenwood Terminal


Halifax Airport Webcams

 Public Webcam (from the terminal toward junction of 05/14) and showing de-icing bays.

HSIA Weather webcams, from the tower (slow refresh rate)
NW Webcam (Taxiway D and intrsctn 05/14) 
NE Webcam (Taxiways D & M, end of 14/32) SW Webcam (Distant view of A/P south end)


Sleeping in Airports A fascinating guide to sleeping in airports overnight between flights. Yes, Halifax is in here!

   Halifax Airport Watch Group.  You might be interested in joining!


Professional quality photos of aircraft at CYHZ  (on the website). [In keywords, type in CYHZ]
Most of these are taken by fellow members of the Halifax Airport Watch group.  You won't find any from me as I am not a photographer like these guys!


LIve Wind and RVR's at Halifax  This Nav Canada page shows the wind at CYHZ, indicating the best use runway.  Links to other airports too.


The following are mostly my own aero pages with descriptive detail of aero movements from a radio perspective, for the Halifax area but also the surrounding region.  Also included is a variety of great external links.

Aero Radio  
Intro to Aero Radio Bands and Aero Frequency List for the Maritimes. revised August 2015.

   Identifying Places
Codes and Abbreviations for Airports, Radio Aids and Reporting Points. 
Revised August 21, 2015

Identifying Aircraft
Guide to Aircraft Registration Marks, Call Signs and Airline Codes


General outline of the Aero Scene in the Halifax area and the Maritimes.

At the Airport: Halifax Stanfield Info including Observation areas, Frequencies, Photos

 Stanfield:  Flight Plan, Taxi, Takeoff

Stanfield Departures: Aircraft Leaving the Halifax Airport Area and Heading Out.  Includes my map showing the major initial destinations (waypoints and navaids)

Controlled Airspace and Sectors.  Including low level and high level sector maps and frequency charts. This page briefly outlines tower control zones and terminal control areas but mostly focuses on the area control centre sectors and frequencies in this region. This is where you can see which centre frequencies are used where in our region.   You need to get a handle on this if you want to listen effectively, or want to watch on the computer.  But you may want to read about aero radio first.

Arrivals:  Observing and Listening to Aircraft Approaching Halifax for Landing, includes maps and info re approach points, and frequency list re liaison with FBO or company

Listening to and Observing High-Flying Aircraft Passing over Nova Scotia. This is where you go if you want to know about the multitude of aircraft flying over our area on their way to and from Europe.  REQUIRES RE-WRITING.

Observing on Your Computer
(with FlightAware, planefinder, etc.)    REQUIRES RE-WRITING

U.S. Military Aerial Refueling over Nova Scotia 

Click here for an external webpage listing many American military aero call signs.   


Runway designations.   What does “Runway 35” really mean?   And why did the designations at Halifax change a while back? 


Official Airport Sites of Interest

Halifax Stanfield International Airport (CYHZ) official website

Charlottetown Airport     Moncton Airport    
Fredericton Airport     Yarmouth airport         Sydney airport    Saint John airport  Bangor International Airport

Other External Reference Links  Get info on airports, navaids, reporting points, etc.

Airportnavfinder  is where I go to get info on airports and relationship to navaids and adjacent airports.  I use this in my Flight Simulation grand tour of North America.

VFRMAP - Digital Aeronautical Charts

SkyVector: Flight Planning / Aeronautical Charts


Canadian Airport Weather Cameras   

Nav Canada's Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS)

Transport Canada's North Atlantic Operating Regulations

Rockwell Collins (AIRINC) page an eclectic aero website including aircraft sales and a listing of airspace fixes in the USA 

VATCAN Moncton This is one of many sites from around the world established for the benefit of serious flight simulation enthusiasts.  This site provides airport maps, along with diagrams of standard approaches and departures at the major airports in the Maritimes, all of which originate in Nav Canada publications and reproduced superbly at the simulator site


Canairradio   -- for info on Canadian aero frequencies

Nav Canada's Airport Diagram Site
This page will also link to Nav Canada’s chart sales if you want the real thing, 

FAA Site for USA Airport Diagrams and Terminal Procedures (Arrivals and Departures) Search by State

Milcom Monitoring Blogspot (Lists of current and historic aircraft types, deliveries, etc)


NTSB (United States National Transportation Safety Board) reports on incidents.  This has reports on all aviation incidents that the NTSB has been involved in since 1962.  This includes some incidents outside the USA in which for some reason the NTSB played an official role. Very interesting as it gives more details on accidents and incidents than you would find in the press.

Aviation Safety Network (descriptions & photos of air crashes and incidents)

See current location of Lifeflight air ambulance





 In the aero column at the left I stated that I am not a pilot, yet I listen to aero radio.  In this column I can say that I have been a sailor, at least for a short time, and I was a Communications Officer as a specialty.  And yes I do listen to marine radio, but not near as much as I listen to aircraft.  In fact my marine   interest is mostly a seasonal one that coincides with the cruise ship season (May to October).  Just as with aero I combine scanning with at least some actual observation and also with online resources including and harbour webcams.

Halifax Harbour Frequencies at a Glance
(The main ones only. More on my Marine pages linked below.)

156.6 Halifax Traffic (inner)
156.7 Halifax Traffic (outer)
156.8 Callling and Emergency
156.5 QHM (Naval Dockyard)
156.4 (Secondary Naval Movements)
156.3 Intership Primary
156.35 Tug Working
161.75 Halifax Pilots

My Specialized Page on VHF and UHF marine radio in our region, and on Halifax Traffic (with a map of the sectors and calling-in points)

 During the cruise season I take keen interest in the comings and goings of the cruise liners visiting our region.  I follow their movements online at, but recently I have also been using Cruise Ship Tracker as it clearly shows ship names (not just cruise ships), is easily navigated and has associated cruise ship information and itineraries.

   I sometimes also watch for them on the harbour cams listed below as they arrive at Halifax or when they leave, or when in Saint John and Bar Harbor. 

Each year the port publishes a cruise ship schedule for the year. It is found via the official port website at Port of Halifax. This site also shows ship movements and berthing information of all kinds, so check here for freighters and tankers as well as cruise liners. The cruise schedule shown there is regularly updated to reflect unforeseen changes.   I use the information as published in the Spring and add details of the ships and their last and next ports and publish here
My Enhanced Halifax Cruise Ship Schedule for 2018.  The 2018 season is over. Stay tuned for the 2019 schedule.

Note that while my schedule has enhanced information, I do not update it through the season. Each year there are cancellations for various reasons, and often also additions that result from heavy weather in the Caribbean area, causing ships to be diverted. A daily check of the official website should show these changes.

During the cruise season I also on occasion go to webcams in other ports in the region:

Saint John Harbour CBC Webcam     Saint John Harbour Webcam     Saint John Hbr Webcam 3

Bar Harbor Webcam (East View)         Bar Harbor Webcam (North View)

I have an interest in the ships themselves and at times follow them on line as they move from area to area around the world.   For example, many of the ships visiting here in the fall move on to the Caribbean and Bermuda cruise scene in the winter.  Here is one of the sites I often use for information on the ships and to see where they are. 

 List of Cruise Ships and where they are in the world right now!
Other cruise ship sites: 

Cruise Critic's Cruise Ship ItinerariesAlso includes Notes on new ships and ships being reconditioned etc.

Cruise Ship WebcamsSome cruise ships have webcams…watch from the perspective of a passenger or the captain!

Click here for sailwx Or go to   Presented in two different formats.

Halifax is of course a major port in the Canadian context but is dwarfed by many other world ports, including our biggest Pacific port of Vancouver.   It is quite interesting however with its steady flow of container ships, auto carriers, tankers, cruise ships and offshore support vessels, as well as our own navy and coast guard fleet, and occasional foreign military vessels.   

Like me, you will find the photos and commentary on the following observation and data websites to be very interesting:






Cap'n Ken's Blog


Halifax Shipping News




Links to Marine Related Websites of Interest

Notices to Shipping for the Maritimes

HMCS Restigouche webpage (This is the ship on which I was Communications Officer in the 70's. International Call Letters: CZDE)  a worldwide ship photo site

NOAA's Charts of the US Coasts, showing coastal Weatheradio sites and USCG stations. Excellent!

The Ship's List (Historical Records of Fleets and Passenger Lists)

Ships Nostalgia site (Interesting threads on ship and coast radio)

 Fond BC memories for me:  BC's Lighthouses    CPR's BC Coast Steamships.   BC Tugs forum  
West Coast Ferries Forum   
Tugboat Photo Site
    Evergreen Fleet (Ferries of Puget Sound and BC Coast)





Interactive Time Zone Map

Halifax Weather {Environment Canada]
Halifax Weather [The Weather Network] – Cool wind flow map of our area, and more.

NS Weatherbriefing links and shows many weather related sites in the Maritimes.  Includes a huge variety of webcams, on the highways and others.


Aurora 30 minute forecast

 Bangor Weather,
Canadian Hurricane Centre
US National Hurricane Center  
Nova Scotia Highway Cams
Nova Weather

Salt Lake City Weather
Nanaimo Weather

Orlando Weather

My Weather Radio Page  

NS Burning Restrictions map (Burnsafe) [in effect only during May to October fire season]

Sunrise, Sunset, Day Length in Halifax

Time, Time Zones,Calendars

 Canada Tide Tables

Heavens Above
(Star Chart, Satellite Passes, etc.)
(Road distances Canada/USA)

Calculating bearings and distances (Straight line, for radio use)

Map of Cell phone towers in Canada



Arcamax Daily Comics Archive

"Betty" Comicstrip Archive

my hobby and personal links page

Radio Amateurs of Canada - RAC



VHF and/or UHF scanners and monitors I have owned (not including transceivers):

GE Searcher, Lafayette P-100, Tompkins TunaVerter,

Radio Shack/Realistic PRO-30, PRO-43, PRO-92, PRO-95, PRO-96, PRO-97, PRO-99, PRO-106, PRO-2009, PRO-2026, PRO-2067, PRO-2096.

Uniden/Bearcat BC 235XLT, 590, 780XLT, 285D, 796D, 396XT, 996XT x 2. BCT15.   GRE PSR-400.  Sporty’s Aviation Interrupt.

Might be others I have forgotten altogether, or at least the model number is forgotten!






What is Scanning?  A brief comment for those who arrived here but don't know what scanning is!

Brief Intro to Radio Communications in Nova Scotia
for those who already have some knowledge of radio, but not of the specific region. 

 Search TAFL

Official Spectrum Direct Page

Check for conditions favouring distant reception and is an all round fascinating site:  Hepburn's DX Information Centre .  

My own list of continuously transmitting stations on VHF-HI in the Maritimes and northern New England.  This list, along with a list of FM broadcasters can provide some clues regarding the current DX conditions.

Description of the Maritimes P25 700 MHz Trunked Mobile Radio System  

MTMRS frequency matrix, a Marscan exclusive  


NS Government

The following specialty pages require updating but may be of interest

HAM radio pages  (Amateur Radio on the Net)

RAILWAY frequency list and map





My broadcast jumpoff page: an intro and links to my AM, FM and TV pages. In general needs some updating.

  TV Fool. Check what TV stations are in range at your location.

TVFool.  See what the closest tv stations to you are, with distances and azimuth, and more.  Meant as an aid to DTV reception but great for DX'ers. Note that distant reception of American TV signals from the Halifax area is absolutely a fluke and consistent over the air reception is impossible.


Northeast Radio Watch. Scott Fybush's weekly roundup of all happenings in NE USA and in Ontario and east in Canada.  Excellent!  As of 2011 this site became "by subscription only."

Recent Broadcast Decisions from the CRTC

Radio West Broadcast lists and history for Western Canada

Northwest Broadcasters (AM, FM, TV developments and Lists from the Seattle/Vancouver area) (I am from there, that's why!)  

Ontario DX Association.   The #1 Canada-oriented shortwave listeners club, but there may be some AM and VHF info here too.

National Radio Club. Perhaps the premer organization dedicated to the hobby of monitoring and dx'ing the AM broadcast band

Worldwide TV-FM DX Association (WTFDA) This is the top club for those interested in TV, FM and related DX'ing...including up to the minute forums on ducting and other skip phenomena)

Digital Home's Digital Forum.  Canadian site.  I go here mostly for the OTA (Over the Air) reception discussion.

FM Reception Guide

My Miscellaneous Radio Pages:

Canada's VHF Band Plan

   About Call Letters 

Codes used in radio: ten, Q, CW etc
(Have you heard, 10 codes may be dying out)

About GMRS, FRS and MURS    

The old 
Mobile Telephone Service and the introduction of the cell phone

Using GMRS radios in an institutional setting


My historical page on the no-longer-existing Nova Scotia RCMP VHF Network. 




Other Links and Pages.   These are placed here for my own convenience and reflect my own quirks of interest and background.  Feel free to visit, but they have  nothing to do with radio.  Note that links to do with my non-scanning aero, marine and rail interests are in the appropriate scanning pages.   As of November 2016 I will be slowly expanding this section, as time permits.

Line of Succession to the Briitsh/Canadian Throne

OMRS - The Orders and Medals Researh Society

Canadian and Associated Medals and Decorations (post-Korea)  
Town of Qualicum Beach, BC (my hometown)   Canadian Medals and Decorations (Korea and before)