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FAASTeam Notice
Type: General Information
Notice Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Notice Number: NOTC7779
Your ADS-B Questions Answered: Get the Facts Here
This notice expired on
Friday, June 15, 2018

Q: Should I purchase an ADS-B transmitter that allows me to enter a call sign?

A: ADS-B transmitters may be purchased with or without the pilot changeable call sign feature. Most general aviation pilots use their aircraft registration (N number) as the call sign for ATC communications and filing flight plans. Commercial operators routinely use call signs that are not related to the aircraft registration but relate to the activity of the operation (United, Delta, American, etc.). 14 CFR 91.227(d)(8) specifically addresses call sign requirements.

If you always use your plane's registration number for air traffic control communication, you can use an ADS-B transmitter with a non-changeable call sign. If you're not sure, use the questions below to determine what kind of equipment you need.

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you need an ADS-B transmitter with a pilot-changeable call sign feature.

  • Do you use an ICAO call sign to communicate with air traffic control? (e.g. DAL123)
  • Do you use a local area call sign to communicate with air traffic control? (e.g. RDDL123)
  • Do you conduct commercial air taxi flights using a Tango November prefix for your ATC call sign?
  • Do you conduct emergency medical transportation flights using a Lima November prefix for your ATC call sign?
  • Do you conduct volunteer flights for organizations such as Angel Flight or Animal Rescue Flight and prefer to use their ICAO call sign (e.g. ARF223)?
  • Does your flight planning company provide a unique call sign for privacy reasons?

For more information on Call Sign Mismatch, please refer to the previously published FAA Safety Briefing article:  What's in a Name? How to Avoid an ADS-B Call Sign Mismatch


Don’t Get Left in the Hangar. Equip Now!

There are only 20 months remaining before the January 1, 2020 ADS-B Out equipage deadline.

For more information, please visit the Equip ADS-B website

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