Call Signs

Aircraft Call Signs

When using the radio, pilots are required to use the name of the aircraft manufacturer, or the aircraft model, and the last three letters of the aircraft registration marking as a call sign (Civil Aviation Rule 91.249(a)(3)).

Under Exemption 15/EXE/43, aircraft that have an approved identifiable paint scheme (Part 47) may use a unique personalised call sign, acceptable to the Director.

The unique personalised call sign must include the aircraft manufacturer/type, and letters or numbers, clearly recognisable in the approved paint scheme, eg, Harvard 99.

A unique personalised call sign must be accepted by the Director before it can be used.

To apply for a unique personalised call sign, you must be eligible under rule 47.104. You cannot apply for a personalised call sign unless you have an approved paint scheme.

To apply for an identifiable paint scheme, and/or call sign, use CAA form 24047/04.

List of Accepted Personalised Call Signs

Operator Call Signs

If required to communicate by radiotelephony under the Civil Aviation Rules, a pilot-in-command of a New Zealand registered aircraft may use the telephony designator of the aircraft operating agency as approved by the Director, followed by the flight identification.

The Director may only approve call signs for the use of the holder of an air operator certificate issued under Part 119 conducting a regular air transport service, a search and rescue flight, or a medical transfer or medical emergency flight.

Approved Operator Call Signs (PDF 35 KB)

These operators have been assigned approved call signs. Where the use has been identified as International, these have been registered with ICAO and have been published in ICAO Doc 8585 Designators for aircraft operating agencies, aeronautical authorities and services. Where the use has been identified as Domestic, these have not been registered with ICAO and may only be used within the New Zealand FIR.

To apply for an approved call sign, you must lodge an application using:

CAA form 24091/05 Application for RTF and Three Letter Designator  (PDF)