Does anyone know the rules about callsign allocation? The general rule obviously is that you use the aircraft registration, but if you wanted to use something else, is there anything to stop you? I know that BA use Speedbird, Brymon use Brymon, various flying clubs have their own, as do the military (the best I heard were Nightmare 1 and 2 along with my personal favourite, Rampant Formation). So can I fly next time as 'Furry Love Muffin' or do I have to stick to Golf-Bravo-errrrrr-Juliet-November-errrrr so bored I've forgotten, oh yes-bravo-hotel? If anyone knows about this, I would be very grateful if you could share!
I believe all 'official' callsigns have to be registered with ICAO. I remember a guy who used an official callsign, but 'modified' it slightly. Seem to remember that he was investigated by someone (CAA or ICAO?)
There use to be a very useful AIC about this entitled 'Unofficial Callsigns' but sadly it seems to have been deleted and I cannot find any reference about it elsewhere. No, you cannot make your own up and must comply with the criteria in CAP413. In fact, you should not even shorten a callsign until it is shortened first by the aeronautical ground station.
Noggin, not quite right about the military callsigns, at least within the training environment where the callsign indicates the base of the aircraft e.g. CFN 45 for an aircraft based at Church Fenton, BKH 34 for Barkston Heath etc. etc.
samson. I had to apply for a callsign once. It was a nightmare. Ring AIS at Heathrow airport tower building. The number is 02087453419 the name is Cyril. He will tell you the requirements. Basically you must fax him a request of your callsign and three letter code which goes on the flight plan etc. This is sent to Canada where they approve or reject it. He normally can reject it over the phone as most of the callsigns you come up with have all been taken. It took us ages to find one we liked that had gone. There is a ICAO Doc you can by for £30.00 pounds od that has the latest callsigns and three/four letter codes issued world wide. Hope this helps. Oh it must be a company headed fax message to apply.
Samson. I applied for a company that I was company pilot for a year ago. I believe it doesn't matter whether it is for a company or private, although you must apply using a company headed note paper and state your business. If you own an an aircraft, why not make that a business etc and apply. Or call yourself a company. I don't really know but one thing is for sure they didn't really care who I was provided I came up with a valid callsign request. I believe the service is still free. One of the last things in the aviation world that is. The callsign must be clear unambiguous and clean! Can't conflict with aviation phrases or be close to mistake. It makes finding a name a bitch. You will need at least three suggestions as I suspect the first two will be rejected. The company I flew for was only a shop!
Hope it helps.
Ps The guys name was Cyril Meadam - Callsigns AIS Heathrow
Thanks CaptAirProx - does a callsign have to be bound to a specific aircraft, or could it be linked with a company or person, who could use several aircraft? I know that in the military, individuals have callsigns, rather than aircraft. Is it the same in this case, or is it one callsign for one aircraft?
just for your info, the company I work for at Exeter, Celtic West, has it's own ICAO identifier, CWE and callsign, Celtic.
We are allowed to use this for all of our flying activities:
so for our charter flights we use the callsign CWExxy (x being the date of the flight, and y being which leg of the charter eg. CWE031A),
CWExT for our PPL, IMC, Night and Twin training (each instructor has his own number)
CWE0x for non commercial flights using our aircraft (again each pilot has their own number).
Not sure if the above helps but it may be of interest.
We have had the code and callsign for about 4 years, but have to be careful sometimes as EuroCeltic have their name as their callsign (I beleive we had ours first, and were a little concerned that permission was granted for theirs), and another similar sounding name Celtic Airways of Plymouth were trying to use "Celtic" for themselves.