Usually ATC is saying the callsign of the plane he speaks with first and then starts with the actual transmission. Pilots usually say their transmission first and end it with their callsign.

However, I somehow started to say my callsign first before every transmission. For example:


Me: Cleared for take-off runway 33, OE-CNK

How I do it:

Me: OE-CNK, cleared for take-off runway 33

  • Is this bad practice? Will it annoy the air traffic controller because he has to keep in mind my callsign for the whole transmission? Or is this not very relevant?
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, it's wrong. You should start with the station you are calling first, whether ground or air. "Lazytown tower, Bigfly31, request screaming landing followed by rapid taxi". $\endgroup$ – Simon May 10 '17 at 17:37
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    $\begingroup$ And whatever you do, don't mix up the protocol with this guy! $\endgroup$ – TomMcW May 10 '17 at 18:50
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    $\begingroup$ @TomMcW The Monterey Controller is doing a great job following the rules. On the other hand, some of the pilots could use some remedial radio training. $\endgroup$ – JScarry May 10 '17 at 20:56
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    $\begingroup$ @JScarry He's giving them their training:) Although he's definitely in the right, I'd bet in school that guy had a perpetual "kick me" sign on his back $\endgroup$ – TomMcW May 10 '17 at 20:59
  • $\begingroup$ @TomMcW But: "Audiatur et altera pars" - Seneca. The title of the video could also be "[FUNNY ATC] CARELESS PILOTS at Monterey MRY". $\endgroup$ – Noah Krasser May 11 '17 at 14:56

It depends on the country where you are flying, and also what the message is.

For example in the UK according to CAP 413 Chapter 2, section 2.48:


Ground to Air: Aircraft callsign – message or reply.

Air to Ground:

  1. Initiation of new information/request etc. – Aircraft callsign then message;

  2. Reply – Repeat of pertinent information/readback/acknowledgement then aircraft callsign.

In Germany the normal procedure is to start a message with the call sign, a reply may have the call sign at the end. From the AIP, GEN section 3.4-9:

6.1 Procedures for Radio Communications


(4) The call sign shall be transmitted at the beginning of a message. A direct answer to a message may be terminated by the call sign instead.


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