Please review this information thoroughly and do not hesitate to reach out to us should you have additional questions or concerns. It is our goal to make this process as clear and pain-free as possible for pilots and organizations alike. We will continue adding questions and answers to our website.
The AEROBRIDGE call sign and it’s three-letter designator BGE is intended to clearly identify routine relief efforts in disastrous situations and other public service missions conducted by volunteers. The AEROBRIDGE call sign was assigned to the AeroBridge as an organization in 2020 because of the relief efforts in time of emergencies.
AEROBRIDGE and its associated three-letter identifier BGE are to be used to identify aircraft conducting bona fide nonprofit public benefit flying missions. This may include:
AEROBRIDGE must not be used for routine personal, business, or commercial flights. AEROBRIDGE must not be used for positioning or ferry flights when during the times of flight an actual public benefit flying mission is not being conducted; EXCEPT that it may be used when there is a demonstrable need for appropriate (but not priority) handling by ATC.
No. Per FAA requirements, the AeroBridge’s three-letter ICAO designator BGE must not be used for call signs by third party flights outside of airspace controlled by the United States except for certain BGE flights that operate in other countries that have a use agreement with the AeroBridge and/or the FAA.
No. Per FAA requirements, Aerobridge’s three-letter ICAO designator BGE must not be used for flights within the United States of third party foreign registered aircraft.
Over the years, AB was permitted VPOs use of the call sign AEROBRIDGE through a specific filing process whereby a pilot enters the three-letter designator BGE on their flight plan, followed by the last three characters of their tail number. That procedure will no longer by authorized after December 15th, 2019. Pilots wishing to continue fly with AeroBridge must be members of AB authorized groups and they must have unique call sign through AeroBridge.
The change to the AEROBRIDGE call sign process has to do with ADS-B implementation and FAA changes to call sign usage requirements.
Beginning January 1, 2020, ADS-B Out transponders will be required for all aircraft in airspace where transponders are mandatory today. This creates additional considerations for call sign usage.
The FAA issued an advisory circular containing updates to requirements and procedures for the use of aircraft call signs in the national airspace system. The previous method of filing BGE did not meet these criteria. Therefore, new and unique call signs that meet FAA and ICAO requirements will be assigned by AeroBridge to qualifying pilots who need one.
The AEROBRIDGE call sign is intended to clearly identify routine ambulatory patient transport and other public service missions conducted by volunteers including: animal transport, environmental flights, disaster response and other non-profit flying that serves the public interest. Using theAEROBRIDGE call sign has many benefits for the pilot, the organizations they fly for, as well as ATC.
Procedures for use of the AEROBRIDGE call sign may be found here. Please read and follow these instructions carefully.
Your assigned BGE call sign should only be used when conducting a bona fide public benefit flight. It should not be used on positioning or ferry flights, except in the rare situation where reaching a pickup or departure location is time critical and you may need ATC assistance, given on a workload permitting basis. Therefore if using a ADS-B transponder you should change the flight ID to match your call sign before a public benefit flight and change it back to your tail number after the public benefit flight is complete.
ACA recommends adding “ensure proper flight ID” to your before takeoff and after landing checklists.
While this seems like additional work, updating the Flight ID is as simple as entering a squawk code on regular transponders. And with some ADS-B units, you may only have to program your unique call sign into the unit once and then you will be able to simply select the proper pre-entered flight ID before flight.
As soon as you receive it! As long as you are following the procedures for use, you may begin using your call sign right away.
Remember: The old method of filing CMF using a portion of the aircraft’s tail number is no longer authorized as of December 15th.
ADS-B: Changing Flight ID – Why Would You, How Do You?