Case study: Aircraft register reaches 15,000 registrations
The Australian Civil Aircraft Register reached a significant milestone in March 2013, when the 15,000th aircraft registration was recorded.
Registration of Australian aircraft began in July 1919, when the International Commission for Air Navigation allocated civil aircraft registration prefixes to each member nation. British Commonwealth countries were allocated the letter 'G'. The next one or two letters indicated the countries within the Commonwealth, and Australia was allocated 'G-AU'.
Australian Certificate of Registration no.1 was issued on 28 June 1921 for an Avro 504K aircraft registered as G-AUBA.
From January 1929, Australian aircraft began displaying the nationality 'VH' as a prefix to the registration mark.
The register grew gradually after World War II, reaching 1,000 aircraft in the late 1950s and 10,000 in the early 1990s. It reached 11,000 in the late 1990s, 12,000 in 2003, 13,000 in 2008 and 14,000 in 2010.
Registration marks are important to many members of the aviation industry, and CASA regularly publishes a list of available marks. To ensure that a particular model of aircraft has consecutive sets of marks, the bigger airlines often reserve blocks of registration marks.
When the register was first introduced in the 1920s, every recorded registration was a handwritten entry in a book. Since 2000, the information has been readily accessible to members of the public and the aviation community through publication on the CASA website.
Fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, gliders and balloons are all represented in the aircraft register, which processes around 50 new registrations each month.
The Australian Civil Aircraft Register is available from the home page of the CASA website at www.casa.gov.au.