Goblin211 From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 1209 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10075 times:
Who comes up with the call signs for airlines in the first place? And in the case of UA/CO or now officially united, what will the call sign be? Just united, or some random name? For example, US airways is Cactus.
DeltaRules From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3662 posts, RR: 9 Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10059 times:
US' callsign isn't exactly random, as there's a story behind it. Cactus was America West's callsign & remained the callsign for US after the two merged. Even though the US name survived, there's still a tip of the hat to HP on the radio.
There are parameters and rules that need to be followed when creating your call signs (radiotelephony designators) and 2 and 3 letter identifiers. I remember having to do the research when the college I attended got their new fleet of planes and the tail numbers were in complete numerical order and were going to cause confusion in the local tower. So I did the research to file the request for official raiotelephony designators from the FAA, with the guidance of the tower manager at FRG and the (at the time) Regional Administrator of the FAA Arlene Feldman. Unlike the airlines, the call sign "flight number" was directly attached to the tail number, and the "flight numbers" were also sorted out to help identify the aircraft type (for example, the new Warriors that the college bought all were batched together based on the last number in their tail number and that was doubled...so when you heard Farmingdale State 33 or 44 or 55, etc., it was a Warrior.). It is kinda cool to think a student can now fly anywhere around the country and use that call sign LOL. But anyway, the rules dictate how many syllables the call sign can be, its relevance to the airline, how close it can sound to another airlines call sign, how easy it is to pronounce, etc.
I can't go digging through the internet right now since I am at work, but on the FAA's site and IATA's site I am sure you can bring up the actual regulations for it. My primary research (since my college isn't crossing any international borders) was through the FAA and was on an advisory circular which laid everything out.
"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
timf From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 964 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9760 times:
Quoting qb737 (Reply 2): US Airways even use "AWE" as their ICAO code.
This was not intentional. They had planned on keeping USA as their ICAO code, but it was confusing too many controllers so they opted to switch back to AWE since that was associated with the "Cactus" callsign.
AirFrance744 From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 77 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 9082 times:
Quoting B6JFKH81 (Reply 4): ut anyway, the rules dictate how many syllables the call sign can be, its relevance to the airline, how close it can sound to another airlines call sign, how easy it is to pronounce, etc.
Then why is FL "Citrus". Because they have a hub at MCO which is in Florida?
Antoniemey From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1519 posts, RR: 4 Reply 14, posted (3 years 2 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7488 times:
Quoting FX1816 (Reply 12): Why would it not be United I mean Northwest became Delta and even changed the to the DAL ICAO. If the planes say United I doubt it would be any different than UAL and "United" call sign.
I could see if CO had a catchy callsign that wasn't the airline's name keeping that, but they don't, so it will be United.
The other option is Air Mike, which doesn't really make sense for the callsign of a global carrier.
Make something Idiot-proof, and the Universe will make a more inept idiot.
planesmith From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2009, 139 posts, RR: 0 Reply 19, posted (3 years 2 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6782 times:
Quoting cyxuk (Reply 15): Does anyone know the origin of the "Speedbird" callsign for BA?
BOAC's aircraft and paperwork carried the "speedbird" logo for many, many years, pictures of the flying boats show it being used, and that continued after the merger with BEA, the new airline, British Airways simply couldn't drop such a brilliant callsign...
71Zulu From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2854 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (3 years 2 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5726 times:
Quoting FX1816 (Reply 12): If the planes say United I doubt it would be any different than UAL and "United" call sign.
The company has said they will use the CO op certificate so the post merger call sign might indeed be "Continental". Really won't be a big deal as many airliners have a call sign different from what is painted on the side of the plane.
Quoting amwest2united (Reply 9): We are going to use Continental's operating certificate and United's Repair Station certificate.
Hate be harsh but we have beaten this horse to death in previous threads. The operating certificate is the NOT the call sign. It is the book of allowable rules for operating the flights. CO flies ETOPS on the 737 and a few other approach and operational changes that would have required the UAL certificate to gain approval for the modifications. The easier path was to adopt the CO certificate as far as the FAA was concerned. This is does not affect the call sign.