|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : mem|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Commercial Fixed Wing|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||climbout : takeoff|
ground : preflight
ground other : taxi
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : departure|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller radar : 5|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
Air carrier XXX0, air carrier XXX1, air carrier XXX9 all on frequency 124.125 at ZME at PM30 local during air carrier X arrival push. Numerous repeats of ATC clrncs required to issue control instructions to correct aircraft. All aircraft under control of sector 61. Complaints to ZME have resulted in no action being taken in the past. ZME upper level management seems to be overly concerned with allowing air carrier X marketing considerations to override the obvious safety issue. Like the recent incident at jfk, a call sign mix-up and the potential for a separation loss are highly likely in this type environment. Suggest similar call signs be put into other areas, or not used at all. Due to ZME's management being unable to correct this issue, this information is being forwarded to the NTSB as well. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: reporter is an ATC specialist working the mem east sector. The subject air carrier assigns flight numbers sequentially, easier for their scheduling, etc, but consequently less safe in the ATC/flight crew communication. When 4 flts are departing very close to each other with only the last number being different, it is evident of the potential miscom, ie, air carrier 1234, 1235, 1236 all departing and receiving clrncs about the same time. Reporter says that complaints to the air carrier go unanswered because one of the retired controllers was hired by the air carrier and he stonewalls action because it is easier for the air carrier to continue with the present procedure. Reporter also says that pilots complain but also get no response.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SIMILARITY OF ACR CALL SIGNS POTENTIAL MISCOM.
Narrative: ACR XXX0, ACR XXX1, ACR XXX9 ALL ON FREQ 124.125 AT ZME AT PM30 LCL DURING ACR X ARR PUSH. NUMEROUS REPEATS OF ATC CLRNCS REQUIRED TO ISSUE CTL INSTRUCTIONS TO CORRECT ACFT. ALL ACFT UNDER CTL OF SECTOR 61. COMPLAINTS TO ZME HAVE RESULTED IN NO ACTION BEING TAKEN IN THE PAST. ZME UPPER LEVEL MGMNT SEEMS TO BE OVERLY CONCERNED WITH ALLOWING ACR X MARKETING CONSIDERATIONS TO OVERRIDE THE OBVIOUS SAFETY ISSUE. LIKE THE RECENT INCIDENT AT JFK, A CALL SIGN MIX-UP AND THE POTENTIAL FOR A SEPARATION LOSS ARE HIGHLY LIKELY IN THIS TYPE ENVIRONMENT. SUGGEST SIMILAR CALL SIGNS BE PUT INTO OTHER AREAS, OR NOT USED AT ALL. DUE TO ZME'S MGMNT BEING UNABLE TO CORRECT THIS ISSUE, THIS INFO IS BEING FORWARDED TO THE NTSB AS WELL. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: RPTR IS AN ATC SPECIALIST WORKING THE MEM E SECTOR. THE SUBJECT ACR ASSIGNS FLT NUMBERS SEQUENTIALLY, EASIER FOR THEIR SCHEDULING, ETC, BUT CONSEQUENTLY LESS SAFE IN THE ATC/FLC COM. WHEN 4 FLTS ARE DEPARTING VERY CLOSE TO EACH OTHER WITH ONLY THE LAST NUMBER BEING DIFFERENT, IT IS EVIDENT OF THE POTENTIAL MISCOM, IE, ACR 1234, 1235, 1236 ALL DEPARTING AND RECEIVING CLRNCS ABOUT THE SAME TIME. RPTR SAYS THAT COMPLAINTS TO THE ACR GO UNANSWERED BECAUSE ONE OF THE RETIRED CTLRS WAS HIRED BY THE ACR AND HE STONEWALLS ACTION BECAUSE IT IS EASIER FOR THE ACR TO CONTINUE WITH THE PRESENT PROC. RPTR ALSO SAYS THAT PLTS COMPLAIN BUT ALSO GET NO RESPONSE.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.