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Aircraft registration

Aircraft registration
A Van's Aircraft RV-7 displaying registration G-KELS. The G prefix denotes a civil aircraft registered in the United Kingdom

An aircraft registration is a unique alphanumeric string that identifies a civil aircraft, in similar fashion to a licence plate on an automobile. In accordance with the Convention on International Civil Aviation all aircraft must be registered with a national aviation authority and they must carry proof of this registration in the form of a legal document called a Certificate of Registration at all times when in operation. Most countries also require the aircraft registration to be imprinted on a permanent fireproof plate mounted on the fuselage for the purposes of post-fire/post-crash aircraft accident investigation.

Because aeroplanes/airplanes (see British and American spelling differences) typically display their registration numbers on the aft fuselage just forward of the tail (more often on the tail itself, in earlier times) the registration is often referred to as the "tail number".

Although each aircraft registration is unique, some countries allow it to be re-used when the aircraft has been sold, destroyed or retired. For example, N3794N is assigned to a Mooney M20F.[1] It had been previously assigned to a Beechcraft Bonanza (specifically, the aircraft in which Buddy Holly was killed). Also note that an individual aircraft may be assigned different registrations during its existence. This can be because the aircraft changes ownership, jurisdiction of registration, or in some cases for vanity reasons.

International standards

The first use of aircraft registrations was based on the radio callsigns allocated at the London International Radiotelegraphic Conference in 1913. This was modified by agreement by the International Bureau at Berne and published on April 23, 1913. Although initial allocations were not specifically for aircraft but for any radio user, the International Air Navigation Convention held in Paris in 1919 made allocations specifically for aircraft registrations, based on the 1913 callsign list. The agreement stipulated that the nationality marks were to be followed by a hyphen then a group of four letters that must include a vowel (and for the convention Y was considered to be a vowel).

At the International Radiotelegraph Convention at Washington in 1927, the list of markings was revised and adopted from 1928; these allocations are the basis of the currently used registrations. The markings have been amended and added to over the years, and the allocations and standard are managed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Article 20 of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation (signed in 1944) requires that all signatory countries register aircraft over a certain weight with a national aviation authority. Upon registration, the aircraft receives its unique "registration", which must be displayed prominently on the aircraft.

Annex 7 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation describes the definitions, location, and measurement of nationality and registration marks. The aircraft registration is made up of a prefix selected from the country's callsign prefix allocated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) (making the registration a quick way of determining the country of origin) and the registration suffix. Depending on the country of registration, this suffix is a numeric or alphanumeric code, and consists of one to five digits or characters respectively.

The ICAO provides a supplement to Annex 7 which provides an updated list of approved Nationality and Common Marks used by various countries.

Country-specific usage

Air France Airbus A318 displaying registration F-GUGJ on the wing undersurface and the last two letters of the registration, GJ, on the nose wheel doors.
File:Air India Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (VT-ANG) departs London Heathrow Airport 2ndJuly2014 arp.jpg
A Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner displaying Air India registration VT-ANG on the wing undersurface, on the nose wheel doors and on the rear fuselage.

When painted on the fuselage, the prefix and suffix are usually separated by a dash (for example, YR-BMA). When entered in a flight plan, the dash is omitted (for example, YRBMA). In some countries that use a number suffix rather than letters, like the United States (N), South Korea (HL), and Japan (JA), the prefix and suffix are connected without a dash. Aircraft flying privately usually use their registration as their radio callsign, but many aircraft flying in commercial operations (especially charter, cargo, and airlines) use the ICAO airline designator or a company callsign. In some instances, it may be sufficient to simply display the suffix letters, with the country prefix omitted. For example, gliders registered in Australia would omit the VH prefix and simply display the suffix. Obviously, this is only suitable where the aircraft does not fly in the airspace of another country.

Even if the suffix usually consists of alphabetical characters in a certain country, gliders and ultralights may sometimes use digits instead. For example, in Germany, D-ABCD will be a powered airplane while D-1234 is a glider. In Australia, early glider registration suffixes began with the letters "G-AU", and it is not uncommon to find such gliders only displaying the last two letters of the suffix, as they lacked the range to travel internationally. For example, VH-GIQ would simply be displayed as IQ.

Different countries have different registration prefixes: Canadian registrations start with C, British with G, German with D, and so forth. A comprehensive list is tabulated below.

United States

In the United States, the registration number is commonly referred to as an "N" number, because all aircraft registered there have a number starting with the letter N. An alphanumeric system is used because of the large numbers of aircraft registered in the United States. An N-number may only consist of one to five characters, must start with a digit other than zero, and cannot end in a run of more than two letters. In addition, N-numbers may not contain the letters I or O, due to their similarities with the numerals 1 and 0.[2]

Each alphabetic character in the suffix can have one of 24 discrete values, while each numeric digit can be one of 10, except the first, which can take on only nine values. This yields a total of 915,399 possible registration numbers in the namespace, though certain combinations are reserved either for government use or for other special purposes.[2] With so many possible calls, radio shortcuts are used. Normally when flying entirely within the United States, an aircraft would not identify itself starting with "N", since that is assumed. Also, after initial contact is made with an aircraft control site, only the last two or three characters are typically used.

The following are the combinations that could be used:

  • N1 to N99 — Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) internal use only[2]
  • N1A to N9Z
  • N1AA to N9ZZ
  • N10A to N99Z
  • N10AA to N99ZZ
  • N100 to N999
  • N100A to N999Z
  • N100AA to N999ZZ
  • N1000 to N9999
  • N1000A to N9999Z
  • N10000 to N99999

An older aircraft (registered before 31 December 1948) may have a second letter in its identifier, identifying the category of aircraft. This additional letter is not actually part of the aircraft identification (e.g. NC12345 is the same registration as N12345). Aircraft category letters have not been included on any registration numbers issued since 1 January 1949, but they still appear on antique aircraft for authenticity purposes. The categories were:

  • C = airline, commercial and private
  • G = glider
  • L = limited
  • R = restricted (such as cropdusters and racing aircraft)[3]
  • S = state
  • X = experimental

For example, N-X-211, the Ryan NYP aircraft flown by Charles Lindbergh as the Spirit of St. Louis, was registered in the experimental category.

There is a unique overlap in the United States with aircraft having a single number followed by two letters and radio call signs issued by the Federal Communications Commission to Amateur Radio operators holding the Amateur Extra class license. For example, N4YZ is, on the one hand, a Cessna 206 registered to a private individual in California, while N4YZ is also issued to an Amateur Radio operator in North Carolina.

Decolonisation and independence

The impact of decolonisation and independence on aircraft registration schemes has varied from place to place. Most countries, upon independence, have had a new allocation granted, taken from either an existing ITU allocation or the former country's ITU allocation. For example, after partition in 1947, India retained the VT designation used by the British Raj, while Pakistan adopted the AP designation from the newly allocated ITU callsigns APA-ASZ. Hong Kong, which formerly used the VR-H designation, had the "VR" replaced with the Chinese "B" upon the 1997 Handover to China, resulting in aircraft designations with only four letters in total (as opposed to the international norm of five letters).

List of countries/regions and their registration prefixes and patterns

Country / Region Registration Prefix Presentation
Afghanistan YA YA-AAA to YA-ZZZ
Albania ZA ZA-AAA to ZA-ZZZ
Algeria 7T 7T-AAA to 7T-ZZZ
Andorra C3 C3-AAA to C3-ZZZ
Angola D2 D2-AAA to D2-ZZZ
Anguilla VP-A VP-AAA to VP-AZZ
Antigua and Barbuda V2 V2-AAA to V2-ZZZ
Argentina LV
LQ-AAA to LQ-ZZZ (official use)
Armenia EK EK-10000 to EK-99999
Aruba P4 P4-AAA to P4-ZZZ
Australia VH VH-AAA to VH-ZZZ
Austria OE OE-AAA to OE-KZZ
OE-BAA to OE-BZZ (official use)
OE-LAA to OE-LZZ (airlines operating scheduled flights)
OE-VAA to OE-VZZ (test registrations)
OE-WAA to OE-WZZ (amphibian and sea planes)
OE-XAA to OE-XZZ (helicopters)
OE-0001 to OE-5999 (gliders)
OE-9000 to OE-9999 (motor gliders)
Azerbaijan 4K 4K-AZ1 to 4K-AZ999
4K-10000 to 4K-99999
Bahamas C6 C6-AAA to C6-ZZZ
Bahrain A9C A9C-AA to A9C-ZZ
Bangladesh S2 S2-AAA to S2-ZZZ
Barbados 8P 8P-AAA to 8P-ZZZ
Belarus EW EW-10000 to EW-99999 (ex-Soviet Union registrations)
EW-100AA to EW-999ZZ (aircraft in general, except those listed below)
EW-200PA to EW-299PA (reserved for Boeing 737 aircraft)
EW-100PJ to EW-299PJ (reserved for CRJ aircraft)
EW-001DA, EW-001PA, EW-001PB, EW-85815 (reserved for official use)
EW-0001L to EW-9999L (reserved for balloons)
Belgium OO OO-AAA to OO-PZZ
OO-BAA to OO-BZZ (preferred for Balloons)
OO-YAA to OO-ZAA (preferred for gliders)
OO-01 to OO-499 (Homebuilt aircraft)
OO-501 to OO-999 & OO-A01 to OO-Z99 (Microlights)
Belize V3 V3-AAA to V3-ZZZ
Bhutan A5 A5-AAA to A5-ZZZ
Bolivia CP CP-1000 to CP-9999
Bosnia and Herzegovina T9 T9-AAA to T9-ZZZ
Bosnia and Herzegovina E7 E7-AAA to E7-ZZZ
Botswana A2 A2-AAA to A2-ZZZ
Brazil PP
PR-AAA to PR-ZZZ (PR-ZAA to PR-ZZZ is reserved to experimental non-LSA aircraft)
PS-AAA to PS-ZZZ (proposed by ANAC to be available in 2016)[4]
PT-AAA to PT-ZZZ (PT-ZAA to PT-ZZZ is reserved to experimental non-LSA aircraft)
PU-AAA to PU-ZZZ (Microlights and experimental LSA aircraft)
British Virgin Islands VP-L VP-LAA to VP-LZZ
Brunei V8 V8-AAA to V8-ZZZ
V8-AA1 to V8-ZZ9
V8-001 to V8-999
Bulgaria LZ LZ-AAA to LZ-ZZZ
Burkina Faso XT XT-AAA to XT-ZZZ
Burundi 9U 9U-AAA to 9U-ZZZ
Cambodia XU XU-AAA to XU-ZZZ
Cameroon TJ TJ-AAA to TJ-ZZZ
Canada C C-FAAA to C-FZZZ (Vintage aircraft may be registered CF- instead of C-F)[5]
C-IAAA to C-IZZZ (ultralight aeroplanes only)
Cape Verde D4 D4-AAA to D4-ZZZ
Cayman Islands VP-C VP-CAA to VP-CZZ
Central African Republic TL TL-AAA to TL-ZZZ
Chile CC CC-AAA to CC-ZZZ from July 1, 2009 onwards.
Between December 31, 1945, to June 30, 2009, the system was:

CC-CAA to CC-CZZ (commercial aircraft)

CC-DAA to CC-DZZ (Chile's Aviation directorate planes, including those from the Aviation Museum)
CC-EAA to CC-EZZ (government aircraft)
CC-NAA to CC-NZZ (aero clubes, northern zone)
CC-KAA to CC-KZZ and CC-LAA to CC-LZZ (aero clubes, central zone)
CC-SAA to CC-SZZ and CC-TAA to CC-TZZ (aero clubes, southern zone)
CC-MAA to CC-MZZ (aero clubes, Patagonian area)
CC-PAA to CC-PZZ (private aircraft)
Gliders had numbers in between registrations (i.e. CC-K14W) and some balloons too (i.e. CC-P1)
Ultralights are registered with the markings ULM-number.
Republic of China (Taiwan) B B-00001 to B-99999 (Except B-1900 to B-9999)
People's Republic of China B B-1900 to B-9999
Hong Kong B-H (formerly VR-H)
Macau, China B-M (formerly CS- during Portuguese rule before 1999) B-MAA to B-MZZ
Colombia HJ
HJ-1000A to HJ-9999Z (Microlights)
HK-1000A to HK-9999Z
Comoros D6 D6-AAA to D6-ZZZ
Congo, Republic of TN TN-AAA to TN-ZZZ
Cook Islands E5 E5-AAA to E5-ZZZ
Congo, Democratic Republic of 9Q 9Q-AAA to 9Q-ZZZ
Costa Rica TI TI-AAA to TI-ZZZ
TI-000 to TI-999 (Ultralight aircraft)
Côte d'Ivoire TU TU-AAA to TU-ZZZ
Croatia 9A 9A-AAA to 9A-ZZZ
9A-GAA to 9A-GZZ (Gliders)
9A-HAA to 9A-HZZ (Helicopters)
9A-OAA to 9A-OZZ (Ballons)
9A-UAA to 9A-UZZ (Ultralights)
Cuba CU CU-A1000 to CU-A1999 (Agricultural Aircraft)[6]
CU-C1000 to CU-C1999 (Airlines, cargo operations)[7][8]
CU-H1000 to CU-H1999 (Helicopters)
CU-N1000 to CU-N1999 (Private Aircraft)[9]
CU-T1000 to CU-T1999 (Airlines, passenger flights)
CU-U1000 to CU-U1999 (Ultralights)[10]
Cyprus, Republic of 5B 5B-AAA to 5B-ZZZ
Czech Republic OK OK-AAA to OK-ZZZ
OK-AAA 00 to OK-ZZZ 99 (Microlights)
OK-0000 to OK-9999 (Gliders & balloons)
OK-A000 to OK-A999 (Ultralight gliders)[11]
Denmark OY OY-AAA to OY-ZZZ
OY-HAA to OY-HZZ (Helicopters)
Any registration containing X (Gliders including Touring Motor Glider)
OY-BAA to OY-BZZ (preferred for hot-air balloons)
Djibouti J2 J2-AAA to J2-ZZZ
Dominica J7 J7-AAA to J7-ZZZ
Dominican Republic HI HI-100AA to HI-999ZZ
East Timor 4W N1 4W-AAA to 4W-ZZZ[12]
Ecuador HC HC-AAA to HC-ZZZ
SU-001 to SU-999 (Gliders and balloons)
El Salvador YS YS-AAA to YS-ZZZ
Equatorial Guinea 3C 3C-AAA to 3C-ZZZ
Eritrea E3 E3-AAAA to E3-ZZZZ
Estonia ES ES-AAA to ES-ZZZ
Ethiopia ET ET-AAA to ET-ZZZ
Falkland Islands VP-F VP-FAA to VP-FZZ
Faroe Islands (See Denmark)
Fiji Islands DQ DQ-AAA to DQ-ZZZ
Finland OH OH-AAA to OH-ZZZ
OH-001 to OH-999 (gliders)
OH-G001 to OH-G999 (autogyros)
OH-U001 to OH-U999 (ultralights)
France F F-AAAA to F-ZZZZ
F-AYAA to F-AZZZ (Historic aircraft)
F-CAAA to F-CZZZ (Gliders)
F-OAAA to F-OZZZ (Overseas Territories and aircraft on long-term lease to foreign operators)
F-PAAA to F-PZZZ (Homebuilt)
F-WAAA to F-WZZZ (Test and Delivery)
F-ZAAA to F-ZZZZ (State owned)
"department number"-AA to -ZZ & -AAA to -ZZZ (Ultralights)[e.g.: 59-ABC for the Nord département ]
French West Indies F-OG F-OGAA to F-OGZZ
French Guyana F-O F-OAAA to F-OZZZ
Gambia C5 C5-AAA to C5-ZZZ
Georgia 4L 4L-AAA to 4L-ZZZ
4L-10000 to 4L-99999
Germany D D-AAAA to D-AZZZ for aircraft with more than 20t MTOW
D-AUAA to D-AZZZ (test registrations for aircraft manufactured by Airbus at Finkenwerder)
D-BAAA to D-BZZZ for aircraft with 14t-20t MTOW
D-CAAA to D-CZZZ for aircraft with 5,7t-14t MTOW
D-EAAA to D-EZZZ for single engine aircraft up to 2t MTOW
D-FAAA to D-FZZZ for single engine aircraft from to 2t-5,7t MTOW
D-GAAA to D-GZZZ for multi-engine aircraft up to 2t MTOW
D-IAAA to D-IZZZ for multi-engine aircraft from 2t-5,7t MTOW
D-HAAA to D-HZZZ for rotorcraft
D-KAAA to D-KZZZ for powered gliders
D-LAAA to D-LZZZ for airships
D-MAAA to D-MZZZ for powered ultralight aircraft
D-NAAA to D-NZZZ for non-powered ultralight aircraft
D-OAAA to D-OZZZ for manned free ballons
D-0001 to D-9999 for Gliders
Ghana 9G 9G-AAA to 9G-ZZZ
Gibraltar VP-G VP-GAA to VP-GZZ
Greece SX SX-AAA to SX-ZZZ
Greenland (See Denmark)
Grenada J3 J3-AAA to J3-ZZZ
Guatemala TG TG-AAA to TG-ZZZ
Guernsey 2 2-AAAA to 2-ZZZZ
Guinea 3X 3X-AAA to 3X-ZZZ
Guinea Bissau J5 J5-AAA to J5-ZZZ
Guyana 8R 8R-AAA to 8R-ZZZ
Honduras HR HR-AAA to HR-ZZZ
Hungary HA HA-AAA to HA-ZZZ
HA-1111 to HA-9999 (Gliders)
HA-AAAA to HA-ZZZZ (Ultralights and Motor-Gliders)
Iceland TF TF-AAA to TF-ZZZ
TF-100 to TF-999 (Microlights)
Indonesia PK PK-AAA to PK-ZZZ
Ireland EI EI-AAA to EI-ZZZ
Isle of Man M M-AAAA to M-ZZZZ
Israel 4X 4X-AAA to 4X-ZZZ
Italy I I-AAAA to I-ZZZZ
I-0001 to I-Z999 (Ultralights and Advanced Ultralights)
Jamaica 6Y 6Y-AAA to 6Y-ZZZ
Japan JA JA0001 to JA9999
JA001A to JA999Z
JA01AA to JA99ZZ
JAA001 to JAA999 (Balloons)
Jersey ZJ ZJ-AAA to ZJ-ZZZ
Jordan JY JY-AAA to JY-ZZZ
Kosovo, Republic of Z6[13] Z6-AAA to Z6-ZZZ
Kazakhstan UP UP-AAA01 to UP-ZZZ99 (Suffix letters refer to aircraft type)
Kenya 5Y 5Y-AAA to 5Y-ZZZ
Kiribati T3 T3-AAA to T3-ZZZ
Korea, People's Democratic Rep. P P-500 to P-999
Korea, Republic of HL[14] HLC000 to HLC999 for ultralight
HL0000 to HL0599 for glider
HL0600 to HL0799 for airship
HL1000 to HL1799 for piston engine
HL2000 to HL2099 for piston engine
HL5100 to HL5499 for turbo prop
HL6100 to HL6199 for piston engine helicopter
HL7100 to HL7199 for single turbojet
HL7200 to HL7299, HL7500 to HL7599, HL7700 to HL7799, HL8000 to 8099, HL8200 to HL8299 for twin-jet aircraft
HL7300 to HL7399 for tri-jet aircraft
HL7400 to HL7499, HL7600 to HL7699, HL8400 to HL8499, HL8600 to HL8699 for quad-jet aircraft
HL9100 to HL9699 for turboshaft helicopter
Kuwait 9K 9K-AAA to 9K-ZZZ
Kyrgyzstan EX EX-100 to EX-999
EX-10000 to EX-99999
Laos RDPL RDPL-10000 to RDPL-99999
Latvia YL YL-AAA to YL-ZZZ
Lebanon OD OD-AAA to OD-ZZZ
Lesotho 7P 7P-AAA to 7P-ZZZ
Liberia A8 A8-AAA to A8-ZZZ
Libya 5A 5A-AAA to 5A-ZZZ
Liechtenstein HB HB-AAA to HB-ZZZ (shares allocation with Switzerland)
Lithuania LY LY-AAA to LY-ZZZ
Luxembourg LXN4 LX-AAA to LX-ZZZ
LX-BAA to LX-BZZ (Balloons)
LX-CAA to LX-CZZ (Glider & Motorglider)
LX-HAA to LX-HZZ (Helicopters)
LX-N90442 to LX-N90459 (NATO AWACS)N4
LX-XAA to LX-XZZ (Ultralights)
Macedonia, Republic of Z3 Z3-AAA to Z3-ZZZ
Z3-HAA to Z3-HZZ (Helicopters)
Z3-UA-001 to Z3-UA-999 (Ultralight)
Z3-OAA to Z3-OZZ (Hot air balloons)
Madagascar 5R 5R-AAA to 5R-ZZZ
Malawi 7Q 7Q-AAA to 7Q-ZZZ
Malaysia 9M 9M-AAA to 9M-ZZZ
9M-EAA to 9M-EZZ (Amateur-built)
9M-UAA to 9M-UZZ (Microlight)
Maldives 8Q 8Q-AAA to 8Q-ZZZ
Malta 9H 9H-AAA to 9H-ZZZ
Isle of Man[15] M M-AAAA to M-ZZZZ
Marshall Islands V7 V7-0001 to V7-9999
Mauritania 5T 5T-AAA to 5T-ZZZ
Mauritius 3B 3B-AAA to 3B-ZZZ
Mexico XA
XA-AAA to XA-ZZZ (Commercial)
XB-AAA to XB-ZZZ (Private)
XC-AAA to XC-ZZZ (Government)[16]
Micronesia, Federated States of V6 V6-AAA to V6-ZZZ
Moldova ER ER-AAA to ER-ZZZ
ER-10000 to ER-99999
Monaco 3A 3A-AAA to 3A-ZZZ
3A-HAA to 3A-HZZ (Helicopters)
Mongolia JU JU-1000 to JU-9999
Montenegro 4O 4O-AAA to 4O-ZZZ
Montserrat VP-M VP-MAA to VP-MZZ
Morocco CN CN-AAA to CN-ZZZ
Mozambique C9 C9-AAA to C9-ZZZ
Myanmar XY
XZ-AAA to XZ-ZZZ (Not Used)
Namibia V5 V5-AAA to V5-ZZZ
Nauru C2 C2-AAA to C2-ZZZ
Nepal 9N 9N-AAA to 9N-ZZZ
Netherlands PH PH-AAA to PH-ZZZ
PH-1AA to PH-1ZZ (Drones)
PH-1A1 to PH-9Z9 (Microlights)
PH-100 to PH-9999 (Gliders)
Netherlands Antilles PJ PJ-AAA to PJ-ZZZ
New Zealand ZK ZK-A**, ZK-B**, ZK-GA*, ZK-HA* reserved for historical aircraft including helicopters and gliders since 1987
ZK-FA*, ZK-FB* balloons
ZK-G** gliders
ZK-H**, ZK-I** helicopters
ZK-RA*, ZK-RB*, ZK-RC*, ZK-RD* gyrocopters
ZK-Q** marks are prohibited by ICAO
Remainder for fixed-wing aircraft[17]
Nicaragua YN YN-AAA to YN-ZZZ
Niger 5U 5U-AAA to 5U-ZZZ
Nigeria 5N 5N-AAA to 5N-ZZZ
Norway LN LN-AAA to LN-ZZZ Aircraft in general, except:
LN-G**, Gliders
LN-O**, Helicopters
LN-C**, Balloons
LN-Y**, Ultralight Aircraft
Oman A4O A4O-AA to A4O-ZZ
Pakistan AP, AR AP-AAA to AP-ZZZ, civil aircraft
AR-***, certain military aircraft
Palestine SU-Y
Panama HP HP-1000AA to HP-9999ZZ
Papua New Guinea P2 P2-AAA to P2-ZZZ
Paraguay ZP ZP-AAA to ZP-ZZZ
Peru OB OB-1000 to OB-9999
Philippines RP RP-C0001 to RP-C9999 (Aircraft with complete registrations)
RP-G0001 to RP-G9999 (Gliders)
RP-R0001 to RP-R9999 (Limited registrations)
RP-X0001 to RP-X9999 (Experimental certificate)
RP-S0001 to RP-S9999 (Non-type certificated aircraft)
SP-1000 to SP-3000, SP-8000 (gliders)
SP-SAAA to SP-SZZZ (ultralights)
SN-00AA (police and border guard)
Portugal CR,CS CR-AAA to CR-ZZZ
CS-AAA to CS-ZZZ Aircraft in general, except:
CS-T**, Airliners
CS-H**, Helicopters
CS-X**, Experimental
CS-U**, Ultralight Aircraft
CS-P**, Gliders
CS-B**, Ballons
Qatar A7 A7-AAA to A7-ZZZ
A7-HAA to A7-HZZ & A7-MAA to A7-MZZ (official use)
Réunion Island F-OD F-ODAA to F-ODZZ
Romania YR YR-AAA to YR-ZZZ
YR-1000 to YR-9999 (Gliders and ultralights)
Russian Federation RA, RF RA-00001 to RA-99999
FLA RF-00001 to FLA RF-99999 or ФЛА РФ-00001 to ФЛА РФ-99999 (private - no longer valid)
RA-0001K to RA-9999K (private - no longer valid)
RA-0001G to RA-9999G (private - current series)
RA-0001A to RA-9999A (private - new series?)
RF-00001 to RF-99999 (state-owned aircraft; first two digits indicate owner)
Rwanda 9XR 9XR-AA to 9XR-ZZ
Saint Helena/Ascension VQ-H VQ-HAA to VQ-HZZ
Saint Kitts and Nevis V4 V4-AAA to V4-ZZZ
Saint Lucia J6 J6-AAA to J6-ZZZ
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines J8 J8-AAA to J8-ZZZ
Samoa 5W 5W-AAA to 5W-ZZZ
San Marino T7 T7-AAA to T7-ZZZ
T7-001 to T7-999 (Microlights)
São Tomé and Príncipe S9 S9-AAA to S9-ZZZ
Saudi Arabia HZ HZ-AAA to HZ-ZZZ
HZ-AA1 to HZ-ZZ99
Senegal 6V 6V-AAA to 6V-ZZZ
Serbia YU YU-AAA to YU-ZZZ
YU-0000 to YU-9999 (Gliders)
YU-A000 to YU-Z999 (Ultralight)
Seychelles S7 S7-AAA to S7-ZZZ
Sierra Leone 9L 9L-AAA to 9L-ZZZ
Singapore 9V 9V-AAA to 9V-ZZZ
Slovakia OM OM-AAA to OM-ZZZ
OM-AAAA to OM-ZZZZ (Ultralight)
OM-M000 to OM-M999 (Microlights)
OM-0000 to OM-9999 (Gliders)
Slovenia S5 S5-AAA to S5-9999
S5-DAA to S5-DZZ (General)
S5-HAA to S5-HZZ (Helicopters)
S5-PAA to S5-PZZ (Ultralights)
S5-MAA to S5-MZZ (Amateur builds)
S5-JAA to S5-JZZ (Gyrocopters)
S5-1000 to S5-1999 (Old timer gliders)
S5-3000 to S5-3999 (Singleseater gliders)
S5-7000 to S5-7999 (Doubleseater gliders)
S5-KAA to S5-KZZ (Motorgliders/sustainers)
S5-OAA to S5-OZZ (Hot air balloons)
Solomon Islands H4 H4-AAA to H4-ZZZ
Somalia 6O 6O-AAA to 6O-ZZZ
South Africa ZS
ZS-AAA to ZS-ZZZ (type certified aircraft)
ZT-AAA to ZT-ZZZ (not used)
ZU-AAA to ZU-ZZZ (non-type certified aircraft)
South Sudan Z8 Z8-AAA to Z8-ZZZ
EC-YAA to EC-ZZZ (Homebuilt aircraft)
EC-AA0 to EC-ZZ9 (Ultralight)
EC-001 to EC-999 (Test and delivery)
Sri Lanka 4R 4R-AAA to 4R-ZZZ
Surinam PZ PZ-AAA to PZ-ZZZ
Swaziland 3D 3D-AAA to 3D-ZZZ
Sweden SE SE-AAA to SE-ZZZ
SE-AAA to SE-CZZ (prop aircraft, general use)
SE-DAA to SE-DZZ (jets)
SE-EAA to SE-GZZ (prop aircraft, general use)
SE-HAA to SE-HZZ (helicopters)
SE-IAA to SE-IZZ (prop aircraft, general use)
SE-JAA to SE-JZZ (helicopters)
SE-KAA to SE-LZZ (prop aircraft, general use)
SE-RAA to SE-RZZ (jets)
SE-SAA to SE-UZZ (sailplanes and gliders)
SE-VAA to SE-VZZ (ultralights)
SE-XAA to SE-XZZ (homebuilts)
SE-ZAA to SE-ZZZ (lighter than air)
SE-A01 to SE-Z99 (test and delivery)
Switzerland HB General pattern: HB-AAA to HB-ZZZ, with HB-1 to HB-9999 for Gliders and Motorgliders. The registration often denotes the aircraft type and maker. Some examples:
HB-Axx two-engined aircraft from 5.7 to 15 tons
HB-Bxx balloons
HB-Cxx single-engined Cessnas under 5.7 tons
HB-Dxx other single-engined aircraft under 5.7 tons
HB-Fxx Swiss-produced aircraft like PC-6 and PC-12
HB-Ixx aircraft over 15 tons, including DC-3
HB-Nxx single-engined Pipers under 5.7 tons if HB-P is exhausted
HB-Vxx business jets under 15 tons
HB-Xxx helicopters
HB-Yxx experimental aircraft
Tahiti F-OH F-OHAA to F-OHZZ
Tajikistan EY EY-10000 to EY-99999
Tanzania 5H 5H-AAA to 5H-ZZZ
Thailand HS HS-AAA to HS-ZZZ
Togo 5V 5V-AAA to 5V-ZZZ
Tonga A3 A3-AAA to A3-ZZZ
Trinidad and Tobago 9Y 9Y-AAA to 9Y-ZZZ
Tunisia TS TS-AAA to TS-ZZZ
Turkey TC TC-AAA to TC-ZZZ
Turkmenistan EZ EZ-A100 to EZ-Z999
Turks and Caicos VQ-T VQ-TAA to VQ-TZZ
Tuvalu T2 T2-AAA to T2-ZZZ
Uganda 5X 5X-AAA to 5X-ZZZ
Ukraine UR UR-AAA to UR-ZZZ
UR-10000 to UR-99999
UR-AAAA to UR-ZZZZ (private aircraft)
United Arab Emirates A6 A6-AAA to A6-ZZZ
United Kingdom G G-AAAA to G-ZZZZ
G-1-1 to G-99-99 (Test and delivery)
United NationsN3 4U 4U-AAA to 4U-ZZZ
United States of America N N1 to N99999
N1A to N9999Z
N1AA to N999ZZ
Uruguay CX CX-AAA to CX-ZZZ
Uzbekistan UK UK-10000 to UK-99999
Vanuatu YJ YJ-AA1 to YJ-ZZ99
Venezuela YV YV0001 to YV9999
YV-0001A to YV-9999P
YV-AAA1 to YV-ZZZ9 (Official use)
Vietnam VN VN-1000 to VN-9999
VN-A100 to VN-A999 (turbo jet engine)
VN-B100 to VN-B999 (turbo prop engine)
VN-C100-C999 (internal combustion engine)
Yemen 7O 7O-AAA to 7O-ZZZ
Zambia 9J 9J-AAA to 9J-ZZZ
Zimbabwe Z Z-AAA to Z-ZZZ


  1. ^ Has not been used on any aircraft previously.
  2. ^ Besides the United Nations, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) such as the European Union and NATO do not have the power to create aircraft registrations.
  3. ^ NATO has registered its aircraft with Luxembourg.

Pre-1928 Allocations

Note: in the suffix pattern, n represents a number, x represents a letter

Country / Region Registration Prefix Suffix Pattern 1913 radio call letters
Abyssinia A-B[Note 11] A-Bxxx
Afghanistan Y-A[Note 13] Y-Axxx
Albania B-A[Note 6] B-Axxx
Argentina R-A[Note 9] R-Axxx LIA to LRZ
Australia G-AU[18] G-AUxx VHA to VKZ
Austria-Hungary and Bosnia-Herzegovina HAA to HFZ, OGA to OMZ and UNA to UZZ
Belgium O-B[Note 1] O-Bxxx ONA to OTZ
Bolivia C-B[Note 1] C-Bxxx none
Brazil P-B[Note 1] P-Bxxx SNA to STZ
Canada G-C[18] G-Cxxx, except G-CYxx VAA to VGZ (Newfoundland: VOA to VOZ)
G-CY (military aircraft)[18] G-CYxx
Bulgaria B-B[Note 6] B-Bxxx LXA to LZZ
Chile B-C[Note 10] B-Cxxx COA to CPZ
China X-C[Note 1] X-Cxxx none
Colombia C- C-n to C-nnn none
Costa Rica K-C[Note 6] K-Cxxx
Cuba C-C[Note 1] C-Cxxx none
Czechoslovakia L-B[Note 1] L-Bxxx
Y-M[Note 11] Y-Mxxx Not applicable
Dz- Dz-nnn
Denmark T-D[Note 4] T-Dxxx OUA to OZZ
Dominica Z-D[Note 13] Z-Dxxx
Ecuador E-E[Note 1][Note 5] E-Exxx
Egypt SUA to SUZ
El Salvador Y-S[Note 12] Y-Sxxx
Estonia E-A[Note 8] E-Axxx
Finland K-S[Note 8] K-Sxxx
France F-[Note 1] F-xxxx F and UAA to UMZ
Germany D- D-nnnn A, D and KAA to KCZ
Greece S-G[Note 1] S-Gxxx SVA to SZZ
Guatemala L-G[Note 1] L-Gxxx
Haiti H-H[Note 1][Note 5] H-Hxxx
Hedjaz A-H[Note 1] A-Hxxx
Honduras X-H[Note 1] X-Hxxx
H-H[Note 4] H-Hxxx
H-O[Note 7] H-Oxxx
India G-I[18] G-Ixxx VTA to VWZ
Italy I-[Note 1] I-xxxx I
Japan J-[Note 1] J-xxxx J
Latvia B-L[Note 3] B-Lxxx
Liberia L-L[Note 1] L-Lxxx
Lithuania Z-L[Note 8] Z-Lxxx
Luxembourg L-U[Note 3] L-Uxxx
Mexico XAA to XCZ
Monaco M-M[Note 4] M-Mxxx CQA to CQZ
M-O[Note 7] M-Oxxx
Morocco CNA to CNZ
Netherlands H-N[Note 2] H-Nxxx PAA to PMZ
New Zealand G-NZ[18] G-NZxx VLA to VMZ
Nicaragua A-N[Note 1] A-Nxxx
Norway LAA to LHZ
Panama S-P[Note 1] S-Pxxx
Persia P-I[Note 11] P-Ixxx
Peru O-P[Note 1] O-Pxxx
Poland P-P[Note 1] P-Pxxx
Portugal C-P[Note 1] C-Pxxx CRA to CTZ
Romania C-R[Note 1] C-Rxxx CVA to CVZ
Russia R-R R-Rxxx, RR-xxx R
Serbia-Croatia-Slavonia X-S[Note 1] X-Sxxx
Siam H-S[Note 1] H-Sxxx HGA to HHZ
South Africa G-UA[18] G-UAxx VNA to VNZ
Spain M-[Note 2] M-xxxx EAA to EGZ
Sweden S-A[Note 6] S-Axxx SAA to SMZ
Switzerland C-H[Note 2] C-Hnnn
United States of America N[Note 1] N-xxxx KDA to KZZ, N and W
United Kingdom K[19] K-nnn B, G and M (British colonies not autonomous: VPA to VSZ)
G-E G-EAxx, G-EBxx, G-EDCA
G-F (lighter than air craft) G-FAAx
G-G (gliders) G-GAAx
Uruguay C-U[Note 1][Note 5] C-Uxxx CWA to CWZ
  1. ^ Adopted at the International Commission for Air Navigation (ICAN) meeting of 13 October 1919.[20]
  2. ^ Adopted at the ICAN meeting of 13 July 1922.[21]
  3. ^ Adopted at the ICAN meeting of 25 October 1922.[21]
  4. ^ Adopted at the ICAN meeting of 28 February 1923.[21]
  5. ^ The ICAN meeting of 28 February 1923 amended Ecuador's marks to E-U, Haiti's to H-E, and Uruguay's marks to C-M. They were restored to their original marks at the following meeting on 26 June.[21]
  6. ^ Adopted at the ICAN meeting of 26 June 1923.[21]
  7. ^ Amended at the ICAN meeting of 26 June 1923.[21]
  8. ^ Adopted at the ICAN meeting of 3 March 1924.[21]
  9. ^ Adopted at the ICAN meeting of 14 October 1924.[21]
  10. ^ Adopted at the ICAN meeting of 6 April 1925.[21]
  11. ^ Adopted at the ICAN meeting of 6 October 1925.[21]
  12. ^ Adopted at the ICAN meeting of 3 November 1926.[21]
  13. ^ Adopted at the ICAN meeting of 25 April 1927.[21]

See also


  1. ^ "N3794N". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  2. ^ a b c "FAA registration numbering scheme". 2011-08-08. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  3. ^ Sean Elliott (March 2015). "What does restricted category have to do with experimental". Sport Aviation: 11. 
  4. ^ "Regulamento Brasileiro da Aviação Civil" (PDF). National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (in Portuguese). 22 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Chapter 4 - Aircraft Identification". Transport Canada. 2010-05-20. Retrieved 2013-07-18. 
  6. ^ "Photos: Antonov An-2 Aircraft Pictures". 2011-06-25. Retrieved 2013-07-01. 
  7. ^ "Photos: Tupolev Tu-204CE Aircraft Pictures". 2007-08-02. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  8. ^ "Photos: Mil Mi-8P Aircraft Pictures". 2001-03-03. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  9. ^ "Photos: Cessna 337 Super Skymaster Aircraft Pictures". 2001-02-24. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  10. ^ "Photos: Polarismotor FIB 582 Aircraft Pictures". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  11. ^ Decree No. 155/2005 Coll. of the Ministry of Informatics of the Czech Republic, § 9 (3)h)
  12. ^ Aeronautical Information Publication of East Timor, see GEN 2 1-1, § 4.1
  13. ^ Civil Aviation Authority of the Republic of Kosovo Regulation no 11/2011 amending and supplementing Regulation no 2/2009 on aircraft registration and marking
  14. ^ Civil Aircraft Safety Authority (in Korean)
  15. ^ ITU code 'M' is registered to the United Kingdom. The Isle of Man is not a sovereign entity in international law.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Allocation of Aircraft Registration Marks". Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 2 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f Appleton, John; Cave, Ian G. British Civil Aircraft Registers 1919-1978. Earl Shilton: Midland Counties Publications. p. p7. ISBN 0-904597-15-6. 
  19. ^ Used 1919-20, K-100 to K-175 allocated, reallocated to G-EAxx series in 1920. Appleton, John; Cave, Ian G. British Civil Aircraft Registers 1919-1978. Earl Shilton: Midland Counties Publications. p. p3. ISBN 0-904597-15-6. 
  20. ^ "1919 Country Prefixes". Golden Years of Aviation. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Additions to Registration marks 1919-1927". Golden Years of Aviation. Retrieved 11 February 2011. 

External links