View Full Version : Origin of the Indian VT registration prefix.

Cyclic Hotline
4th Aug 2003, 08:00
Does anyone know if there is any basis to this story? I never really thought about how the registrations were allocated, although I don't think this is the true story about the source of the Indian VT prefix?

Monday August 4 2003 00:00 IST

Govt yet to free Indian aircraft from colonial past

NEW DELHI: "50 years of flying" _ these words were proudly painted on all Indian Airlines aircraft as the State-owned airlines celebrated its golden jubilee on Friday. But the registration number displayed close by on the fuselage marred the sense of pride a trifle.

Starting with the initials VT, the registration number of all Indian civil aircraft serves as a reminder of the country's colonial past. Standing for Viceroy's Territory, the registration prefix VT was assigned to India in 1929, and it continued ever since.

"Bombay became Mumbai, Connaught Place became Rajiv Gandhi Chowk and Curzon Road became Kasturba Gandhi Marg. But nobody has thought of writing to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) asking for a change in the call sign of Indian aircraft," disclosed an official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

So whether it is an Indian Airlines, Air-India, Jet or a Sahara owned aircraft, all have the prefix VT in their registration numbers. The alphabets following VT depend upon the type of the aircraft. "For example, the registration number of the IA aircraft (flight IC 814) _ an airbus A 300 _ which was hijacked to Kandahar in December 1999 was VT-EDW. Registration numbers of most IA aircraft have the alphabet E following VT," the official added.

However, India's helicopter company Pawan Hans _ which came into existence in 1985 _ uses PH as a prefix in the registration numbers of choppers in its fleet. "Our neighbours and other Asian countries have more apt call signs as their registration prefixes. Pakistan uses AP, Nepal's aircraft registration prefix is 9N and Japan's is JA. It's time for India also to do the needful," a Ministry of Civil Aviation official said.

In fact, the DGCA brought this to the notice of new Civil Aviation Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy. When contacted by this website's newspaper, Rudy said that the fact had disturbed him too and that he had issued written instructions to get him evidence that VT actually stood for Viceroy's Territory.

"If I get evidence that VT has any colonial connotations, the Government would be more than willing to get the call sign changed. So far, the DGCA has not been able to provide any proof. And without that, it would appear very whimsical if we ask for a change in the registration number prefix of our aircraft," Rudy added.

Original story (http://www.newindpress.com/Newsitems.asp?ID=IEH20030803131820&Title=Top+Stories&rLink=0)

4th Aug 2003, 08:51
Wonder what the Netherlands have to say about India using the prefix PH?
For a small fee, I offer Rajiv Rudy the following. VT could conceivably be called a "colonial" registration, since VO used to be the registration of Newfoundland before Canada joined that colony, VR-B is used by Bermuda, VR-C the Cayman Islands and VR-F the Falkland Islands. All the above were British colonies.
As far as VT standing for "Viceroy's Territory", it sounds like Mr. Rudy graduated from the same school that allows the Canadian registration CF stands for "Canadian Flyer".;) :D

4th Aug 2003, 12:47
They don't use the prefix PH, just those letters in the reggie eg. VT-PHA.

And you are right about the British Empire, VA through VZ were assigned to British Overseas Possessions in 1923(?). Hence Australia (VH) and India (VT) and all those little colomies in the VP, VQ and VR ranges. VR was reassigned to China in 1997, but they have never used it. VC is still allocated for Canada but only used in military callsigns and that practice was discontinued decades ago.

Viceroy's Territory is pure nonsense.

(A link to the full International Radio list was posted in an earlier thread about reggies, but I can't be bothered to search ;) )

Ex Oggie
5th Aug 2003, 01:11
Try this one, if its not there, you dont need it!


5th Aug 2003, 14:07
Prior to in1984 VR was Brunei - changed upon the resumption of full independence to V8- to align with the radio call sign, not for anti-colonial reasons. India's VT was randomly assigned, like most registration letters, in the V series used in some cases for former British colonies. Other territories formerly ruled by the British use other codes however - in the S and Z series for example so the VT code doesn't really have any particularly colonial significance. For example, I don't recall Vietnam (VN) ever being ruled by a British Viceroy and of course there's that other large former British colonial territory that uses the registration letter N. :E

Through difficulties to the cinema

7th Aug 2003, 10:13
VT = Viceroy's Territory, what nonsence indeed!

A similar error exists in the minds of some Australians in the story that our VH prefix = Victor Hargraves.

Biggles Flies Undone
12th Aug 2003, 21:49
More like Victor Meldrew, eh Bob? ;)