This latest update came with a rework of the general aviation callsign system. It’s now far more realistic, adding country specific (callsign prefixes? Is that what they’re called?). The problem with this, however, is that you can no longer create a fully custom callsign. I didn’t have an issue with this, until I realized that I could no longer input an ICAO code for an airline who’s callsign is missing in the callsign menu. If that last sentence confused you, let me give an example.
I was planning a flight from Manila to Phnom Penh in Cambodia with JC International Airlines. It’s a small-ish airline for a small-ish country, so I didn’t expect to find the airline in the callsign menu; I didn’t.
My workaround for this used to be I would go to general aviation and use the ICAO code of the airline followed by the flight number as my callsign. In this case, that would be JCC8661. I can’t do that anymore; I’m required to use a prefix (unless I’m just missing something, please tell me if I am). There’s no prefix that starts with JCC, so I’m forced to either use an incorrect airline callsign, or use an incorrect country code as my callsign.
If this was a one time thing I wouldn’t be bothered, but I like flying to lower demand unusual places, a lot of which are operated by smaller airlines not included in the airline section of the callsign menu.
Is there a work around to this, or should I make a feature request to bring back the ability to create a fully custom callsign?
Edit: I can see why we can’t do fully custom callsigns, so I thought of a workaround for that:
Infinite Flight removed the ability to create fully custom callsigns for a reason; too many pilots misused the system, creating callsigns that reflected poorly on them and contributed to an unrealistic, sometimes even political/demeaning live server.
I do understand where you’re coming from and think the best fix would be to add these missing callsigns to the Airlines callsign tab. While using JCC8661 was a nice workaround pre-20.2, it is unfortunately not possible anymore and making it possible—along with all other custom callsigns—would defeat the purpose of the original change.
Another thing to consider is that Infinite Flight Staff have commented on the callsign change, saying that this is only the first iteration. There may be much more to come, so we should look at this slight inconvenience as a first step; they did what they had to do to remove political and toxic callsigns and promote a realistic environment. In the meantime, I wouldn’t suggest making a feature request. The callsign system was changed very recently with a specific goal in mind. Let’s give it some time to settle in and see where Infinite Flight takes it in the future.
It’s highly likely that this won’t happen anytime in the future. The reason why custom callsigns (and display names) were removed is because of inappropriate ones that appear on the live servers here and there which may reflect poorly on new players, and for more realism, like you said above. I also wouldn’t recommend making a feature request as there has also been a number of feature requests like yours, asking to bring back custom callsigns that were closed and unlisted shortly. Infinite Flight did say that the system will evolve over time, so let’s see how it goes. I do understand your frustration though, it’s definitely annoying when you can’t select the callsign you like, but we can’t really do much at this point in time.
Please see this post from Jason for more information:
Ok, just thought of something. What if you’re only allowed to change the first 2 or 3 letters of the callsign, and the rest has to be numbers. It might not eliminate the whole unnecessary politics thing entirely, but it should at least reduce the risk of it, right? I guess it would be more of a “custom IATA/ICAO code” concept, but that would work for me.
If it’s now stricter to create custom call signs, at least there should be a way to apply and vet. It’s impossible for the developers to know every single call sign but some make do with the generic livery and fly the airline of their choice.