|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zzz|
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : atl|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
pilot : cfi
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 250|
flight time total : 9000
flight time type : 2000
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||other personnel other|
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
I fly for a dual designator carrier, our flts are listed on computers and in the oag as air carrier X flts using 4 digit call signs (for example, the flight to be described later is shown in the oag and in the reservations computers as air carrier X cdgd, when in reality it is air carrier X commuter that is doing the flying). Our competition is a dual designator with air carrier Y airlines. Using 4 digit call signs is extremely confusing because of all the numbers that must be pronounced, especially considering atl is the busiest airport in the world. In april our competition went to a 2 and 3 digit call sign system to alleviate confusion. They still list the flight number on the reservations computer and in the oag as a 4 digit number but for the purposes of ATC only they drop either the first or last number of the 4 digit number, or drop the first or last 2 digits of the 4 digit number. This system works exceptionally well at reducing controller and air crew workload and enhances safety. I asked our director of dispatch if we could do this. We found out that mr Q of central flow control has to approve the plan. Technically the call sign number must match the oag number. Mr Q obviously can deviate from this policy and allow different numbers to be used on the call sign. I and mr B have left numerous messages for mr Q, but he refuses to return our calls. Association reps have been unable to get permission from FAA for us to do this either. Sooner or later this call sign confusion is going to cause a midair collision! I cannot get anybody at the FAA to listen to me and I don't know why, because this program is already in place at our competition! I am especially upset that mr Q would not return our calls. Apparently he does not take us seriously. This is a critical situation.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: COMMUTER ACR COMPLAINT ABOUT HAVING TO USE 4 DIGIT NUMBERS IN CALL SIGN.
Narrative: I FLY FOR A DUAL DESIGNATOR CARRIER, OUR FLTS ARE LISTED ON COMPUTERS AND IN THE OAG AS ACR X FLTS USING 4 DIGIT CALL SIGNS (FOR EXAMPLE, THE FLT TO BE DESCRIBED LATER IS SHOWN IN THE OAG AND IN THE RESERVATIONS COMPUTERS AS ACR X CDGD, WHEN IN REALITY IT IS ACR X COMMUTER THAT IS DOING THE FLYING). OUR COMPETITION IS A DUAL DESIGNATOR WITH ACR Y AIRLINES. USING 4 DIGIT CALL SIGNS IS EXTREMELY CONFUSING BECAUSE OF ALL THE NUMBERS THAT MUST BE PRONOUNCED, ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING ATL IS THE BUSIEST ARPT IN THE WORLD. IN APRIL OUR COMPETITION WENT TO A 2 AND 3 DIGIT CALL SIGN SYS TO ALLEVIATE CONFUSION. THEY STILL LIST THE FLT NUMBER ON THE RESERVATIONS COMPUTER AND IN THE OAG AS A 4 DIGIT NUMBER BUT FOR THE PURPOSES OF ATC ONLY THEY DROP EITHER THE FIRST OR LAST NUMBER OF THE 4 DIGIT NUMBER, OR DROP THE FIRST OR LAST 2 DIGITS OF THE 4 DIGIT NUMBER. THIS SYS WORKS EXCEPTIONALLY WELL AT REDUCING CTLR AND AIR CREW WORKLOAD AND ENHANCES SAFETY. I ASKED OUR DIRECTOR OF DISPATCH IF WE COULD DO THIS. WE FOUND OUT THAT MR Q OF CENTRAL FLOW CTL HAS TO APPROVE THE PLAN. TECHNICALLY THE CALL SIGN NUMBER MUST MATCH THE OAG NUMBER. MR Q OBVIOUSLY CAN DEVIATE FROM THIS POLICY AND ALLOW DIFFERENT NUMBERS TO BE USED ON THE CALL SIGN. I AND MR B HAVE LEFT NUMEROUS MESSAGES FOR MR Q, BUT HE REFUSES TO RETURN OUR CALLS. ASSOCIATION REPS HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO GET PERMISSION FROM FAA FOR US TO DO THIS EITHER. SOONER OR LATER THIS CALL SIGN CONFUSION IS GOING TO CAUSE A MIDAIR COLLISION! I CANNOT GET ANYBODY AT THE FAA TO LISTEN TO ME AND I DON'T KNOW WHY, BECAUSE THIS PROGRAM IS ALREADY IN PLACE AT OUR COMPETITION! I AM ESPECIALLY UPSET THAT MR Q WOULD NOT RETURN OUR CALLS. APPARENTLY HE DOES NOT TAKE US SERIOUSLY. THIS IS A CRITICAL SITUATION.