For an aircraft callsign, there are broadly speaking three types of registration:
- The registration of the aircraft.
- Either the type of aircraft or an operators callsign, followed by the last four letters of registration
- An operators callsign followed by a flight ID. This flight ID is usually recognisable as being three numbers and then a letter.
Note that 1 & 2 above can be abbreviated after ATCATC —Air Traffic Control has done so first: 3 cannot.
For a ground callsign, the full callsign will always be the location (eg ""London"") followed by the type of service (eg ""Tower""). This can abbreviated to either of the two words making up the callsign on their own, once satisfactory communication has been achieved.
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