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ATC Call Signs: Why? Which Do You Know Of?  
User currently offlineAguilo From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 243 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6134 times:

Anyone know what the callsigns for the major airlines are? Also, why doesn't ATC just use the airline's traditional name? Too hard to clearly enunciate perhaps?

Who comes up with the callsigns? How do callsigns "crystallize" from casual slang by one or two controllers to the callsign always used for that airlines?

British Airways: Speedbird
Continental Express: Jet Link
AirTran: Critter

Anyone know any others? Or know any answers to the above?

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCoa764 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 328 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6095 times:

The following site will give you all the call signs you could possible look at with different ways to look them up... enjoy
http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/CNT/3-3.htm



Please oh please Mr Moderator Nazi, dont delete my thread.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17002 posts, RR: 67
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6072 times:

Callsigns are shorter and easier to understand even with static.

And they're cooler  Big grin



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineAirplanePeanut From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 452 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6033 times:

VALUJET is Critter
Airtran is Citrus




AirplanePeanut


..
User currently offlineTiger119 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 6026 times:

" AirTran: Critter "
Ah, AirTran is "Citrus" and "Critter" was ValueJet.

Another website I use a lot is http://www.airlinecodes.co.uk

[Edited 2004-04-22 12:15:02]


Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
User currently offlinePHLapproach From Philippines, joined Mar 2004, 1240 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5976 times:

America West = Cactus

A friend and I were listening to his scanner PHL Tower 118.5, they contact tower over his house (Jalto) and we keep hearing "BlueStreak" but they were only going into 35 so my guess is that it is one of the US Express Operators.


User currently offlineAmerican 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3741 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5947 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Here are a few that I know of:

South African Airways: Springbok
Aer Lingus: Shamrock
Atlantic Coast Airlines (UA Express in IAD): Blue Ridge
US Airways Express (in the North East): Commutair
American Eagle: Flagship

Airlines that no longer exist:
Pan Am: Clipper
AOM (Air Outre Mer): French Lines
EBA (Euro Belgian Airlines): Bellstar
British Caledonian: Caledonian

Ben Soriano
Brussels Belgium



Ben Soriano
User currently offlineNyskymasters From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5888 times:

Some airlines use a callsign so that it is different from similar sounding call signs. America West, I believe, used America West at one time. After their callsign was confused with American on several occassions they changed it to Cactus. Continental Express' callsign originated when the several different commuter airlines were merged into one. Instead of "favoring" one airline a new callsign was used. Jet Link came about with the thinking that the new airline was the "link to the jets." I know personally that everybody hated it but it has stuck around all these years.

User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3524 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5843 times:

I hear "waterski" called a lot around the midwest...could it be ATA?


Do you like movies about gladiators?
User currently offlineTiger119 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5733 times:

" I hear "waterski" called a lot around the midwest...could it be ATA? " "WaterSki" is Trans States Airlines http://www.transstates.net/
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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Michael F. McLaughlin
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Photo © Guido Latz

.
ATA's call sign is "AmTran"



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17002 posts, RR: 67
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5727 times:

Speedbird is from the BOAC speedbird emblem (note the tail):
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Photo © Lee Cheng



The current BA emblem harkens back to this. It's called the "Speedmarque":
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Photo © Gary Watt - AirTeamImages




"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineUnited_Fan From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 7456 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5664 times:

Commutair now operates Continental Connection in the USA NE . Clipper is still used by Pan Am III AFAIK .


'Empathy was yesterday...Today, you're wasting my Mother-F'ing time' - Heat.
User currently offlineB757capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1366 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5617 times:

Pinnacle airlines DBA Northwest Airlink-CRJ's Callsign is "Flag Ship"


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Photo © Brad Harris




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Photo © Freight-Dawg




The views written by this user are in no manner the views of my employer and should not be thought as such.
User currently offlineModesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2789 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5597 times:

Actually, many times, an airline's callsign is just the airline name. American, Delta, Continental, United and Northwest use their airline names - nothing special.

User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2425 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 5571 times:

For Cessna aircraft performing flight test operations, the aircraft N number is not used. Each test pilot is given a unique number, so a call sign would be "Cessna Test 41". The 41 is the pilots number, and not related to the aircraft. Therefore the pilot may use the same call sign for years, regardless of the plane he is flying. This is done because the test pilots fly various aircraft, and it alerts ATC as to the nature of the flight.


Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineFlymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7124 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5520 times:

I thought America Eagle call was Eagle Flight? Also Citrus probaly came from Air Tran because they are based in Orlando Central Florida with all those Oranges.


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineFlairport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 5425 times:

Clipper is STILL PanAm...gives me chills when I hear it!
Southeast Airlines: Sun King (pretty cool!)
American Eagle: Eagle Flight (but usually just Eagle)
Spirt Airlines: SpiritWings (but here at FLL, they often say "Spirit")
Air Florida is Air Florida (yes, it does exist...but it is tiny!) I think they often use the N Number


User currently offlineVenuscat2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 478 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 5379 times:

ATA is Amtran (Amtran is ATA's parent company, much like AMR is the parent company of American Airlines).

The story behind Trans State's callsign (waterski) is that they started out flying a lot of people to the Ozarks, and they had a lot of waterskis on board.


User currently offlineCougarAviator From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 349 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 5359 times:

continental is "continental" if I'm not mistaken.....American is American...Delta is Delta............


Failure is not an option.....
User currently offlineLondoncenter From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5335 times:

lufthansa=lufthansa
air france=air frans
alitalia=alitalia
iberia=iberia
air portugal=air portugal
klm=klm
scandinavian=scandinavian
malaysian=malaysian
singapore=singapore
cathay=cathay
ryanair=ryanair
brittania=britannia
spanair=spanair
malev=malev

A lot of airlines have their name as a callsign, but some don't especially charter airlines such as:

thomas cook = top jet (formerly globe)
air 2000/first choice= jetset
mytravel=kestrel
excel airways=expo

Could keep going, but think it will get very very boring!


User currently offlineTiger119 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 3 months 5 days ago) and read 5196 times:

When Independence Air (ACA) gets up and going, what call sign are they going to use? Will they keep "Blue Ridge?"


Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
User currently offlineAs739x From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 6098 posts, RR: 23
Reply 21, posted (10 years 3 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5175 times:

China Airlines-Dynasty

One of my personal favorites...Very elegant

ASSFO



"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
User currently offlineMia777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2002, 1165 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (10 years 3 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5136 times:

I totally agree ASSFO...nothing like hearing 'Dynasty' or 'Speedbird' on the scanner...


MIA777
User currently offlineSidestickA320 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (10 years 3 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5086 times:

PHLapproach...
Your assumption of "BlueStreak" being the call sign for USAirways Express was dead on. It is used by affiliate PSA Airlines for all their flights, both on the Dornier 328 and CRJ-200 alike. With PSA serving more cities from PHL, I'm sure you'll be hearing them quite a bit.

Cheers


User currently offlinePHLapproach From Philippines, joined Mar 2004, 1240 posts, RR: 20
Reply 24, posted (10 years 3 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5063 times:

Thank you very much, SidestickA320. I was just talking to the friend with the scanner last night about it again.

25 LAN767Andres : American Airlines= American British Airways= Speedbird Delta=Delta Southwest=Southwest United AIrlines= United American Eagle= Eagle FLight
26 American762 : I really like the term Dynasty for China Airlines. Thats classy. However I'm curious, what is the call sign for JetBlue? Is it JetBlue, or with the fu
27 Flynavy : AFAIK, jetBlue's callsign is simply, "jetblue." Also, my Hornet squadron's callsign is "roman," for the Gladiators of VFA-106.
28 CanadianNorth : Candian North goes by "Empress". I'm not 100% sure so dont quote me on this but I believe since it was at one time a subsidiary of Canadi>n Airlines I
29 Lt-AWACS : Any E-3s out of Tinker AFB will have the front end Callsign of 'Sentry XX' Each squadron uses it's last letter designator as the first letter of the f
30 SpeedbirdHeavy : I'm glad someone mentioned the call sign topic because it hasn't been discussed in about 2 weeks. Please, whatever you do, don't use the search functi
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