!DOCTYPE HTML Phonetic Alphabet

Phonetic Alphabet


The Phonetic Alphabet is used to spell out letters in place of just saying the letter itself. By using a word for each letter there is less chance that the person listening will confuse letters. For instance, some letters that can easily be confused are "D" and "B". Using the phonetic alphabet, "Delta" and "Bravo" can be easily distingusihed. The phonetic alphabet is used primarily used in two-way radio communications. The effects of noise, weak signals, distorted audio, and radio operator accent are reduced through use of the phonetic alphabet. This system of spelling letters is used around the world by maritime units, aircraft, amateur radio operators and the military. This alphabet is recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and NATO as the standard for aircraft communications and radio communications.

Phonetic Alphabet

Letter Pronunciation Letter Pronunciation Number Pronunciation
A Alpha (AL fah) N November (no VEM ber) 0 ZEE row
B Bravo (BRAH VOH) O Oscar (OSS cah) 1 WUN
C Charlie (CHAR lee) P Papa (pah PAH) 2 TOO
D Delta (DELL tah) Q Quebec (keh BECK) 3 TREE
E Echo (ECK oh) R Romeo (ROW me oh) 4 FOW er
F Foxtrot (FOKS trot) S Sierra (see AIR rah) 5 FIFE
G Golf (GOLF) T Tango (TANG go) 6 SIX
H Hotel (hoh TELL) U Uniform (YOU nee form) 7 SEVEN
I India (IN dee ah) V Victor (VIK tah) 8 AIT
J Juliet (JEW lee ETT) W Whiskey (WISS key) 9 NINE er
K Kilo (KEY loh) X X Ray (ECKS RAY)
L Lima (LEE mah) Y Yankee (YANG key)
M Mike (MIKE) Z Zulu (ZOO loo)
Note: The syllables printed in capital letters are to be stressed.

How it is used?

The letters on aircraft tail numbers are spelled phonetically. For instance, when calling the tower, aircraft with tail number "N2304J" would be pronounced "November Two Tree Zero Fower Juliet". Also, the Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) assigns sequential letters to the broadcasts since these are frequently updated, such as, "Information Kilo".
Amateur Radio
Call signs are routinely spelled using phonetics. For instance, the call sign AK8Y would be pronounced "Alpha Kilo Ait Yankee."
When sending information that contains letter or names that need to be spelled, the phonetic alphabet is used. Many units identify themselves with phonetics, such as, "Charlie Company" or "Bravo Flight."


Curator: Bruce Bream {tarrow@roadrunner.com}