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How Do I Change The Country Registration Prefixes?  
User currently offlineBirdwatching From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 3830 posts, RR: 51
Posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3597 times:

Hi all!

As we all know, country prefixes in aircraft registrations are very random in most cases. I'm sure many passengers would like to see in which country the aircraft they're about to fly on is registered. In the globalized age we live in, matters like this are standardized by the ISO, in this case ISO 3166-1 regulates the 2-letter codes for each individual country.
http://www.iso.org/iso/english_country_names_and_code_elements

Other than a fear of change, is there any logic for keeping it the way it is? Yeah sure everybody will say "if it aint broken then don't fix it" but in this case there is no reason to keep it the way it is, other than conservative armchair airline CEOs who want to be the only ones who knows what PH- or EC- means. (No it's not Philippines or Ecuador)

So who should I ask about changing this? Would this be a matter of the ICAO, or each country's aeronautics administration?

To make this clear, I think e.g. a German plane should be registered DE-ABCD instead of D-ABCD, a US plane should be US-12345 instead of N12345, and so on.

And please don't say it is a matter of cost. It could be done in a way that it does not cost a thing. For a period of time, both the old and the new way would be acceptable, so that new planes will be registered the new way. Then slowly owners will have the reg changed when their planes are due for re-painting or change owners. No big deal at all.

What would you say?

Soren   


All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFX1816 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1400 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3559 times:

Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
It could be done in a way that it does not cost a thing

How do you figure?? It's free to paint it on a plane?? I know it's not free to have to change the manual's for aircraft. But the big question is, Why does it seem to bother you??

FX1816


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3440 times:

Heck, some countries even drop the registration prefix themselves  

Take New Zealand, for instance:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jonathan Rankin



My guess is no one wants to take a Cessna 152 overwater to another country, so why bother painting the ZK-  



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3391 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 2):
My guess is no one wants to take a Cessna 152 overwater to another country, so why bother painting the ZK-

It's more a case of they can't unless they fancy swimming 600 miles in the southern oceans back home.  
Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):

To make this clear, I think e.g. a German plane should be registered DE-ABCD instead of D-ABCD, a US plane should be US-12345 instead of N12345, and so on.

D = Deutschland (The Germans, being fans of procedures, have actually made it logical - the letter after the D- is the weight class of the plane. That's why every Lufthansa jet is D-A)

EC = Espanol (The E at least, they're not as illogical as they look)

G = Great Britain

F = France

I = Italy

C = Canada

A lot of them do make sense. Either way, one guy isn't going to change the whole world's aviation prefixes because eventually you'd run out of combinations for countries with the same start (Niger and Nigeria and Nicaragua). It'd cost a fortune to do because eventually you'd have to re-register every plane in existence.


User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3367 times:

Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):


Other than a fear of change, is there any logic for keeping it the way it is?

Yes. Because:

Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
I'm sure many passengers would like to see in which country the aircraft they're about to fly on is registered.

99.999999999999999999999% of pax don't give a damn. Heck, 80% don't even seem to know what airline they're going on  

And not to mention every aircraft-registration-regulation in the world would have to be changed, ATC and pilots have to relearn and get used to the new prefixes, you need to paint the new registrations numbers on.... etc etc

This would certainly be expensive to do. And it solves nothing IMO.

Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
What would you say?

This is a solution looking for a problem.


User currently offlineYULWinterSkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2184 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3308 times:

Canada did change its registrations from CF- to C- in the past, simply by displacing the dash so that CF-xxx became C-Fxxx, which is why an overwhelming number of Canadian aircraft are registered C-Fxxx (including some of AC's newest ones, which is bizarre though). Maybe someone can elaborate and provide a year, a reason, or numbers for how much time the whole process took.

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 3):
D = Deutschland (The Germans, being fans of procedures, have actually made it logical - the letter after the D- is the weight class of the plane. That's why every Lufthansa jet is D-A)

As well as every Air Berlin jet   

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 3):
A lot of them do make sense.

Still, most do not.

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 4):
99.999999999999999999999% of pax don't give a damn. Heck, 80% don't even seem to know what airline they're going on

I would be careful when saying that 99.xxxxx% of pax don't know anything. Many seem to be more aware than you think, by hearing some conversations in airports and such.



When I doubt... go running!
User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3285 times:

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 5):
Many seem to be more aware than you think, by hearing some conversations in airports and such.

And working at an airport and hearing those exact conversations I realized Joe Passenger ALWAYS checks in his brains with his baggage.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25879 posts, RR: 22
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3246 times:

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 5):
Canada did change its registrations from CF- to C- in the past, simply by displacing the dash so that CF-xxx became C-Fxxx, which is why an overwhelming number of Canadian aircraft are registered C-Fxxx (including some of AC's newest ones, which is bizarre though). Maybe someone can elaborate and provide a year, a reason, or numbers for how much time the whole process took.

That was only done because they were running out of CF-xxx combinations. And there was no requirement to change the registrations. As far as I recall, aircraft with the old CF-xxx registrations could keep them until they were re-registered after being sold etc.

Airlines and government regulatory authorities have far more serious problems to deal with than wasting time and money changing registrations. There should be a valid reason for doing something like that and I can think of none.

Current registration prefixes have a long history. It's the same as inteernational motor vehicle prefixes. For example, if you bring a Canadian-registered car to Europe, it has to bear a CDN sticker on the rear. That's also non-standard from the ISO (and, by the way, IATA) 2-letter country code CA, and totally unrelated to the C-/CF- aircraft registration prefixes.

As somone said, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

[Edited 2010-04-14 14:14:32]

User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3227 times:

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 5):
Still, most do not.

Not many people care either way, and those who are interested in them generally know, or know where to look if they don't anyway. Joe Smith on the street isn't going to know or even care that D2 is Angola, M is the Isle of Man and F-O are the French Overseas Territories.

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 5):
As well as every Air Berlin jet

It was an example but yes, very true  


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15812 posts, RR: 27
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3186 times:

Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
US plane should be US-12345 instead of N12345, and so on.

The N stands for Navy. The prefixes were in many cases derived from the radio transmitters (the ITU I believe), and since the Navy was an early large user of radios, they used N.

Is there any story behind the use of V in the prefix for most former British territories?



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineweb500sjc From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 749 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3157 times:
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How did AF1 get 29000 as the tail number, isnt there supposed to be a N infront?

just a random question that i am looking for a random answer too.



Boiler Up!
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6428 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3143 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
The N stands for Navy. The prefixes were in many cases derived from the radio transmitters (the ITU I believe), and since the Navy was an early large user of radios, they used N.

Actually, the N comes from the Curtiss NC-4 flying boat, the first US aircraft to complete a transatlantic crossing (in 1919). It was such a hit with the American public that, when aircraft registrations were adopted by the US CAB (predecessor to the CAA, and the FAA), the US requested, and got, NC- as the US registration prefix. The "C" was dropped sometime after World War II, although it can still be legally displayed on aircraft that were registered during this period (as many classic Piper Cubs, Luscombes, Taylorcrafts, and Beech Staggerwings do).

NC-4" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NC-4

 



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25879 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3126 times:

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 10):
How did AF1 get 29000 as the tail number, isnt there supposed to be a N infront?

Military aircraft don't have N numbers. The last 4 aircraft used as Air Force One and their backups have used USAF serials 26000 and 27000 for the 2 VC-137Cs (707-320B) and 28000 and 29000 for the 2 VC-25A (747-200).


User currently offlinespudsmac From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3106 times:

I fail to see the point of this.

User currently offlineCentralMA From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 31 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3054 times:

I couldn't stand it anymore. After years of reading a.net, I finally had to register so I could post.

The country prefixes actually come from radio treaty, now organized through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The Wikipedia article isn't bad (including describing Canada's special CB case):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITU_prefix

The US is allocated AA-AL, K, N, and W. The FAA, since it hasn't run out of space, has chosen to only use the N prefix. The FCC uses all the US allocations on its various civil license assignments. The US federal government is not subject to FCC rules, but is coordinated/regulated through another agency (NTIA) that does work together with the FCC.

The aircraft registration is used, or can be used, as its internationally-unique callsign on frequencies that have international span. I would presume from a safety point of view in VFR that having the visible registration marked on the aircraft match the radio callsign made (and still makes) a lot of sense.

Changing prefixes is basically impossible, as there is a huge amount of infrastructure world-wide based on the current treaties. The prefix in any civil radio call identifies the country that licensed that station.

[This is all for civil use. I assign callsigns for a very specific small portion of one of the US military services (under one of my hats): we happen to use N prefixes, but that callsign is only needed on HF where signals could be heard outside the US borders. VHF/UHF usage for us only use tactical callsigns, not the assigned N-prefix call. (this is for surface use, not aircraft use, and we operate solely within the US).]

The history of radio communication and the history of aviation overlap somewhat at the beginning of the 20th century. Somewhere the international coordination was given to the radio folk, who had urgent international need early in THEIR history.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15812 posts, RR: 27
Reply 15, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2917 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 11):

The C in NC stood for commercial. Experimental planes, like the Spirit of St. Louis had NX registrations. Ther were several other categories (G for gliders is one), but this practice ended sometime around WWII.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2459 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2882 times:

Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
I'm sure many passengers would like to see in which country the aircraft they're about to fly on is registered.

I really can't believe that is the case. Most passengers don't even know or care what type of aircraft they are in, much less which country the plane is registered in. Most cruise ship passengers don't know or care what country their ship is registered in, even though it is painted in big letters on the back of the ship.

Most airline passengers should have somewhat of a clue of the country of registry based on the airline they are flying - British Airways, Lufthansa, American, Air Canada, Air India, Qantas, Japan Airlines, should all be pretty obvious. Even if you changed D- to DE-, do you really think that the average person would know Germany by changing the D- to DE-?

.

Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
other than conservative armchair airline CEOs who want to be the only ones who knows what PH- or EC- means. (No it's not Philippines or Ecuador)

I am willing to bet if a passenger is "about to fly on" the aircraft below, he will most likely know it is registered in the Netherlands, even if he is boarding the plane in Warsaw. In reality, most passengers board aircraft thru jetways, making it impossible to read the aircraft registration located on the aft fuselage anyway.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Damian Lesniak



.

[Edited 2010-04-14 19:56:18]

[Edited 2010-04-14 19:58:13]


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 offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2725 times:
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Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
In the globalized age we live in, matters like this are standardized by the ISO

Which isn't necessarily that much more logical than the country prefixes that you want to change once you get past the obvious codes (first two letters of the official country name).

Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
Other than a fear of change, is there any logic for keeping it the way it is?

"If it ain't broken don't fix it" actually works pretty good as a motive for not changing it. Besides that, what real benefits would a change achieve? Especially benefits that would outweigh the costs (oh yes, there is a cost).

Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
And please don't say it is a matter of cost.

The notion that that which has been agreed upon by international convention and is a framework upon which thousands of lines of codes have been written to handle aircraft traffic, registration, etc... can be changed for free, or even at a negligible cost, is a nice fantasy, the more so since the change has no appreciable ROI.

Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
No big deal at all.

Except when you get to the part where a current country prefix is also an ISO country code and they're not assigned to the same country. How do you manage that during your "cost-free" transition period?
Examples: Albania (ZA/AL) and South Africa (ZS+ZT+ZU/ZA).



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2692 times:

How do I go about changing the name of the Boeing aircraft?

For example, the Boeing 707 can be the "Boeing Commercial 1", the 727, BC-2, etc.... You know, like Douglas did it. It makes more sense that way... It's not like the 707 was the 707th commercial plane of the Boeing line.

And, according to another thread on here recently, the Tu-145 (sic) can be renamed the "Airliner formerly known as the Tu-154", as we should "junk them all".

And, while we're at it, I declare English is now to be written with a Cyrillic Alphabet. Anyone caught writing in Latin alphabet after my post will be sent to Siberia.  


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15812 posts, RR: 27
Reply 19, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2663 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 18):

I believe that Boeing chooses a series for each type of product, and commercial jets happened to get 7. I believe that the 800s and 900s are already taken by hydrofoils and satellites if I'm not mistaken.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2299 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2632 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 19):
I believe that Boeing chooses a series for each type of product, and commercial jets happened to get 7. I believe that the 800s and 900s are already taken by hydrofoils and satellites if I'm not mistaken.

Does that not rub everyone the wrong way? What if the streets in New York started with 717th Avenue? Then 721st Avenue would be the attraction rather than 5th Avenue. That changes nothing. It's just a name. Like the Boeing aircraft series, where commercial is, as you say, series "700"... And the aircraft registrations being as they are... These are merely idio-syncracies of each authority that decides how to name/market/etc... each product.

Asking to change this is akin to asking to rename France "the land of White Flags" simply as you think it makes more sense. Well, that's just an opinion... I see no point in changing any of these idiosyncratic rules or names. As you certainly proved: you did not write in Cyrillic.


User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4714 posts, RR: 50
Reply 21, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2590 times:

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 5):
Canada did change its registrations from CF- to C- in the past, simply by displacing the dash so that CF-xxx became C-Fxxx, which is why an overwhelming number of Canadian aircraft are registered C-Fxxx (including some of AC's newest ones, which is bizarre though).

Actually, IIRC Canadian aircraft can only be registered C-Fxxx or C-Gxxx. Probably until they run out of space.



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4405 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2566 times:

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 4):
99.999999999999999999999% of pax don't give a damn. Heck, 80% don't even seem to know what airline they're going on

Be careful with the number of digits. You say that never in history of aviation, and in the next 10 000 years to come, not a single pax gave it a damn. 95% I'm sure, 99% I wouldn't argue, 99,99% I see to be critical.

There are some items in the current system that needs fixing, though, like Brazil having several prefixes. You will not get support from France, UK and Germany for these changes, irf they cannot keep theirs.


User currently offlineAviatorCraig From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2010, 245 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2480 times:

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 17):
Most airline passengers should have somewhat of a clue of the country of registry based on the airline they are flying - British Airways, Lufthansa, American, Air Canada, Air India, Qantas, Japan Airlines, should all be pretty obvious.

And that Aeroflot jet you are about to board is of course registered in, err... Bermuda!   



707 727 Caravelle Comet Concorde Dash-7 DC-9 DC-10 One-Eleven Trident Tristar Tu-134 VC-10 Viscount plus boring stuff!
User currently offlinegemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5764 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (4 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2387 times:

Quoting CentralMA (Reply 14):
The country prefixes actually come from radio treaty, now organized through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

This is NOT true for aircraft, despite many sources saying it is. Aircraft Nationality Prefixes (ANP) were first allocated by the 1919 Paris Convention on Civil Aviation. This convention was superseded by the Chicago Convention in the1940s and Aircraft Nationality Prefixes are now administered by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) . While they are usually the same as the countries radio call sign, they are NOT radio call signs, they are an Aircraft Nationality Prefix, followed by the aircraft registration.

If you think about it, in 1919 very, very few aircraft had radios. While the ANP maybe the same as the radio call sign, they are NOT related legally. It would be quite possible for ICAO to approve an ANP totally at variance with ITU allocation and it would be perfectly legal, of course such aircraft could not use radio transmitters, so it's unlikely to happen, but it could.

How do I know this? Simple, back in the early 1970s I used to be an aircraft registration delegate for the Australian Register of Civil Aircraft at Bankstown. Believe me, aircraft registrations had NOTHING to do with radio call signs. We did report the registration of each aircraft, that was fitted with a radio transmitter, to the them PMG's Department, which issued radio station licenses. We did NOT report aircraft registrations for aircraft which did not have radios. We also reported the addition and deletion of radio transmitters in aircraft to the department.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
25 BMI727 : Not strictly, and it wasn't just a cut an paste job either (for that matter, think of all the countries that have shown up since then). My understand
26 Post contains images KELPkid : Actually, it was "civil..." Private aircraft had NC-numbers, too. EDIT: I take that back. See the next post I will make to see why...[Edited 2010-04-
27 Post contains links KELPkid : A very interesting article on why the US uses N as it's registration prefix, and five theories as to why (apparently, the real reason has been lost to
28 gemuser : Do you have a source for that? I have been trying for some years now to find out exactly when and by what mechanism the radio prefixes were first iss
29 Viscount724 : Ultralights in Canada are registered C-Ixxx
30 BMI727 : I read it in an issue of Airliners years ago. As far as my other comment I meant that the two groups of prefixes are not really related officially.
31 26point2 : There are many examples in the A net database of US airlines with Int'l registry. Check AirCal for example. They leased a few planes from Aer Lingus t
32 gemuser : Absolutely correct! Gemuser
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