The “cactus” call sign will officially end on April 7.
American Airlines and US Airways will be receiving a single operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration on April 8, the company told employees on Wednesday. With an “SOC,” US Airways flights will no longer use the cactus call sign with air traffic controllers and instead will use the call sign “American.”
“Achieving SOC is a major milestone, but it does not mean that our integration is complete,” the company said in an employee message. “While some of our operating policies and procedures will remain separate at SOC, the majority of our flight, maintenance and dispatch procedures will be identical for all flights that we operate.”
Even though American and US Airways merged in December 2013, it usually takes 18 to 24 months to complete the paperwork necessary for the FAA to grant the operating certificate. The airlines need to combine operating policies and procedures as part of the certification.
Customers likely won’t notice a difference once the single operating certificate is issued as there will still be US Airways aircraft and flights schedules. However, with the certificate, American will begin reporting statistics such as on-time arrival figures to the government as one carrier instead of two.