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It's another day in ATC, and there's a stream of inbound traffic.
A controller that the next two aircraft for sequencing have callsigns. BigJet 337C and BigJet 373C
But he's unable to the pilots because the is too busy
Planning to bring in the BJT373C first, he clears it to descend, using the callsign Big Jet 3C.
Because of the aircrafts' similar-sounding callsigns, both pilots try to respond and their transmissions .
The controller believes he hears the correct response from Big Jet 373C, and with his work.
Both a/c start descending and are now on .
At this critical moment, a colleague arrives to the ctl's working position, distracting his attention from the radar.
During the , the ctls quickly notice the conflict and before TCAS advisories are triggered, immediately issue avoiding actions
Serious incident !
This is a typical example of callsign confusion, meaning: pilots act on a clearance intended for another a/c or a ctl confuses 2 a/c.
this may flight safety incidents.
Callsign confusion occurs when two or more use similar callsigns in the and on the same frequency
Many airlines already similar callsigns in their own flight schedules to help elimiate the threat
One way to do this is to use the Eurocontrol callsign-similarity tool.
But did you know you can help prevent callsign confusion, too?
Just follow these guidelines:
1. try not to transmissions
2. and emphasize digits, letters and similar-sounding words clearly
3. always pronounce numbers and callsigns digit by digit and
4. only callsigns that include a/c registration can be abbreviated
so, don't BIG JET 73C to BIGJET3C, for example
Learn more about callsign confusion on SKYBRARY.