DBCooper
Topic Author
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:51 am

Similar Call Signs

Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:29 am

For safety reasons, the ATC folks have over the years made it a policy to notify airlines of similar sounding (or looking) call signs (flight numbers). For example, XX 3568 and XX 3586 can look similar in a rush, and XX 1471 and XX 471 can sound the same in a garbled transmission.

Is anyone aware of any listing of similar sounding call signs (numbers) that I could use for a project? For example, avoid ### and ### within an hour of each other or something?

Many thanks; sorry if this is unclear.


- DBC
 
TimT
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2001 1:38 pm

RE: Similar Call Signs

Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:16 am

I heard a story some years ago about this. At the time, the Presidential airplane used something other than "Air Force 1" and was in the same approach pattern as an Eastern aircraft that had a similar sounding call sign. Caused quite a stir. After that it was Air Force 1. I'm thinking that it was somewhere on the east coast, like Dulles. Might be a direction to go for your paper.
 
AJ
Posts: 2295
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 1999 3:54 pm

RE: Similar Call Signs

Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:00 pm

Flying to Portugal from Frankfurt on a Qantas callsign many European accents made 'Qantas' and 'Condor' sound surprising similar. The Spanish controllers wound up calling us 'Quebec Foxtrot Alpha 60xx'!
 
PNEPilot
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 8:19 am

RE: Similar Call Signs

Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:11 pm

Nothing much to add on this thread, but on one Sunday afternoon recently PNE Tower was sounding rather stressed when he had Cherokee 33788, Cherokee 43788 and two Citabrias with similar call signs all working closed traffic at the same time.
 
tbanger
Posts: 253
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: Similar Call Signs

Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:31 pm

Eastern Airlines in Australia (Qantaslink) have a flight leave Albury at 6.30am weekday mornings under the flight number callsign of Eastern 2202 and departing Wagga Wagga at the same time is Eastern 2220.

Provided the flights run on time, you get both aircraft operating the same approach into SYD about 10 mins apart, coming from the same direction.

If the Wagga flight is 10 mins late..................................
 
levent
Posts: 1589
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:11 pm

RE: Similar Call Signs

Thu Oct 07, 2004 7:07 pm

It sometimes gets confusing in Spain with Air Nostrum flights, operating in the 8000 range. As the airline has a dense network within the country, you get many flights with similar flight numbers at the same time.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Similar Call Signs

Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:48 pm

>>>Is anyone aware of any listing of similar sounding call signs (numbers) that I could use for a project? For example, avoid ### and ### within an hour of each other or something?

Are you meaning a list of -actual- ones, or a list of -potential- ones, or like a set of rules?



[Edited 2004-10-07 15:49:20]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
DBCooper
Topic Author
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:51 am

RE: Similar Call Signs

Fri Oct 08, 2004 11:53 am

I am looking for a set of rules, if anyone has one they don't mind sharing or pointing me to.


Thanks.....


- DBC
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Similar Call Signs

Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:13 pm

Maybe SPREE34 or another controller can offer some insight or criteria...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
C172N
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 6:33 pm

RE: Similar Call Signs

Sun Oct 10, 2004 12:57 pm

I don't think there are any rules on avoidance of similar sounding call-signs, but I have a vague recollection that if two aircraft pass through the same sector at the same time, with a call-sign which sounds identical (particularly with aircraft likely to be flown by pilots whose first language is not English), ATC will order one of the aircraft to alter its call-sign, perhaps suffixing it with a 'foxtrot', for the remainder of its flight.

I remember hearing on my scanner many years ago, an El Al flight passing overhead South East England on route to the States, which was ordered to alter it's call-sign due to another on frequency which would've caused confusion. I don't remember who the other aircraft belonged to, or what exactly the call sign of the first was altered to...

Obviously, a bit of forethought on the part of the ops teams should avoid clashes with aircraft from the same operator.

C172N
 
theflcowboy
Posts: 357
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 3:44 am

RE: Similar Call Signs

Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:41 am

Sometimes if they are close enough - ATC will rename one flight to a higher number. For instance Delta 1431 and Delta 1231 or something. One of the flights may become Delta 9038 or something like that.
A318, A320, A332, A333, B1900, B722, B732, B733, B734, B735, B737, B738, B772, CR1, CR2, CR7, CR9, MD80, MD81, MD82, MD8
 
ATCisgreat
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 12:19 am

RE: Similar Call Signs

Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:02 am

For me, it's depending on what type of flights are involved and how much time I have, anyhow. If I have 2 overflights for example with similar callsign I usually don't bother informing them cause all I have to tell them is "hello" and "goodbye", maybe a little "turn left" or "right" and "resume own nav". But if it involves flights with which I know I have to do some sequencing with a lot of different commands I tell them right on contact "KLMxxx, be aware, company xxx aswell (expected) on this freq". But then again, if those flights have already been flying along with each other for 3 or 4 sectors I expect them somehow to have noticed that already by themselves. It's a bit weird to explain. Sometimes I have criterias sometimes its more about the feeling on a traffic situation. And if it's really really really busy I simply don't have the time for it.
Hope this helps a bit!
Next: 26.05. DUS-LHR BA939, LHR-HKG BA25; 01.06 HKG-LHR BA32; 02.06. LHR-DUS BA938
 
copter808
Posts: 1383
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2000 1:14 pm

RE: Similar Call Signs

Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:03 pm

Dont recall any "confusion" over similar call signs on this one, but at one time the Wisconsin Army National Guard used the call sign of "Bucky", followed by the 2 digit id of the PIC (pilot-in-command). Normal ATC response, when outside our local area, was "aircraft calling (atc facility), say ID again. This was usually repeated 2, 3, or more times. They later change the callsign!

Also, try changing the first letter of the (Bucky) call sign. Regardless of which letter you use, the call signs all sound alike!

The "Bucky" callsign originated from the University of Wisconsin mascot, Bucky Badger. Strangely enough, the person who came up with that callsign never admitted it, but all the pilots knew who it was!
 
backfire
Posts: 3467
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:01 am

RE: Similar Call Signs

Tue Oct 12, 2004 2:22 am

You might want to look at this FAA air traffic bulletin:

http://www.faa.gov/atpubs/ATB/04-6.htm

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