ICAO and NATO alphabet

Is NATO alphabet a new name for the ICAO International Civil Aviation Organisation?

73,

Guru

Well it’s not new to me Guru, but there again I was never a pilot. :wink:

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According to Wikipedia, it’s possibly “new” as of the late 1950s.

Sounds a bit like the interchangeability of UTC, GMT and Zulu time.

Paul

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Thanks guys for the info. I had never heard the NATO alphabet expression until a few days ago and again today, that’s why I asked the question.
However, I’ll keep using ICAO, as it’s what I learnt when I prepared for my first ham licence exam back in 1983.
As my daughters like to remind me, I’m from the 60’s…
73,

Guru

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Sorry Paul,
They might be interchangeable in your province but not in the rest of the World. GMT is a local time zone for Englanders. UTC is the international civil time scale. All time zones are referenced to this The sooner we discard Zulu and Kilo and similar time names the better IMO. Let’s keep it simple and use UTC for anateur radio. Buy a dual time watch order your mobile phone to display both.

73
Ron
VK3AFW

“Zulu” is the one letter code for UTC from the military time zone list. These are standard for the military in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, and commonly used in other armed forces.

The letter time zones also show up in the ISO 8601 date/time format. Just this afternoon, I was writing some search indexing code that used “Z” for the UTC time zone. We use that standard for archive file names so they sort in time order and are unambigious.

wunder

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Fair point, Ron and maybe the missing word in my response is “colloquial” or some variation thereof.

Like some reading this I grew up in the UK during an era when GMT was still king and UTC nascent. Zulu time is something I’ve picked up from living in Southern California given we have a large Marine Corp presence. So in my mind these (and I suspect others, rightly or wrongly) are all interchangeable terms for the same moment in time. If someone says Zulu time, I think UTC and if someone says UTC I might think GMT but all arrive at the same string of digits.

Similarly, whether Alpha, Bravo etc are NATO or ICAO terms seems secondary to me. I simply use them to convey a letter.

YMMV…

Paul

Also - “Z” fits better in my logbook! :wink:

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You don’t have to worry about all these phonetics if you use CW!
Heh Heh… !

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To be truthful, GMT (and BST) is still king. Hams and teccies might know what UTC is but 99.9% of the population have never heard of it. Those that you explain it to think that it is pretty dam’ pointless, and for the everyday life of the man in the street they are probably right.

With regard to phonetics, back in the 1950’s when I started SWL, quite a few of the local hams had served in front of radios during the war and used the phonetics that had been used in their squadrens or regiments: I well remember the first ham I ever heard, he used “George three Mike Yoke Charlie” for his callsign. I learned my phonetics from him and his friends. As I see it, aircraft pilots are obliged to use the ICAO in the approved pronunciation, the military are obliged to use the NATO phonetics, the rest of us are free to use whatever works and the NATO phonetics are recommended, not mandated.

Is that the NATO, ICAO or “predictive” spelling Brian? :wink:

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Nah, just a mild attack of brain fade!

Z time & GMT = All NATO used Z time on signals unless . The merchant service generally used the abbreviation GMT instead. The Radio Office clock was always kept on Z/GMT and an additional clock showed whatever Local Time you were using…- . UTC was new to me when I became a ham.

As David/NØDET says, I use ‘Z’ - it takes up less space!! :slightly_smiling_face:

UTC is an ‘atomic’ time, referenced from an international collection of clocks, mainly Caesium based, which define TAI, ‘Temps Atomic International’. TAI and UTC tick in SI seconds.

GMT is a mean solar time, defined by the Noon transit of the Sun at Greenwich. IMHO it doesn’t really exist - the Airey Transit Circle (the specified instrument for measuring GMT) isn’t in use nowadays.
GMT ticks in mean solar seconds, which are slowly getting longer as the Earth’s rotation slows.

UTC is a fudge between TAI and GMT. It is adjusted with ‘leap seconds’ so as to keep it within one second of GMT.

So UTC and GMT are not the same!

73 de M0PTB

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And then there is ‘West Coast time’ which lags any accepted time zone…

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And on the Isle of Wight it feels like it’s still 1953 :rofl:

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That’s OK, the whole UK will feel like 1953 on Jan 1st when we go back on rations etc. That will show those EU wallahs that we’re back in control of our own sovereignty.

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Gotta luv democracy

Thanks for that Pete. I’ll remember that and quote you next time I’m late. Sort of; “Sorry I’m late but my clock was set on UTC, not GMT” sort of thing!

David :smile:

Sorry Brian,
Apart from an island off the coast of France BST isn’t king or widely known. BS is understood but BST? GMT is known to a few outside of the UK but nowhere near 99.9%. :grin: Stay well.

73
Ron
VK3AFW