UK Civil Aircraft Register

Photographs and details of over 5800 aircraft from the UK Civil Register

History of the UK registration system

Following an international convention in Paris in 1910, a draft Air Navigation Order was prepared in 1911 requiring all aircraft to be registered. This did not come into force until after WWI, on 20 April 1919. Regulations stated that all aircraft must carry registration marks and any passenger-carrying aircraft must have a certificate of airworthiness.

Although aircraft had been flying in the UK from 1908, a temporary register was started in 1919 using a sequence beginning with K-100.

The current register started on 22nd July 1919, when the Paris International Conference allocated the British Empire the prefix G followed by four letters. Civilian aircraft flying on former military serials and those allocated with the K-100 series were re-registered sequentially from G-EAAA using the following allocations:

G-EAAA to G-EZZZ : heavier than air aircraft (G-EAAA to G-EBZZ, and G-EDCA were allocated)

G-FAAA to G-FZZZ : Lighter-than-air aircraft (G-FAAA to G-FAAX were allocated)

G-AUAA to G-AUZZ : Australia (1921–1929) replaced by VH-xxx.

G-CAAA to G-CAZZ : Canada (1920–1929) replaced by CF-xxx.

G-CYAA to G-CYZZ : Canadian government and military aircraft (1920–1929).

G-IAAA to G-IAZZ : India (1920–1928) replaced by VT-xxx.

G-NZAA to G-NZZZ : New Zealand (1921–1929) replaced by ZK-xxx.

G-UAAA to G-UAZZ : Union of South Africa (1927–1929) replaced by ZS-xxx.

On 30th July 1928 the sequence was restarted at G-AAAA, initially with registrations being issued in sequential alphabetical order.

This policy was relaxed in the early 1970's allowing personalised markings out of virtually any 4 letter combinations.

This led to a number of re-registrations.

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