The call sign on Indian planes "VT" is not an acronym for "Viceroy Territory", Minister of State for Civil Aviation Vijay Kumar Singh told the Rajya Sabha today.
Member of Parliament Harnath Singh Yadav today sought a reply on whether the Government has taken cognizance of the fact that during the British Rule, aircraft in India had been assigned the 'VT' code by the International Air Transport Association. Then, it meant "Viceroy Territory".
In a written reply, Vijay Kumar Singh said the call sign 'VT' was assigned to India during the International Radiotelegraph Convention of Washington, 1927 signed in Washington on November 25.
It does not mean "Viceroy Territory" and call signs that are closer to India or Bharat such as I, IN, B, BH, BM, or HT are already assigned to other countries, he replied.
However, if the call sign is changed, all documents will have to be reissued; aircraft will have to be repainted and will not be able to fly till all markings are changed. All aircraft will remain grounded during the process which will have a huge financial implication on the airlines and the civil aviation sector, he added.
Asked whether the government has taken any action to acquire any code that displays nationalism to replace 'VT', the "symbol of slavery", Vijay Singh replied that International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has allotted three series of call signs to India - ATA-AWZ, VTA-VWZ, and 8TA-8YZ.
"Call sign could be the first one or two letters of the series. As per the provisions of Annex 7 of the Chicago Convention, our country had the options to choose its call sign from above three series for aircraft registered in India," the minister informed.