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Mode Aviation
Reference No. AR201500061
Date reported 24 July 2015
Concern title Confusion caused by the similarity of call signs in use by the operator in the Queensland area
Concern summary

The concern related to the confusion caused by similarity in call signs used by the operator on flights which are operating at similar times in the Queensland area.

Industry / Operation affected Aviation: Air transport
Concern subject type Aviation: Airspace

Reporter's concern

The reporter expressed a safety concern related to the confusion caused by similar call signs in use in Queensland by [airline] flights.

The reporter advised that XX833 ([location 1] to Brisbane) and XX883 ([location 2] to Brisbane) both operate in the Queensland area on a daily basis, often being stepped above or below the other aircraft.

This is a small ATC area, handling around 230 aircraft daily often in poor weather, with military restricted tunnels adding to the complexity of the airspace.

Reporter’s comment: Why are similar call signs allowed in this area, adding to the controller’s already heavy workload.

Operator's response (Operator 1)

We [airline] have reviewed the content of this report and agree that there is an elevated risk of call sign confusion. We have undertaken to amend the flight number for this schedule in order to mitigate this risk.

Operator's response (Operator 2)

CASA has reviewed the REPCON and notes the operator’s response. CASA also refers to our response to REPCON AR201500050 regarding call sign confusion in the Queensland area.

ATSB comment

Readers are also referred to REPCON AR201500050 for a response from Airservices Australia.

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Last update 19 November 2015