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 Note
AAE above aerodrome elevation[1]
AAS airport advisory service[1]
A/C aircraft[1]
AC advisory circular[2] Information and guidance publication
ACARS Aircraft Communication and Addressing Reporting System
ACAS airborne collision avoidance system
ACC area control centre[1]
ACC active clearance control Turbine engine system
ACFT aircraft
ACI Airports Council International
ACM Air cycle machine Part of A/C air conditioning system
ACMS aircraft condition monitoring system
ACU air condition unit
ACU alternator control unit[2] Protection from alternator over-voltage.
AD airworthiness directive
A/D aerodrome
ADA advisory area
ADAHRS air data attitude heading reference system
ADC air data computer
ADD acceptable deferred defect
ADF automatic direction finder Navication Equipment
ADI Attitude Director Indicator
ADIRU air data inertial reference unit
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
AGB accessory gear box Mainly used in turbine engine
AGL above ground level
AHRS Attitude and heading reference system
AIP Aeronautical Information Publication
AIRAC Aeronautical information regulation and control
AIRMET Airmen's Meteorological Advisory[3] In-flight advisory given over 126.7
ALI Airworthiness Limitation Item
ALS approach lighting system
ALT Altitude
AME Aviation Medical Examiner
AMM Aircraft Maintenance Manual
AMO Approved Maintenance Organization
AMSL above mean sea level
ANSP air navigation service provider
AOA angle of attack
AOC air operator's certificate
AOG aircraft on ground
AOM aircraft operations manual / airport/aerodrome operating minima
AP autopilot
A/P airplane (US), aeroplane (ICAO)
APT airport
APU auxiliary power unit
APV approach procedure with vertical guidance
AR authorization required
ARINC Aeronautical Radio Inc.
ARO airport reservation office
ARP aerodrome reference point
ARTCC air route traffic control centers
ASAS Airborne Separation Assurance System
ASDA Association for Scientific Development of Air Traffic Management in Europe[4]
ASI airspeed indicator
ASL above sea level[1]
ASM airspace management
A/T autothrottle
A/THR Autothrust
ATA Air Transport Association
ATO Approved Training Organisation
ATC air traffic control
ATF aerodrome traffic frequency
ATFM air traffic flow management
ATIS Automatic Terminal Information Service
ATM air traffic management
ATN Aeronautical Telecommunication Network
ATQP Alternative Training and Qualification Programme
ATPL Airline Transport Pilot Licence
ATS air traffic service
AWBS Aviation weather briefing service[3] available at designated FSS's
AWG American Wire Gage The larger the size number, the smaller the wire diameter.
AWIS Aviation weather information service[3] Available at FSS
AWOS Automated weather observation system[3] Automated METAR reporting system
AWWS Aviation weather web site[5] In Canada


Abbreviation Term Note
BC back course
BDC bottom dead centre [1] Piston engine
BHP brake horsepower[1]
BITE Built-In Test Equipment
BL Butt Line
B/P Blue Print
BPR bypass ratio
BOM bill of material
BWC bird watch condition
BVID Barely Visible Impact Damage
BVR Beyond Visual Range


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
CAR civil aviation regulation
CARS Canadian Aviation Regulations
CAS calibrated airspeed
CASS Commercial Air Service Standards
CAT clear air turbulence[1]
CDI course deviation indicator
CDU control/display unit
CFIT controlled flight into terrain
CFG constant frequency generator
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CG center of gravity
CMM component maintenance manual
CMV converted meteorological visibility
CPDLC controller–pilot data link communications
CRES Corrosion resistant steel
CSD constant speed drive
CSU constant speed unit
CTAF common traffic advisory frequency
CTR controlled traffic region/control zone
CVR cockpit voice recorder


Abbreviation Term Note
DA density altitude
DA/H decision altitude/height (rel. to THR) See instrument landing system
DER departure end of runway
DER Designated Engineering Representative
DEU display electronic unit
DG directional gyro
DGPS differential GPS[1]
DGR Dangerous Goods Regulation
DIA diameter
DLR German Aerospace Center / Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.
DME distance measuring equipment
DME Designated Mechanic Examiner[2] A person appointed by the FAA
DODAR diagnose, options, decide, act/assign, review
DOW dry operational weight
DR dead reckoning
DUATS Direct User Access Terminal Service
DWC dog watch condition


Abbreviation Term
EADI Electronic Attitude Direction indicator
EAS equivalent airspeed[1]
EFC Expect Further Clearance
EAT expected approach time[1]
EASA European Aviation Safety Agency
EBOM engineering Bill of Material
ECAM electronic centralised aircraft monitor
ECET end of civil evening twilight
ECR Engineering Change Request
ECS Environmental control system
EDTO extended diversion time operations
EEC electronic engine control
EET estimated elapsed time
EFB electronic flight bag
EFIS electronic flight instrument system
EGPWS enhanced ground proximity warning system
EGT exhaust gas temperature
EHSI Electronic Horizontal Situation Indicator
EICAS engine-indicating and crew-alerting system
E-LSA experimental light-sport aircraft
ELOS Equivalent Level of Safety
ELT emergency locator transmitter
EMAS engineered materials arresting system
EOBT estimated off-blocktime
EPR engine pressure ratio
ESA emergency safe altitude
ETA estimated time of arrival
ETD estimated time of departure[1]
ETE estimated time en route[1]
ETOPS Extended-range Twin-engine Operation Performance Standards, see ETOPS
EUROCAE European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment
EW Empty Weight


Abbreviation Term Note
FAA U.S. Department of Transportations' Federal Aviation Administration Organisation
FADEC full authority digital engine control Engine equipment
FAC Flight Augmentation computer Avionics
FAF final approach fix
FAF [first available flight] Airline operations
FANS future air navigation system Avionics
FAP final approach point
FAP forward attendant panel Aircraft equipment
FAROS final approach runway occupancy signal
FATO final approach and take off
FBO fixed-base operator Airfield operations
FBW fly-by-wire
FC flight crew
FCOM flight crew operating manual Aircraft operations
FD flight director Avionics
FD upper winds and temperature forecast[1]
FDM flight data monitoring Operations planning
FDR flight data recorder (also known as black box) Avionics
FEP final end point
FFDZ free fall drop zone (parachutists)
FIC flight information centre
FIDO Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation Airfield operations
FIKI Flight Into Known Icing Aircraft operations
FIR flight information region ATC
FISE flight information service enroute
FL flight level ATC
FMA flight mode annunciator Equipment
FMC flight management computer (part of a FMS) Avionics
FMGC flight Management and guidance computer Avionics
FMS flight management system Avionics
F/O First Officer Flight crew
FOD foreign object damage Airfield operations
FOO flight operation officer Person
FOQA flight operational quality assurance
FPA flight path angle
FPL filed flight plan ATC
FMP Feet per minute
FSF Flight Safety Foundation Organisation
FSS flight service station
FTL flight time limitations
FVU flux valve unit Equipment


Abbreviation Term Note
GA general aviation
G/A or GA go-around
GCA Ground-controlled approach Airfield operations
GCU generator control unit
GEA Ground effect area
GLOC g-induced loss of consciousness "g" is acceleration relevant to the acceleration caused by gravity
GND ground Airfield operations
GP glide path See Instrument landing system
GPS Global Positioning System Avionics
GPU Ground Power Unit Aerospace Ground Equipment
GPWS ground proximity warning system Avionics
G/S glideslope Avionics
GS groundspeed
GSE ground support equipment Aerospace Ground Equipment


Abbreviation Term Note
H Heavy (in the context of wake turbulence categories)
H High
HAZMAT Hazardous Material
HDG Heading Navigation
HDI Heading Indicator
HFE Human Factors Engineering[6]
HFES Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
HIGE Hover In Ground Effect
HIRL High Intensity Runway lighting Airfield operations
HIRO High Intensity Runway Operation Airfield operations
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!)
HMG hydraulic motor generator
HMU hydro-mechanical unit
HOGE Hover Out of Ground Effect Helicopter operations
HPA human-powered aircraft Aircraft type
HPC high pressure compressor In turbine engine
HPT high pressure turbine In turbine engines
HPTACC high pressure turbine active clearance control Mainly used in turbofan engines
HSI horizontal situation indicator Avionics
HUD head-up display Avionics
HUM Human Remains
HW headwind
HYD hydraulic Aircraft equipment
HYDIM hydraulic interface module


Abbreviation Term Note
IB Inboard
IAC instrument approach chart
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
IDG integrated drive generator Combination of a CSD and generator in a single case
IDT identify (XPDR)
IEPR integrated engine pressure ratio
IF intermediate approach fix
IFA International Federation of Airworthiness
IFATCA International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations
IFE In Flight Entertainment
IFP instrument flight procedure
IFR instrument flight rules
IFSD in-flight shutdown
IGV Inlet guide vane
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
KCAS knots calibrated airspeed
KIAS knots indicated airspeed
KTAS knots true airspeed


Abbreviation Term Note
L Light (in the context of wake turbulence categories)
LAME licensed aircraft maintenance engineer
LCC low-cost carrier
LCG load classification group
LCN load classification number
LHO live human organs
LIR Loading Instruction Report
LKP last known position
LLC Life Limited Component
LLZ localizer (ILS)
LM land and marine
LOC loss of control; localizer
LOFT line-oriented flight training
LOTC loss of thrust control
LNAV lateral navigation
LPC low pressure compressor In turbine engines
LPTACC low pressure turbine active clearance control Mainly used in turbofan engines
LPT low pressure turbine
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
M medium (in the context of wake turbulence categories)
MAC mean aerodynamic chord
MAC mid-air collision
MAP missed approach point or manifold absolute pressure
MATS Manual of Air Traffic Services
MCP mode control panel
MCT maximum continuous thrust
ME Manufacturing Engineer
MEA Minimum En-route Altitude
MCDU multi control display unit
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)
MFD multi function display
MLDW maximum landing weight
MLS microwave landing system
MM middle marker
MOC minimum obstacle clearance
MOCA Minimum Obstruction Clearance Altitude
MORA Minimum Off Route Altitude
MP manifold pressure
MRB Material Review Board
MRO maintenance repair overhaul
MROT Minimum Runway Occupancy Time
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 Note
NADP Noise Abatement Departure Procedure
NDB Non-directional beacon
NDT Non-destructive testing
NOTAM notice to airmen
NOTAR No tail rotor[2] Helicopter control system
NPA non-precision approach
NRR noise reduction rating Hearing protector attenuation
NTZ No-transgression zone

N numbers (turbines)[edit]

Abbreviation Term Note
N compressor speed[1] N1, N2, etc. refers to specific turbine spool/stage.
Ng gas generator speed[1]
NP power turbine speed[1]
Nh high rotor speed[1]


Abbreviation Term
OAT outside air temperature
OBE overcome by events
OBS omni-bearing selector
OCA obstacle clearance altitude
OCH obstacle clearance height
OEI one engine inoperative
OEM original equipment manufacturer
OIS obstacle identification surface
OM outer marker
OTS out of service
OW operational weight


Abbreviation Term
P (as a prefix:) prohibited airspace
PA pressure altitude
PANS-OPS procedures for air navigation services – aircraft operations
PAPI precision approach path indicator
PAOG Pre Aircraft on Ground
PAR precision approach radar
PATWAS Pilot's Automatic Telephone Weather Answering Service[3]
PAX passenger
PBD place bearing distance (RNAV waypoint)
PBE Protective Breathing Equipment
PBN Performance-Based Navigation
PCN pavement classification number
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[7]
PIO Pilot Induced Oscillations
PIP performance improvement package
PIREP Pilot Report
PJE Parachute jumping exercise
PM pilot monitoring
PMA Parts Manufacturer Approval
PMG Permanent magnet generator
PNF pilot not flying
PNR Point of No Return
POA Production Organisation Approval
POB persons on board
POH Pilot's Operating Handbook
POF Principles Of Flight
PPL private pilot licence
PPR prior permission required
PSR point of safe return
PSR power supply reset
PSR primary surveillance radar
PSU personal service unit
PS passenger step
PTT push to talk
PTU power transfer unit


Abbreviation Term
QAR quick access recorder
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
QRA quick reaction alert
QRH quick reference handbook


Abbreviation Term Note
R (as a prefix:) restricted airspace
RA radio altitude or radar altimeter
RA resolution advisory (in the context of TCAS)
RAAS Runway Awareness and Advisory System
RAAS remote airport advisory service
RAREPS Weather Radar Reports[3] Provided by Air Traffic Controllers
RAS rectified air speed
RA(T) restricted area (temporary)
RAT ram air turbine
RCO remote communications outlet
RDH reference datum height for ILS
RESA runway end safety area
RFI recreational flight instructor
RGB reduction gear box
RMI radio magnetic indicator
RNAV area navigation
RNP required navigation performance
RSA runway safety area
RSR en-route surveillance radar
RT radiotelephony
RTL Rudder Travel Limiting
RTO rejected take-off
RTOW regulatory take-off weight
RVDT rotary variable differential transformer In a turbine engine
RVR runway visual range
RVSM reduced vertical separation minima
RWY runway
RW ramp weight
RPL Repetitive Flight Planning


Abbreviation Term
SAR Surveillance Approach Radar
SAS stability augmentation system
SCAP Standard Computerized Airplane Performance
SESAR Single European Sky ATM Research
SFCC Slat Flap Control Computer
SFO Senior First Officer
SFOC Template:Special Flight Operating Certificate
SID standard instrument departure
SIGMET Significant Meteorological Information
SMOH Since major overhaul
SMR surface movement radar
SOC start of climb at missed approach
SODPRO simultaneous opposite direction parallel runway operations
SOP standard operating procedure
SOW Statement of Work
SR sunrise
SRM Structure Repair Manual
SS sunset
STAR standard terminal arrival route
STC supplemental type certificate
STOL short take-off and landing[1]


Abbreviation Term Note
TA traffic advisory (see TCAS)
TAA terminal arrival area
TACAN tactical air navigation
TAF terminal aerodrome forecast
TAM total airport management
TAR terminal approach radar
TAS true airspeed
TAT total air temperature
TAWS terrain awareness and warning system
TBV transient bleed valve In turbine engines
TC towering cumulus
TC turn coordinator
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 Airspace
TGB transfer gearbox
TGL temporary guidance leaflet
THLD threshold
THR runway threshold
THS trimmable horizontal stabilizer, see tailplane
TLD time-limited dispatch
TMA terminal manoeuvring area (Europe)/terminal control area (USA and Canada)
TMZ transponder mandatory zone
TOD top of descent
TODA take-off distance available
TO/GA take-off/go around
TOR take-off runway
TORA take-off runway 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
TRE type rating examiner
TRP thrust rating panel
TSO technical standard order[2] FAA specification of quality standard.
TTAF total time air frame
TTSN total time since new
TTSO total time since overhaul
TWB Transcribed Weather Broadcasts[3] Abbreviated area forecast
TWR tower
TWY taxiway


Abbreviation Term
UAS Unmanned Aircraft System[8]
UAV unmanned air vehicle
UHF ultra-high frequency
UIR upper information region
UTC Universal Time Coordinated


Abbreviation Term Note
V&V Video & Vision[9]
VASI visual approach slope indicator
VBV variable bleed valve In turbine engines
VCS vehicle control service
VDP Visual descent point
VFR visual flight rules
VGM voice generator module See AWOS
VHF very high frequency
VMC visual meteorological conditions
VNAV vertical navigation
VOR VHF omni-directional range
VIGV Variable Inlet Guide Vane
VSCF Variable speed constant frequency Electricity generation system
VSI Vertical speed indicator
VSV Variable Stator Vane In a turbine engine
VTA VFR terminal area chart[1]
VTOL vertical take-off and landing[1]
VVI Vertical velocity indicator Same as VSI
VID Visible Impact Damage

V speeds[edit]

Abbreviation Term
V1 speed at or above which takeoff cannot be safely interrupted
Va maneuvering speed
Vfe maximum flaps extended speed
Vle maximum landing gear extension sp
Vlo maximum landing gear operating speed
vlof lift of 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
WS wind shear
WTC Wake Turbulence Category
Wx weather[1]


Abbreviation Term
XC cross-country[1]
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
ZULU Zulu Time (UTC)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w McDonald, Sandy A.F. From the ground up. Aviation Publishers Co. Ltd. pp. Appendix B. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Jeppesen, Boeing. A&P Technician General Textbook. pp. Glossary. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Nielsen, Dane. PILOT PREP. Canuck West Holdings Inc. 
  4. ^ Association for Scientific Development of Air Traffic Management in Europe
  5. ^ "AWWS - Forecasts and Observations". Retrieved 2017-04-06. 
  6. ^
  7. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  8. ^ US DoD
  9. ^


External links[edit]