Posts: 354
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 1999 12:10 pm

ATC - Callsigns

Wed Aug 09, 2000 4:09 am

While listening to ATC, I sometimes hear a letter designation after the call sign and number. For example:

Speedbird 150 Whiskey


Air Malta 110 Alfa

Why are some flights given this extra designation?

Aer Lingus
Posts: 1217
Joined: Sun May 14, 2000 4:06 am

RE: ATC - Callsigns

Wed Aug 09, 2000 4:51 am

All I know is that callsigns such as "XXX 128F" (Foxtrot) identify a cargo flight
"XXX 128C" (Charlie) can sometimes mean an extra flight and Brittania uses the Alpha and Bravo endings to signify the outbound and inbound flight respectively
Posts: 5123
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: ATC - Callsigns

Wed Aug 09, 2000 6:09 am

Sometimes when the airlines run an extra section, or when two different planes handle a flight bearing the same number through a hub, an "Alpha" is appended to the latter flight for ATC purposes. For example, if one flight is an hour late coming into a hub and the operations department decides to have it terminate there while they send its continuation out on time using a substitute aircraft (which would then originate with the same flight number while the inbound is still in the air), the newer flight may bear the same flight number with an A at the end, or some digits may be added to the beginning, just to keep them separate and eliminate the possibility of confusion.