Published on October 12th, 2018 | by Mark Dwyer0
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.