Australia Introduces Alphanumeric Aircraft Registration System to Address Shortage

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The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has unveiled a groundbreaking solution to the depletion of available aircraft registration marks. Owners and operators can now secure marks starting this month.

Under this new system, aircraft registration marks will commence with the iconic ‘VH’ Australian Nationality mark, followed by three alphanumeric characters. This innovative approach aims to alleviate the growing scarcity of registration marks under the traditional VH-XXX system, which has been used since 1929.

“Aircraft registration marks in Australia will continue to use the VH Australian Nationality mark followed by 3 characters. Marks will not contain the numbers ‘0’ or ‘1’ to avoid conflict with these numbers and letters,” CASA explained.

Moreover, marks must comprise a mixture of letters and numbers; purely numeric combinations will not be permitted.

The initial release of 1,500 new alphanumeric marks occurred on September 23, 2022, exclusively featuring the characters “X” and “8”. This strategic release served as a precursor to the system’s full implementation.

Projected to provide a reservoir of 20,000 potential registration marks, the alphanumeric system’s introduction effectively tackles the shortage issue, establishing a lasting remedy for decades. Aircraft owners are now empowered to proactively cherry-pick their preferred registration marks, diverging from the former practice of consenting to whatever was accessible.

Commencing from August 3, 2023, the reservation process for these alphanumeric registration marks was initiated after CASA’s announcement. The catalogue of available marks and comprehensive instructions concerning the reservation process have been openly disclosed.

“Mark reservation applications are processed in order of receipt. Suppose the same mark is requested by two different parties on the same day. In that case, the mark will be reserved for the first reservation received, provided the application is completed correctly,” CASA said.Australia’s alphanumeric aircraft registration system equips the aviation sector with future demands, granting owners unprecedented registration mark agency.

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