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Air traffic management (ATM) system heavily relies upon air-ground communications. The frequency band currently used for air-ground communications (117.975 -137.000 MHz) is becoming congested. In some parts of Europe, it is extremely difficult to find a frequency to allow a new assignment to be made. This paper summarizes the communications services of current ATM systems as well as their basic operational concepts. Moreover, a comparison of different spectrum ranges and communication mechanisms used in physical and data link layers of aeronautical technologies was performed. Finally, the paper provides a comparison of several most promising technologies (LDL, B-VHF and P34) for a future aeronautical system.