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Origin Of Registration Prefixes  
User currently offlineSXDFC From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 2291 posts, RR: 19
Posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2096 times:

Hello All:

For quite some time now, I have been somewhat curious as to the origin of the registration prefixes for planes around the world. For some countries such as Italy ( I ) , France ( F ), Germany ( D ), Great Britain ( G ), its somewhat simple to determine, however countries such as the USA ( N ), Portugal ( CS ), Mexico ( XA ), Colombia ( HK ) its somewhat difficult. Does anyone know how this was assigned?


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13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHiJazzey From Saudi Arabia, joined Sep 2005, 863 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2096 times:

They're based on the ITU prefix for the country. It's quirks is down to it's age to a certain extent. For instance, Saudi Arabia's prefix (HZ) is short for Hijaz, a nation that was later absorbed into what's now known as Saudi Arabia.

User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 926 posts, RR: 17
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2096 times:
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I hope this helps a bit.

http://www.faa.gov/licenses_certific...registry/aircraft_nnumber_history/



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User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2096 times:

The US "N" used to stand for "normal" (category) at one time IIRC..


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User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15692 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2096 times:

Quoting Fabo (Reply 3):
The US "N" used to stand for "normal" (category) at one time IIRC..

The N is for Navy. The registration prefixes were largely based on those used for radio callsigns. The US got the prefix N because the Navy was quick to embrace radio.

The US did used to use categories as part of the registration after the N. Commercial planes were registered NC, experimental got NX, and so on. They've not been officially used for many years, but sometimes appear on vintage planes.



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User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6751 posts, RR: 76
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2096 times:

Those registration prefixes are based on ITU radio station prefixes... and it is used for radio callsigns.

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

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
The N is for Navy. The registration prefixes were largely based on those used for radio callsigns. The US got the prefix N because the Navy was quick to embrace radio.

The US, has the following ITU prefix allocations: AA through to AL, K, N, W.
(would be funny to see a United or Delta jet with registration prefix of AA- or AL-    )



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently onlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3901 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2096 times:

So why Portugal = CS, Mexico = XA, Colombia = HK, Netherlands = PH, Belgium = OO?


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User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6751 posts, RR: 76
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2096 times:

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 6):
So why Portugal = CS, Mexico = XA, Colombia = HK, Netherlands = PH, Belgium = OO?

ITU Callsign Prefix for:
Portugal: CQ to CU... so CS is included.
Mexico: XA to XI, 4A to 4C and 6D to 6J.... so XA is included.
Colombia: HJ to HK and 5J to 5K... so HK is included.
Netherlands: PA to PI and PJ for Netherlands Antilles.... so PH is obviously included.
Belgium: ON to OT... and again, OO is included.

It's all in that link to the wiki page... *sigh*



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently onlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3901 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2095 times:

I overlooked part of your post, sorry.

Still, the link doesn't tell me why the Netherlands was allocated PA-PI...

[Edited 2012-11-06 14:08:16]


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24643 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 2095 times:

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 8):
Still, the link doesn't tell me why the Netherlands was allocated PA-PI...

KLM's blog has a good explanation of the origin of the Dutch PH registration.
http://blog.klm.com/the-origin-of-ph-registration/2596/


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 2095 times:

There is an explanation on the FAA website that covers it well. With out pasting the whole thing the US was given N & W to use and though some favored W in honor or Wright they stuck with N. Yes the navy was using N as a radio station ID so in a sense the a/c was a radio station. C following the N meant standard not commercial. Check out the site for a full explanation.

User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9523 posts, RR: 42
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 2095 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
They've not been officially used for many years, but sometimes appear on vintage planes.

... And on Federation starships.   


User currently onlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3901 posts, RR: 19
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 2095 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 9):

Thanks, that's an interesting read. But it still doesn't tell us why Holland was allocated radio call signs in the P range in the first place, along with Brazil.

P for Pays-Bas?

Or was P a spillover from the O, since five other smaller European nations - Austria, Finland, Czechoslovakia, Belgium and Denmark - are somehow in the O range?



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 2922 posts, RR: 29
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2094 times:

Many of the prefixes are historical anomalies that reflect political realities at the time of the first international radio-telegraphic convention in 1912 and the limited number of countries that participated. For example, the V series was reserved for the British Empire (V=Victoria, even though she was no longer the monarch). This is why VO was assigned to the then Dominion of Newfoundland, but is now administered by Canada which otherwise has the prefixes CF-CK. Canada also retains VA-VG and VX-VY from its colonial days. VR was assigned to Hong Kong and is now administered by the PRC.

The U.S. was represented by the military and thus acquired A (Army) and N (Navy). When letters were required for civilian stations, the solution was to add morse dashes to the code for A and N - thus A ( . - ) became W ( . - - ) and N ( - . ) became K ( - . - ).

I don't know why the Netherlands was assigned PA-PI and its then colonies were assigned PJ (Antilles) and PK-PO (Indonesia), but something in Dutch history/politics will give you the answer.

[Edited 2012-11-08 10:08:32]


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