Call signs

Call signs for aeronautical stations

Aeronautical stations are identified by the name of the location followed by a suffix indicating the type of unit or service provided.

Station

Name

Audio

Example:

  • Lille ground
  • Charleroi approach
  • Barcelona radio

When satisfactory communication has been established, and provided that it will not be confusing, the name of the location or the call sign suffix may be omitted.

Call signs for aircraft

An aircraft call sign shall be one of the following types:

  1. the characters corresponding to the registration marking of the aircraft; Example: OO-ABC or Cessna OO-ABC
  2. the telephony designator of the aircraft operating agency, followed by the last four characters of the registration marking of the aircraft; Example: Fastfly ABCD
  3. the telephony designator of the aircraft operating agency, followed by the flight identification. Example: Fastfly 123

The name of the aircraft manufacturer or name of aircraft model may be used as a radiotelephony prefix.

After satisfactory communication has been established, and provided that no confusion is likely to occur, aircraft call sign may be abbreviated as follows:

Full call sign

Explanation

Abbreviated call sign

OO-ABC

keep the first and at least the last two characters or of the aircraft registration

O_BC

Cessna OO-ABC

keep the first and at least the last two characters or of the aircraft registration

Cessna O-BC

Fastfly ABCD

keep the telephony designator of the aircraft operating agency followed by at least the last two characters of the aircraft registration

Fastfly CD

Fastfly 123

there is NO abbreviated form

Fastfly 123

  1. An aircraft shall use its abbreviated call sign only after it has been addressed in this manner by the aeronautical station.
  2.  Aircraft in the heavy wake turbulence category shall include the word “HEAVY” immediately after the aircraft call sign in the initial contact between such aircraft and ATS units.

An aircraft shall not change its type of call sign or alter its call sign during flight except when there is a likelihood that confusion may occur because of similar call sign. Then, an aircraft may be instructed by an air traffic control unit to change the type of its call sign temporarily. Examples:

  • instruction to change its type of call sign CHANGE YOUR CALL SIGN TO (new call sign) UNTIL FURTHER ADVISED
  • instruction to an aircraft to revert to the call sign indicated in the flight plan REVERT TO FLIGHT PLAN CALL SIGN (call sign) AT (significant point)