List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical abbreviations

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A glossary of abbreviations used in relation to aviation, in alphabetical order.


Abbreviation Term
A/C aircraft
ACAS airborne collision avoidance system
ACARS Aircraft Communication and Addressing Reporting System
ACI Airports Council International
ACFT aircraft
ACMS aircraft condition monitoring system
ACC active clearance control
AD airworthiness directive
A/D aerodrome
ADA advisory area
ADC air data computer
ADD acceptable deferred defect
ADF automatic direction finder
ADI Attitude Director Indicator
ADIRS Air Data Inertial Reference System
ADIZ Air Defense Identification Zone
ADS automatic dependent surveillance
ADV Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Verkehrsflughäfen German Airports Association
AFCS automatic flight control system
A/FD Airport/Facility Directory
AFDS autopilot flight director system
AFE above field elevation
AFS aeronautical fixed service
AFT Aft The direction against the aircraft movement
AFTN Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network
AGL above ground level
AHRS Attitude and heading reference system
AIP Aeronautical Information Publication
AIRAC Aeronautical information regulation and control
AMO Approved Maintenance Organization
ALI Airworthiness Limitation Item
ALS approach lighting system
AMSL above mean sea level
ANSP air navigation service provider
AOA angle of attack
AOC Air Operator's Certificate
AOG Aircraft on Ground
AOM airport/aerodrome operating minima
AP Autopilot
APT Airport
APU Auxiliary power unit
A/P airplane (US), aeroplane (ICAO)
AR authorization required
ARINC Aeronautical Radio Inc.
ARTCC air route traffic control centers
ASDA Association for Scientific Development of Air Traffic Management in Europe[1]
ASAS Airborne Separation Assurance System
ASI airspeed indicator
ASL above sea level
ASM airspace management
A/T autothrottle
ATA Air Traffic Association
ATC air traffic control
ATFM air traffic flow management
ATIS Automatic Terminal Information Service
ATM air traffic management
ATN Aeronautical Telecommunication Network
ATPL Airline Transport Pilot Licence
ATS air traffic service
ARP Aerodrome Reference Point
ACU Air Condition Unit


Abbreviation Term
BC back course
BITE Built-In Test Equipment
BL Butt Line
B/P Blue Print
BPR bypass ratio
BOM Bill of Material
BWC bird watch condition


Abbreviation Term
C2 Command and Control
CAA Civil Aviation Authority
CAME Continuing Airworthiness Management Exposition
CAMO Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation
CANSO Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation
CAS calibrated airspeed
CDU control/display unit
CDI course deviation indicator
CFR Certified Federal Regulations
CFIT controlled flight into terrain
CG center of gravity
CMV converted meteorological visibility
CPDLC controller–pilot data link communications
CTAF common traffic advisory frequency
CVR cockpit voice recorder
CAR Civil Aviation Requirements


Abbreviation Term
DA/H decision altitude/height (rel. to THR) See instrument landing system
DER Departure end of runway / Designated engineering representative
DG directional gyro
DGR Dangerous Goods Regulation
DIA Diameter
DLR German Aerospace Center / Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.
DME distance measuring equipment
DOW Dry Operational Weight
DR dead reckoning
DUATS Direct User Access Terminal Service DUATS
DWC dog watch condition


Abbreviation Term
EADI Electronic Attitude Direction indicator
EAS equivalent airspeed
EASA European Aviation Safety Agency
EBOM engineering Bill of Material
ECR Engineering Change Request
EGPWS enhanced ground proximity warning system
EDTO extended diversion time operations
EOBT estimated off-blocktime
ECAM electronic centralised aircraft monitor
ECET end of civil evening twilight
EFIS electronic flight instrument system
EGT exhaust gas temperature
EICAS engine-indicating and crew-alerting system
E-LSA experimental light-sport aircraft
ELT emergency locator transmitter
EMAS engineered materials arresting system
EPR engine pressure ratio
ESA emergency safe altitude
ETA estimated time of arrival
ETD estimated time of departure
ETP equal time point
ETOPS Extended-range Twin-engine Operation Performance Standards, see ETOPS
EUROCAE European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment
EW Empty Weight


Abbreviation Term
FAA U.S. Department of Transportations' Federal Aviation Administration
FADEC full authority digital engine control
FAF final approach fix
FAF [first available flight]
FANS future air navigation system
FAP final approach point
FAP forward attendant panel
FAROS final approach runway occupancy signal
FATO final approach and take off
FBO fixed base operator
FBW fly-by-wire
FCOM flight crew operating manual
FD flight director
FDM flight data monitoring
FDR flight data recorder (also known as black box)
FEP final end point
FFDZ free fall drop zone (parachutists)
FIR flight information region
FL flight level
FMC flight management computer (same as FMS)
FMS flight management system
FOO flight operation officer
FOQA flight operational quality assurance
FPA flight path angle
FPL filed flight plan
FSF Flight Safety Foundation
FSS flight service station


Abbreviation Term
GA general aviation
G/A or GA go-around
GCA Ground-controlled approach
GEA Ground effect area
GLOC g-induced loss of consciousness, where g is acceleration relevant to the acceleration caused by gravity
GND ground
GP glide path. See Instrument landing system
GPS Global Positioning System
GPU Ground Power Unit
GPWS ground proximity warning system
G/S glideslope
GS groundspeed
GSE ground service equipment


Abbreviation Term
H Heavy
HAZMAT Hazardous Material
HDG Heading
HFE Human Factors Engineering[2]
HFES ???
HIRO High Intensity Runway Operation
HIRTA High Intensity Radio Transmission Area
HIWAS Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service
HL Height loss
HLD hold (hold altitude or speed or something else) (same as maintain, but not maintenance!)
HPA human-powered aircraft
HSI horizontal situation indicator
HUD head-up display
HYD hydraulic
HYDIM hydraulic interface module


Abbreviation Term
IB Inboard
IAF initial approach fix
IAP instrument approach procedure
IAS indicated airspeed
IATA International Air Transport Association
ICA Instructions for Continuous Airworthiness
ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization
ICD Interface Control Document
ICO idle cut-off
IDT identify (XPDR)
IF intermediate approach fix
IFA International Federation of Airworthiness
IFATCA International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations
IFE In Flight Entertainment
IFR instrument flight rules
IFSD in-flight shutdown
ILS instrument landing system
IMC instrument meteorological conditions
IML Inside Mold Line
INS inertial navigation system
IR Initial Release
IRS inertial reference system
IRT instrument rating test
ISA International Standard Atmosphere
ISFD integrated standby flight display
ISIS integrated standby instrument system
ITAR International Traffic in Arms Regulations
ITT interstage turbine temperature
IAW In accordance with


Abbreviation Term
KIAS knots indicated airspeed


Abbreviation Term
LAME licenced aircraft maintenance engineer
LCN load classification number
LCG load classification group
LHO live human organs
LIR Loading Instruction Report
LLC Life Limited Component
LLZ localizer (ILS)
LM land and marine
LOC loss of control; Localizer
LNAV lateral navigation
LOFT line-oriented flight training
LPV localizer performance with vertical guidance
LRU line-replaceable unit
LSAS longitudinal stability augmentation system
LTP Landing Threshold Point
LW Landing Weight
LOM Limitation Of Movement


Abbreviation Term
MAC mean aerodynamic chord
MAP missed approach point
MATS Manual of Air Traffic Services
MCP mode control panel
ME Manufacturing Engineer
MEA Minimum En-route Altitude
MDA minimum descent altitude
MDH minimum descent height
MEDEVAC medical evacuation
MEF maximum elevation figure
MMEL master minimum equipment list
MEL minimum equipment list
METAR meteorological aerodrome report (METAR)
MLDW maximum landing weight
MLS microwave landing system
MM middle marker
MOC minimum obstacle clearance
MOCA Minimum Obstruction Clearance Altitude
MP manifold pressure
MRB Material Review Board
MRO maintenance repair overhaul
MRP Material Resources Planning
MRW maximum ramp weight
MSA minimum safe altitude / minimum sector altitude
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet
MSL mean sea level
MSLW Max. Structural Landing Weight
MSTOW Max. Structural Take-off Weight
MTOW maximum take-off weight
MSZFW Max. Structural Zero Fuel Weight
MVA Minimum Vectoring Altitude
MZFW maximum zero-fuel weight


Abbreviation Term
NDB Non-directional beacon
NDT Non-destructive testing
NOTAM notice to airmen
NTZ No-transgression zone


Abbreviation Term
OBS omni-bearing selector
OCA obstacle clearance altitude
OCH obstacle clearance height
OM outer marker
OBE overcome by events
OEM original equipment manufacturer
OTS out of service
OW operational weight
OIS Obstacle identification surface


Abbreviation Term
P (as a prefix:) prohibited airspace
PANS-OPS procedures for air navigation services – aircraft operations
PAPI precision approach path indicator
PAR precision approach radar
PBD place bearing distance (RNAV waypoint)
PDG procedure design gradient
PDAS public domain aeronautical software
PET point of equal time
PF pilot flying
PFD primary flight display
PFAF precision final approach fix
PIC Pilot In Command
PICUS Pilot In Command, under supervision[3]
PIO Pilot Induced Oscillations
PIREP Pilot Report
PM pilot monitoring
PNF pilot not flying
POH Pilot's Operating Handbook
POF Princples Of Flight
PSR point of safe return
PSR power supply reset
PSU personal service unit
PS Pax Step
PNR Point Of NoReturn


Abbreviation Term
QFE the Q-code for: Atmospheric pressure at aerodrome elevation (or at runway threshold)
QNH the Q-code for: Altimeter sub-scale setting to obtain elevation when on the ground, i.e. altitude above MSL
QRH quick reference handbook


Abbreviation Term
R (as a prefix:) restricted airspace
RA radio altitude or radar altimeter
RA resolution advisory (in the context of TCAS)
RAS rectified air speed
RA(T) restricted area (temporary)
RCO remote communications outlet
RDH reference datum height for ILS
RESA runway end safety area
RNAV area navigation
RNP required navigation performance
RSA runway safety area
RSR en-route surveillance radar
RT radiotelephony
RTO rejected take-off
RVR runway visual range
RVSM reduced vertical separation minima
RWY runway
RW ramp weight
RPL Repetitive Flight Planning


Abbreviation Term
SAS stability augmentation system
SCAP Standard Computerized Airplane Performance
SESAR Single European Sky ATM Research
SIGMET Significant meteorological advisory
SMOH Since major overhaul
SMR surface movement radar
SOC start of climb at missed approach
SOP standard operating procedure
SOW Statement of Work
SID standard instrument departure
SR sunrise
SS sunset
STAR standard terminal arrival route
SODPRO simultaneous opposite direction parallel runway operations


Abbreviation Term
TA traffic advisory (see TCAS)
TAA terminal arrival area
TACAN tactical air navigation
TAF terminal aerodrome forecast
TAM total airport management
TAS true airspeed
TAR terminal approach radar
TAWS terrain awareness and warning system
TCA terminal control area
TCAS traffic collision avoidance system
TCH threshold crossing height
TDZ touchdown zone
TERPS terminal procedures
TFC traffic
TFR temporary flight restriction
TGL temporary guidance leaflet
THLD threshold
THR runway threshold
THS trimmable horizontal stabilizer, see tailplane
TLD time-limited dispatch
TOD top of descent
TO/GA take-off/go around
TORA take-off run available
TOW take-off weight
TOWS take-off warning system
TP turning point at missed approach
TRA temporary reserved area (airspace)
TRACON terminal radar approach control
TRP thrust rating panel
TTAF total time air frame
TTSN total time since new
TTSO total time since overhaul
TWR tower
TWY taxiway


Abbreviation Term
UAS Unmanned Aircraft System[4]
UAV unmanned air vehicle
UHF ultra-high frequency
UIR upper information region
UTC Universal Time Coordinated


Abbreviation Term
V&V Video & Vision[5]
VASI visual approach slope indicator
VDP Visual descent point
VFR visual flight rules
VHF very high frequency
VMC visual meteorological conditions
VNAV vertical navigation
VOR VHF omnidirectional range
VSI Vertical speed indicator
VVI Vertical velocity indicator (the same as VSI)

V speeds[edit]

Abbreviation Term
Va maneuvering speed
Vfe maximum flaps extended speed
Vle maximum landing gear extension sp
Vlo maximum landing gear operating speed
Vmc minimum control speed
Vmca velocity of minimum control in the air
Vmcg velocity of minimum control on ground
Vmo maximum operating speed
Vne never-exceed speed
Vno normal operating speed limit
Vs stall speed
Vso stall speed in landing configuration
Vx best angle of climb speed
Vy best rate of climb speed


Abbreviation Term
WAT weight, altitude, temperature: variables that affect takeoff performance
W&B Weight & Balance
WEF with effect from
WOFW weight-off-wheels, indicates aircraft is off ground since lift off
WONW weight-on-wheels, indicates aircraft is on ground since touch down


Abbreviation Term
XMIT transmit
XPDR transponder
XPNDR transponder


Abbreviation Term
Y yaw or yaw angle
Y/D yaw damper


Abbreviation Term
Z Zulu Time (UTC)
ZFT zero-fuel time
ZFW zero-fuel weight

See also[edit]


External links[edit]