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Author Topic: British Airways Callsign question  (Read 8560 times)
kkjlai
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« on: May 05, 2006, 11:58:00 PM »

Recently, I am hearing ATC calling / refer to the flight "BAW 99" (British Airways flight 99 from EGLL to CYYZ) as "Speedbird-Nine-Lima"

I know British Airways' callsign is Speedbird, but why does the ATC call flight number 99 as "Nine-Lima"?

I noticed this for a lot of times /days already, not a single occurance.  

Does anyone have a suggestion on why the use on the "Nine-Lima" instead of say "Speedbird Ninty-nine" or "Speedbird niner-niner" etc?

Thanks

kkjlai
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PHL Approach
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2006, 12:07:58 AM »

Quick use of the forum search function brought this up. http://www.liveatc.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1703&highlight=flight+number
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Hobbyist
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2006, 01:08:34 PM »

Hello kkjlai;
My name is Hobbyist and you asked a question about the call sign about British Airways BAW99 to BAW9L and here is my interpetation on the answer of the question and I,ll give you an example of it first.
Like some flights that go around the US they have a what you call a slash/ R-Romeo or a slash/ W-Whiskey like NW-Northwest 1298 or NW-Northwest 298/W that means that is how they are set up for radio like navigational system. It is in the navigational system is how they are set up in that form. And here is another example; If this flight is a lifeguard flight they will call it Northwest 1298 lifeguard. That means that they have a body organ in transit to the flight and they have the right of way. I hope that gives you the right interpetation on it. Now in the summer of 1997 I took a United flight from Denver (DEN) to Chicago O`Hare (ORD) and it went on as 942 to Paris Charles DeGulle (CDG), the flight on the ticket is 942. Now when I boarded the flight and I inserted the headset to listen to the communications between the cockpit and the controller they had given a charter like number which was at that time 8135. However the aircraft used was the very same plane that I was on was a B777-200. and they still use the charter numbers as of today They now call it 8172 which uses the same aircraft. If there is any one out there can explain that to me, Please do so. Thanks.
Thanks from Hobbyist.
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Jason
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2006, 01:24:27 PM »

Quote from: Hobbyist
Hello kkjlai;
My name is Hobbyist and you asked a question about the call sign about British Airways BAW99 to BAW9L and here is my interpetation on the answer of the question and I,ll give you an example of it first.
Like some flights that go around the US they have a what you call a slash/ R-Romeo or a slash/ W-Whiskey like NW-Northwest 1298 or NW-Northwest 298/W that means that is how they are set up for radio like navigational system. It is in the navigational system is how they are set up in that form. And here is another example; If this flight is a lifeguard flight they will call it Northwest 1298 lifeguard. That means that they have a body organ in transit to the flight and they have the right of way. I hope that gives you the right interpetation on it. Thanks.
Thanks from Hobbyist.


Hi Hobbyist,

I think "BAW9L" has nothing to do with the equipment suffix (at least here in the US).  Unfortunately, I do not know what it does refer to, but i know that sometimes when airlines already have a flight with a certain flight number airborne and then a flight with the same flight number leaves later/earlier because of delay which means two of the same flight numbers would be flying/airborne, they may attach a letter to the end of the callsign.  The equipment suffix is only spoken to a controller when identifying your aircraft type and equipment suffix on initial contact such as if you didn't already have a flight plan filed.

Also, when a lifeguard flight is operating, they attach "lifeguard" to the beginning of the callsign, not the end.  ie: "Lifeguard Northwest 1298" or "Lifeguard November 1234-Alpha."

Jason
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The Hoffspatcher
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2006, 02:57:24 PM »

See, it depends where you heard this.  In North America the airlines only add a letter designator to a flight number if a flight with the same number is in the air at the same time; which is a rare occournance.

E.g. UA870 is a daily 744 from Sydney (SYD) to San Francisco (SFO) but its also a 772 from SFO to Chicago (ORD) - so if the -400 bound for SFO is late and  still in the air but the 772 has to depart, they'll add a letter such as A to make the callsign UAL870A

On the other hand; if you heard this in Europe then its a different set of rules.  I hear from a friend in London the regulatory authorities (such as National Air Traffic Services in the UK) allow the airlines to only use certian numbers at any one time and they often add a bunch of letters to the end just so they can't get the flights mixed up.  I've heard of callsigns like "Speedbird niner fife zero echo x-ray" and "Swiss six niner two yankee sierra"
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Ben Hoffman; BAv, ADX
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matth
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2006, 08:19:40 PM »

I believe they changed the flight numbers due to the simple fact that there were so many similar sounding callsigns at peak times in LON, etc, that it was becoming a confusion for the controllers and pilots alike

9'er LIMA is a lot better than 99, and then 98, 90, and so on
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babotika
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2006, 11:49:01 PM »

Matth and Ben are on the right track. The BAW9L has nothing to do with the equipment on board, type of aircraft, etc. It's just an alternate to the flight number.
Using different IATA (passenger/luggage) and ICAO (flightplans/atc) flight numbers rarely happens in north america, but is a common occurrence with European airlines.... wink

S
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XTSKid
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2006, 12:33:04 AM »

Just heard American677Quebec on the KSNA Feed.
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SUNJETUK
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2006, 05:33:39 PM »

Hi All,

I should know what they mean as I am the person in BA who choses the call-sign and allocates them to the BAW flights.

Call-signs allocated to BAW services are to avoid call-sign confusion with another of our flights operating into/out of LHR/LGW at the same time.
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