What does call sign ‘VT’ on Indian planes mean?

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A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) had been moved in Delhi High Court seeking direction to Centre Government to change the Call Sign ‘VT’ written on Indian aircraft which stands for ‘Victorian Territory and Viceroy Territory’. The plea stated that, even after 75 years of Independence, VT, which is a sign of slavery, still exists.

However, the call sign on Indian planes “VT” is not an acronym for “Viceroy Territory”, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Vijay Kumar Singh told the Rajya Sabha.

VT was assigned to India during the International Radiotelegraph Convention of Washington, 1927 signed in Washington on November 25.

It does not mean “Viceroy Territory” and call signs that are closer to India or Bharat such as I, IN, B, BH, BM, or HT are already assigned to other countries.

However, if the call sign is changed, all documents will have to be reissued; aircraft will have to be repainted and will not be able to fly till all markings are changed. All aircraft will remain grounded during the process which will have a huge financial implication on the airlines and the civil aviation sector.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has allotted three series of call signs to India – ATA-AWZ, VTA-VWZ, and 8TA-8YZ.

Call sign could be the first one or two letters of the series. As per the provisions of Annex 7 of the Chicago Convention, our country had the options to choose its call sign from above three series for aircraft registered in India.

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