Published on October 12th, 2018 | by Mark Dwyer


Irish Civil Aircraft Register Turns 90

Photo above: Avro Avian EI-AAA pictured with Southern Cross and Air Corps Vickers Vespa at Baldonnel. Photo courtesy of Irish Air Corps

90 years ago this month, EI-AAA, an Avro 594B Avian IIIA, was the first civil aircraft to be registered in Ireland. It was registered to The Irish Aero Club, which was formed in 1909 and later became the National Aero Club of Ireland.

According to international agreement, all civil aircraft must be registered with a National Aviation Authority. This was originally the Minister for Industry and Commerce in Ireland and is now the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).

Countries used radio call signs allocated at the London International Radiotelegraphic Conference in 1913 as the basis for allocating registrations to aircraft. In Ireland, all registrations are prefaced with EI or EJ, which is referred to as the nationality mark. These letters are followed by a unique combination of three letters e.g. AAA, referred to as the registration mark. The IAA does not assign registration marks beginning with Q, or distress signals such as PAN or SOS.

An aircraft may only be on one register at a time. Aircraft are removed from the civil register when they are exported to another country or are permanently removed from service. The IAA publishes the current aircraft register on their website and is also available to search on the FlyingInIreland Website HERE. As of 30th Sept 2018, it reported that a total of 1,431 aircraft were registered. This is an increase of almost 100 since September 2017.

The Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), signed in 1944, requires that all aircraft engaged in international air navigation bear their appropriate nationality and registration marks. On aeroplanes, these should be affixed to the fuselage of the aircraft and underneath the left hand wing. On balloons, these should appear twice on the envelope.

Marking the occasion at IAA HQ in Dublin were Kevin Masterson, Geraldine Hickey (front), Colum Hanafin, Nick Butterfield, Flan Garry and Donal Wyse.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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