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ANCAO Standards - Guide on air and airport terminology

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ANCAO Standards



ANCAO is pleased to present the first guide on airport and airline terminology and standards. This guide was created to guide people in creating airline and airport wiki pages as well as improving the writing quality of RPs involving the aviation wurld. 

They are a series of posts in which we discover the terminology of the aviation wurld as well as providing useful advice on creating a realistic setting of airlines and airports.


List of posts

  1. Guide on ANCAO (ICAO) and IATA codes
  2. Airport Information Guide
  3. Airline Guide
  4. Aircraft Registration



Thanks to Gallambria for helping in making this guide

Edited by Ionio (see edit history)
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  • 1 month later...

Airport Information Guide


After talking about ANCAO / ICAO & IATA codes today we discuss some technical aspects realative to airports that significantly improve IIWiki pages but also RP We take as reference O'polis International Airport which has its own IIWiki page. 



If we look at the airport infobox the first thing we see are the following

  1. Name of the airport (O'polis International Airport)
  2. Image of the airport
  3. IATA & ANCAO / ICAO Codes
  4. Summary
  5. Runway

The first three points are easy to understand and so it does not ask for much discussion, but let us go into the last two points. Summary and Runways

In the case of the Summary we have a quick description of the most important airport infomation. 

Airport type: Describes what type of airport it is. It can be Public (Civil Flights), Military (Military Flights) and Private (Private Flights). Obviously we can have a combination of these types such as Public-Private or Public-Military.  We can also include spaceports in the list but the discussion of spaceports will be dedicated in another date

Owner: Describes who owns the airport whether it is the government or a private or joint company (Private - Government)

Operator: Describes who physically operates the airport. In most cases, the owner and operator are the same entity

Serves: Identifies which city is using the airport 

Hub for: Identifies which airline is using the airport as the hub for its flights

Time Zone: Identifies in which time zone the 'airport is located with respect to the reference meridian 

If we take O'polis International Airport as a reference, the summary will look like this:

Airport Type: Public

Owner: Orioni Government

Operator: O'polis Airports Authority

Serves: O'polis

Hub for: Oriental Airlines - Star Alliance

Time Zone: OST (UTC +9)


After you understand the summary and the information you need to enter we can proceed to the somewhat complex part. The Runways

In the infobox we have as many as three main sections. Direction, Length and Surface.

The direction identifies in what orientation the runway is positioned relative to the magnetic north pole. The numerical value identifies the angle of inclination toward the magnetic north pole and has a value from 1 to 36. The most important numerical values to know are:

09 (90 degrees eastward) - 18 (180 degrees southward) - 27 (270 degrees westward) - 36 (360 degrees northward)

Obviously runways can be used in either direction, and so if one point has a value of X the other point will have the opposite value of X. For example.

If we have runway 09 the opposite runway will be runway 27. 

Another example.

If we have runway 05 (45°) the opposite runway will be runway 22 (225°).

Obviously there are alterations on the actual position of the runway and so there is some margin of error where you can increase or decrease the direction of the runway 

For example. 

In theory we have runway 05 (45°) and the opposite which is runway 22 (225°). For alterations due to external factors we can have the runway 
 03 - 19 or runway 06 - 25

Unfortunately we would never know the exact position of the runway with respect to the magnetic north pole but using the compass we can give the runway an approximate position


If instead you decide to add an extra layer of realism and to represent the cities you are using a city builder like Simcity 4 or Cities Skylines in this case you can use the compass of the game to understand the direction of the runways


In the case where we have paralele runways a suffix of letters is added, which are:

L: Left
C Center
R: Right

The suffix allows us to understand which runway we are referring to 

In the case where we have two parallel runways with the same value (36) we would have 36L and 36R and consequently we would have a reversal of not only numerical but also letter values and so it becomes like this:

36L <-> 18R
36R <-> 18L

After identifying the direction of the runway, we proceed with the Length.

Length is the minimum distance required for an airplane to take off and land safely. Obviously, the larger the aircraft, the more length is required 



The following image shows the minimum runway lengths for each type of aircraft.

As indicated A380 needs a minimum length of 3,000 meters. In the case of the Concorde the minimum length is 3,600 m. 

The modern runway length standard for international civil airports is 4,000 m with variations of over or under because it depends on external factors (Old runway, Problems in extending the runway length etc..) Of course, you can go up to a maximum of 5,000m in length 

After determining the length of the runway, one must turn to the Surface and the type of material in which the runway is constructed.

Runways can be constructed in any way: asphalt, concrete, grass, water etc.  That's why you have to indicate the type of surface at any airport. Generally in modern civilian and militar airports concrete is used (previously asphalt was used) while for a small tourist airport grass and water can also be used.


In the following link you will find information not only on the possible type of material with which the runways are made but you will also find a description on the direction of the runways.

See you in the next lesson where we talk about airlines

Edited by Ionio (see edit history)
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  • 5 months later...

Airline Guide

In this guide we will discuss how to fill out the airline wiki information sheet. Let's take this form as an example


The most critical part are the IATA - ANCAO/ICAO - CALLSIGN codes.

IATA codes consist of two letters (the third letter is optional) that uniquely identify the airline. So the IATA code would look like this xx(a).

Where XX are the mandatory letters while A is the optional letter

After an airline is delisted, IATA can make the code available for reuse after six months and can issue controlled duplicates. Controlled duplicates are issued to regional airlines whose destinations are not likely to overlap, so that the same code is shared by two airlines. The controlled duplicate is denoted here, and in IATA literature, with an asterisk (*).

An example of this is the code "7Y", which refers to both Mid Airlines, a charter airline in Sudan, and Med Airways, a charter airline in Lebanon (ceased 2015, but did actually fly to Sudan)

IATA also issues an accounting or prefix code. This number is used on tickets as the first three characters of the ticket number.

IATA airline designators are usually kept even if the airline changes name, so the code does not match the name anymore.

For example, AY was given to Aero OY, now Finnair, and FI was given to Flugfélag Íslands, now Icelandair.

After you have created the IATA code you can now proceed in creating the ANCAO / ICAO code for your airline.

Until 1982, the ANCAO /ICAO and IATA codes were identical, but then ANCAO / ICAO decided to switch to the three-letter format. 

So the ANCAO / ICAO code will look like this XXX where the X's are an alphabetical code.

The only letters excluded are Y and Z since it is reserved for government agencies while the code YYY is reserved for companies that do not yet have a unique three-letter code

After creating the ANCAO / ICAO code you prcede with CALLSIGN

CALLSIGN is a specific identification code that veien assigned to airlines. This code is used as a flight identification code. This code is used by pilots and ATC personnel.

There are three types of identification codes:

  • Type A: the characters corresponding to the registration marking of the aircraft.

  • Type B: the telephony designator of the aircraft operating agency, followed by the last four characters of the registration marking of the aircraft.


  • Type C: the telephony designator of the aircraft operating agency, followed by the flight identification.

The one most widely used within commercial aviation is type C. The flight identification is very often the same as the flight number, though this is not always the case. In case of call sign confusion a different flight identification can be chosen, but the flight number will remain the same. Call sign confusion happens when two or more flights with similar flight numbers fly close to each other, e.g., KLM 645 and KLM 649 or Speedbird 446 and Speedbird 664.

Callsign is a code that does not follow strict rules as it depends on the erea company but many airlines use names that refer to things typical of the nation such as the following example

South African Airways uses the callsign "Springbok", hearkening back to the airline's old livery which featured a springbok

Companies' assigned names may change as a result of mergers, acquisitions, or change in company name or status; 

British Airways uses BOAC's old callsign ("Speedbird"), as British Airways was formed by a merger of BOAC and British European Airways.

The callsign should ideally resemble the operator's name or function and not be confused with callsigns used by other operators. The callsign should be easily and phonetically pronounceable in at least English, the international language of aviation.

For example, Air France' callsign is "Airfrans"; 'frans' is the phonetic spelling of 'France'.


Once you have done this paperwork now all that remains is to fill out some informational data that will be summarized like this

Founded: Date on which the airline was founded

Commenced operations: Date on which the airline began operating commercial flights

AOC #: Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) is the approval granted by a civil aviation authority (CAA) to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purposes. You must enter an alpha numeric code if you are asked to

Hubs: The major airports where the airline operates and most of its operations are concentrated

Frequent-flyer program: The name of the airline's loyalty program.

Alliance: The name of the alliance in which the airline is a member

Fleet size: The total number of airplanes the company operates

Destinations: The total number of destinations the company operates

Parent company: The main company in which the airline controls

Headquarters: The central offices of the airline

Key people: The important people of the airline 

Employees: The total number of employees 

Website: The website of the airline


With this we have finished the guide on airlines. As a reminder, there is a wiki page where you can enter your own airlines and/or update existing airlines


The next guide will cover alliances and/or the list of civil aircraft manufacturers. 



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  • 2 months later...

Aircraft Registration

By request in the discord I decided to examine the situation regarding Aircraft Registration, and after an analysis of how the system works in reality, I eventually created a more suitable system in aircraft registration. Let's take this aircraft as an example


As you can see this aircraft has the following registration code: LG-67N1

Let us go on to examine the meaning of the code.

The code is divided into two parts. The first part is related to the ANCAO code while the second part is related to the nation.

The code for the first part consists of two letters 

L= Identifies the ANCAO zone in which the nation is located. 

A= Identifies the nation's code

For those who may have remembered this code comes from the creation of the Airport's ANCAO code. So it follows the same regulation in creating the code.

For ease of understanding I am copying the explanation of the airport ANCAO code


Let's take O'polis International Airport (Orioni) as an example. To understand the ANCAO/ICAO code we must first locate the position of Orioni on the map. 

Looking at the map it highlights that Orioni is in section O and therefore the first letter of the ANCAO / ICAO code is O

Let's take as an example the Taranto International Airport (Ionio).  Ionio is located in the continent Aurelia and this continent is divided into two sections A and B. Checking the map immediately shows that Ionio is in section A and therefore the first letter of the ANCAO / ICAO code is A

After you have proceeded to find the first letter of the code you must enter the second letter of the code. The second letter is the identifier of the country where the airport is located. Let's look at some examples

Last example

Let's take Taranto International Airport (Ionio) as an Example. Ionio starts with I and then that letter will be the second letter of the ANCAO/ICAO code is I

Let's take O'polis International Airport as an example. Orioni has an identification code I and therefore the second letter of the ANCAO/ICAO code is I

If you look closely Orioni begin with O which happens to correspond to the first letter of the ANCAO/ ICAO code ( O for Orioni) but have the second letter of the code different instead to Ionio where the second letter of the code corresponds to the first letter of the Name of the nation (I). This difference is due to the fact that the first and second letters of the code must be different from each other

Following these rules, we can create the first two letters of the aircraft identification code

Returning to the initial example, the code LG-67N1 identifies us that the aircraft was registered in ANCAO zone L, and the letter G identifies Gotneska

Now only the second part of the code remains: 67N1

This code is unique to aircraft and is determined only by the nation. So this is the creative part where you can create any code. 

Generally, the code has a range from AAAA to ZZZZ. But some nations have established an additional code for aircraft classification. This is an example of the classification Germany uses in registering aircraft


As a reminder, there is already a compiled ANCAO Code of Nations that you can retrieve here


The tutorial on aircraft registration ends for today. See you in the next tutorial 


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