Efficient communication between pilots and ATC is indispensible for the safety of air traffic. That is why it is important to know in practice how to recognize and prevent communication failures and misunderstandings. For this reason:

BA2008-252-4_1: The IC recommends HungaroControl that it incorporates the handling of the situation leading to the incident, e.g. flights with similar call signs and ensuing misunderstandings, into simulation practice.

In the opinion of the IC, efficient practice may enable ATS personnel to recognize the pilots’ read out mistakes and call sign misunderstandings in time and to correct them in time.

1. Procedures for the ATS personnel provide the possibility for changing the call signs of aircraft with similar call signs. The aim of this is exactly to prevent call sign mistakes and misunderstandings. ATC did not make use of this opportunity during the incident investigated, thus:

BA2008-252-4_2: The IC recommends that HungaroControl refreshes the knowledge of the ATS personnel about the utilization of the procedure, ensured by the Decree no. 16/2000. (XI. 22.) of the Minister of Transport and Water Affairs on the rules of air traffic control, providing the opportunity to change the radio communication call sign of the aircraft.

In the opinion of the IC, being more aware of this possibility will reduce the likeliness of similar occurrences.