ABBREVIATED IFR FLIGHT PLANS- An authorization by ATC requiring pilots to submit only that information needed for the purpose of ATC. It includes only a small portion of the usual IFR flight plan information. In certain instances, this may be only aircraft identification, location, and pilot request. Other information may be requested if needed by ATC for separation/control purposes. It is frequently used by aircraft which are airborne and desire an instrument approach or by aircraft which are on the ground and desire a climb to VFR-on-top.
(Refer to AIM.)
ABEAM- An aircraft is “abeam” a fix, point, or object when that fix, point, or object is approximately 90 degrees to the right or left of the aircraft track. Abeam indicates a general position rather than a precise point.
ACCELERATE-STOP DISTANCE AVAILABLE- The runway plus stopway length declared available and suitable for the acceleration and deceleration of an airplane aborting a takeoff.
ACCELERATE-STOP DISTANCE AVAILABLE [ICAO]- The length of the take-off run available plus the length of the stopway if provided.
ACROBATIC FLIGHT- An intentional maneuver involving an abrupt change in an aircraft's attitude, an abnormal attitude, or abnormal acceleration not necessary for normal flight.
(Refer to 14 CFR Part 91.)
ACROBATIC FLIGHT [ICAO]- Maneuvers intentionally performed by an aircraft involving an abrupt change in its attitude, an abnormal attitude, or an abnormal variation in speed.
ADAPTED ROUTES- Departure and/or arrival routes that are adapted in ARTCC ERAM computers to accomplish inter/intrafacility controller coordination and to ensure that flight data is posted at the proper control positions. Adapted routes are automatically applied to flight plans where appropriate. When the workload or traffic situation permits, controllers may provide radar vectors or assign requested routes to minimize circuitous routing. Adapted routes are usually confined to one ARTCC's area and are referred to by the following names or abbreviations:
- Adapted Arrival Route (AAR). A specific arrival route from an appropriate en route point to an airport or terminal area. It may be included in a Standard Terminal Arrival (STAR) or a Preferred IFR Route.
- Adapted Departure Route (ADR). A specific departure route from an airport or terminal area to an en route point where there is no further need for flow control. It may be included in an Instrument Departure Procedure (DP) or a Preferred IFR Route.
- Adapted Departure and Arrival Route (ADAR). A route between two terminals which are within or immediately adjacent to one ARTCC's area. ADARs are similar to Preferred IFR Routes and may share components, but they are not synonymous.
ADDITIONAL SERVICES- Advisory information provided by ATC which includes but is not limited to the following:
- Traffic advisories.
- Vectors, when requested by the pilot, to assist aircraft receiving traffic advisories to avoid observed traffic.
- Altitude deviation information of 300 feet or more from an assigned altitude as observed on a verified (reading correctly) automatic altitude readout (Mode C).
- Advisories that traffic is no longer a factor.
- Weather and chaff information.
- Weather assistance.
- Bird activity information.
- Holding pattern surveillance. Additional services are provided to the extent possible contingent only upon the controller's capability to fit them into the performance of higher priority duties and on the basis of limitations of the radar, volume of traffic, frequency congestion, and controller workload. The controller has complete discretion for determining if he/she is able to provide or continue to provide a service in a particular case. The controller's reason not to provide or continue to provide a service in a particular case is not subject to question by the pilot and need not be made known to him/her.
(Refer to AIM.)
ADMINISTRATOR- The Federal Aviation Administrator or any person to whom he/she has delegated his/her authority in the matter concerned.
ADVANCED AIR MOBILITY (AAM)-A transportation system that transports people and property by air between two points in the NAS using aircraft with advanced technologies, including electric aircraft or electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, in both controlled and uncontrolled airspace.
ADVISORY- Advice and information provided to assist pilots in the safe conduct of flight and aircraft movement.
ADVISORY CIRCULAR (AC)- An FAA publication, advisory and descriptive in nature, which is not regulatory.
ADVISORY FREQUENCY- The appropriate frequency to be used for Airport Advisory Service.
(Refer to ADVISORY CIRCULAR NO. 90-66.)
(Refer to AIM.)
ADVISORY SERVICE- Advice and information provided by a facility to assist pilots in the safe conduct of flight and aircraft movement.
(Refer to AIM.)
AERIAL REFUELING- A procedure used by the military to transfer fuel from one aircraft to another during flight.
(Refer to VFR/IFR Wall Planning Charts.)
AERODROME- A defined area on land or water (including any buildings, installations and equipment) intended to be used either wholly or in part for the arrival, departure, and movement of aircraft.
AERODROME BEACON [ICAO]- Aeronautical beacon used to indicate the location of an aerodrome from the air.
AERODROME CONTROL TOWER [ICAO]- A unit established to provide air traffic control service to aerodrome traffic.
AERODROME TRAFFIC CIRCUIT [ICAO]- The specified path to be flown by aircraft operating in the vicinity of an aerodrome.
AERONAUTICAL BEACON- A visual NAVAID displaying flashes of white and/or colored light to indicate the location of an airport, a heliport, a landmark, a certain point of a Federal airway in mountainous terrain, or an obstruction.
(Refer to AIM.)
AERONAUTICAL CHART- A map used in air navigation containing all or part of the following: topographic features, hazards and obstructions, navigation aids, navigation routes, designated airspace, and airports. Commonly used aeronautical charts are:
- Sectional Aeronautical Charts (1:500,000)- Designed for visual navigation of slow or medium speed aircraft. Topographic information on these charts features the portrayal of relief and a judicious selection of visual check points for VFR flight. Aeronautical information includes visual and radio aids to navigation, airports, controlled airspace, permanent special use airspace (SUA), obstructions, and related data.
- VFR Terminal Area Charts (1:250,000)- Depict Class B airspace which provides for the control or segregation of all the aircraft within Class B airspace. The chart depicts topographic information and aeronautical information which includes visual and radio aids to navigation, airports, controlled airspace, permanent SUA, obstructions, and related data.
- En Route Low Altitude Charts- Provide aeronautical information for en route instrument navigation (IFR) in the low altitude stratum. Information includes the portrayal of airways, limits of controlled airspace, position identification and frequencies of radio aids, selected airports, minimum en route and minimum obstruction clearance altitudes, airway distances, reporting points, permanent SUA, and related data. Area charts, which are a part of this series, furnish terminal data at a larger scale in congested areas.
- En Route High Altitude Charts- Provide aeronautical information for en route instrument navigation (IFR) in the high altitude stratum. Information includes the portrayal of jet routes, identification and frequencies of radio aids, selected airports, distances, time zones, special use airspace, and related information.
- Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP) Charts- Portray the aeronautical data which is required to execute an instrument approach to an airport. These charts depict the procedures, including all related data, and the airport diagram. Each procedure is designated for use with a specific type of electronic navigation system including NDB, TACAN, VOR, ILS RNAV and GLS. These charts are identified by the type of navigational aid(s)/equipment required to provide final approach guidance.
- Instrument Departure Procedure (DP) Charts- Designed to expedite clearance delivery and to facilitate transition between takeoff and en route operations. Each DP is presented as a separate chart and may serve a single airport or more than one airport in a given geographical location.
- Standard Terminal Arrival (STAR) Charts- Designed to expedite air traffic control arrival procedures and to facilitate transition between en route and instrument approach operations. Each STAR procedure is presented as a separate chart and may serve a single airport or more than one airport in a given geographical location.
- Airport Taxi Charts- Designed to expedite the efficient and safe flow of ground traffic at an airport. These charts are identified by the official airport name; e.g., Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
AERONAUTICAL CHART [ICAO]- A representation of a portion of the earth, its culture and relief, specifically designated to meet the requirements of air navigation.
AERONAUTICAL INFORMATION MANUAL (AIM)- A primary FAA publication whose purpose is to instruct airmen about operating in the National Airspace System of the U.S. It provides basic flight information, ATC Procedures and general instructional information concerning health, medical facts, factors affecting flight safety, accident and hazard reporting, and types of aeronautical charts and their use.
AERONAUTICAL INFORMATION PUBLICATION (AIP) [ICAO]- A publication issued by or with the authority of a State and containing aeronautical information of a lasting character essential to air navigation.
AERONAUTICAL INFORMATION SERVICES (AIS)- A facility in Silver Spring, MD, established by FAA to operate a central aeronautical information service for the collection, validation, and dissemination of aeronautical data in support of the activities of government, industry, and the aviation community. The information is published in the National Flight Data Digest.
AIR CARRIER DISTRICT OFFICE- An FAA field office serving an assigned geographical area, staffed with Flight Standards personnel serving the aviation industry and the general public on matters related to the certification and operation of scheduled air carriers and other large aircraft operations.
AIR DEFENSE EMERGENCY- A military emergency condition declared by a designated authority. This condition exists when an attack upon the continental U.S., Alaska, Canada, or U.S. installations in Greenland by hostile aircraft or missiles is considered probable, is imminent, or is taking place.
(Refer to AIM.)
AIR DEFENSE IDENTIFICATION ZONE (ADIZ)- An area of airspace over land or water in which the ready identification, location, and control of all aircraft (except for Department of Defense and law enforcement aircraft) is required in the interest of national security.
Note: ADIZ locations and operating and flight plan requirements for civil aircraft operations are specified in 14 CFR Part 99.
(Refer to AIM.)
AIR NAVIGATION FACILITY- Any facility used in, available for use in, or designed for use in, aid of air navigation, including landing areas, lights, any apparatus or equipment for disseminating weather information, for signaling, for radio-directional finding, or for radio or other electrical communication, and any other structure or mechanism having a similar purpose for guiding or controlling flight in the air or the landing and takeoff of aircraft.
AIR ROUTE SURVEILLANCE RADAR- Air route traffic control center (ARTCC) radar used primarily to detect and display an aircraft's position while en route between terminal areas. The ARSR enables controllers to provide radar air traffic control service when aircraft are within the ARSR coverage. In some instances, ARSR may enable an ARTCC to provide terminal radar services similar to but usually more limited than those provided by a radar approach control.
AIR ROUTE TRAFFIC CONTROL CENTER (ARTCC)- A facility established to provide air traffic control service to aircraft operating on IFR flight plans within controlled airspace and principally during the en route phase of flight. When equipment capabilities and controller workload permit, certain advisory/assistance services may be provided to VFR aircraft.
(Refer to AIM.)
AIR TAXI- Used to describe a helicopter/VTOL aircraft movement conducted above the surface but normally not above 100 feet AGL. The aircraft may proceed either via hover taxi or flight at speeds more than 20 knots. The pilot is solely responsible for selecting a safe airspeed/altitude for the operation being conducted.
(Refer to AIM.)
AIR TRAFFIC- Aircraft operating in the air or on an airport surface, exclusive of loading ramps and parking areas.
AIR TRAFFIC CLEARANCE- An authorization by air traffic control for the purpose of preventing collision between known aircraft, for an aircraft to proceed under specified traffic conditions within controlled airspace. The pilot-in-command of an aircraft may not deviate from the provisions of a visual flight rules (VFR) or instrument flight rules (IFR) air traffic clearance except in an emergency or unless an amended clearance has been obtained. Additionally, the pilot may request a different clearance from that which has been issued by air traffic control (ATC) if information available to the pilot makes another course of action more practicable or if aircraft equipment limitations or company procedures forbid compliance with the clearance issued. Pilots may also request clarification or amendment, as appropriate, any time a clearance is not fully understood, or considered unacceptable because of safety of flight. Controllers should, in such instances and to the extent of operational practicality and safety, honor the pilot's request. 14 CFR Part 91.3(a) states: “The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.” THE PILOT IS RESPONSIBLE TO REQUEST AN AMENDED CLEARANCE if ATC issues a clearance that would cause a pilot to deviate from a rule or regulation, or in the pilot's opinion, would place the aircraft in jeopardy.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL- A service operated by appropriate authority to promote the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL CLEARANCE [ICAO]- Authorization for an aircraft to proceed under conditions specified by an air traffic control unit.
Note 1: For convenience, the term air traffic control clearance is frequently abbreviated to clearance when used in appropriate contexts.
Note 2: The abbreviated term clearance may be prefixed by the words taxi, takeoff, departure, en route, approach or landing to indicate the particular portion of flight to which the air traffic control clearance relates.
- Between aircraft; and
- On the maneuvering area between aircraft and obstructions.
- Expediting and maintaining an orderly flow of air traffic.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEM COMMAND CENTER (ATCSCC)- An Air Traffic Tactical Operations facility responsible for monitoring and managing the flow of air traffic throughout the NAS, producing a safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of traffic while minimizing delays. The following functions are located at the ATCSCC:
- Central Altitude Reservation Function (CARF). Responsible for coordinating, planning, and approving special user requirements under the Altitude Reservation (ALTRV) concept.
- Airport Reservation Office (ARO). Monitors the operation and allocation of reservations for unscheduled operations at airports designated by the Administrator as High Density Airports. These airports are generally known as slot controlled airports. The ARO allocates reservations on a first come, first served basis determined by the time the request is received at the ARO.
- U.S. Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) Office. Responsible for collecting, maintaining, and distributing NOTAMs for the U.S. civilian and military, as well as international aviation communities.
- Weather Unit. Monitor all aspects of weather for the U.S. that might affect aviation including cloud cover, visibility, winds, precipitation, thunderstorms, icing, turbulence, and more. Provide forecasts based on observations and on discussions with meteorologists from various National Weather Service offices, FAA facilities, airlines, and private weather services.
- Air Traffic Organization (ATO) Space Operations and Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS); the Office of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for all space and upper class E tactical operations in the National Airspace System (NAS).
(Refer to 14 CFR Part 93.)
- Flight Information Service.
- Alerting Service.
- Air Traffic Advisory Service.
Air Traffic Control Service:
- Area Control Service,
- Approach Control Service, or
- Airport Control Service.
AIR TRAFFIC ORGANIZATION (ATO) - The FAA line of business responsible for providing safe and efficient air navigation services in the national airspace system.
AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE (ATS) ROUTES - The term “ATS Route” is a generic term that includes “VOR Federal airways,” “colored Federal airways,” “jet routes,” and “RNAV routes.” The term “ATS route” does not replace these more familiar route names, but serves only as an overall title when listing the types of routes that comprise the United States route structure.
AIRBORNE REROUTE (ABRR)- A capability within the Traffic Flow Management System used for the timely development and implementation of tactical reroutes for airborne aircraft. This capability defines a set of aircraft-specific reroutes that address a certain traffic flow problem and then electronically transmits them to En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) for execution by the appropriate sector controllers.
AIRCRAFT- Device(s) that are used or intended to be used for flight in the air, and when used in air traffic control terminology, may include the flight crew.
AIRCRAFT [ICAO]- Any machine that can derive support in the atmosphere from the reactions of the air other than the reactions of the air against the earth's surface.
AIRCRAFT APPROACH CATEGORY- A grouping of aircraft based on a speed of 1.3 times the stall speed in the landing configuration at maximum gross landing weight. An aircraft must fit in only one category. If it is necessary to maneuver at speeds in excess of the upper limit of a speed range for a category, the minimums for the category for that speed must be used. For example, an aircraft which falls in Category A, but is circling to land at a speed in excess of 91 knots, must use the approach Category B minimums when circling to land. The categories are as follows:
- Category A- Speed less than 91 knots.
- Category B- Speed 91 knots or more but less than 121 knots.
- Category C- Speed 121 knots or more but less than 141 knots.
- Category D- Speed 141 knots or more but less than 166 knots.
- Category E- Speed 166 knots or more.
(Refer to 14 CFR Part 97.)
AIRCRAFT CLASSES- For the purposes of Wake Turbulence Separation Minima, ATC classifies aircraft as Super, Heavy, Large, and Small as follows:
- Super. The Airbus A-380-800 (A388) and the Antonov An-225 (A225) are classified as super.
- Heavy- Aircraft capable of takeoff weights of 300,000 pounds or more whether or not they are operating at this weight during a particular phase of flight.
- Large- Aircraft of more than 41,000 pounds, maximum certificated takeoff weight, up to but not including 300,000 pounds.
- Small- Aircraft of 41,000 pounds or less maximum certificated takeoff weight.
(Refer to AIM.)
AIRCRAFT CONFLICT- Predicted conflict, within EDST of two aircraft, or between aircraft and airspace. A Red alert is used for conflicts when the predicted minimum separation is 5 nautical miles or less. A Yellow alert is used when the predicted minimum separation is between 5 and approximately 12 nautical miles. A Blue alert is used for conflicts between an aircraft and predefined airspace.
AIRCRAFT LIST (ACL)- A view available with EDST that lists aircraft currently in or predicted to be in a particular sector's airspace. The view contains textual flight data information in line format and may be sorted into various orders based on the specific needs of the sector team.
AIRCRAFT SURGE LAUNCH AND RECOVERY- Procedures used at USAF bases to provide increased launch and recovery rates in instrument flight rules conditions. ASLAR is based on:
- Reduced separation between aircraft which is based on time or distance. Standard arrival separation applies between participants including multiple flights until the DRAG point. The DRAG point is a published location on an ASLAR approach where aircraft landing second in a formation slows to a predetermined airspeed. The DRAG point is the reference point at which MARSA applies as expanding elements effect separation within a flight or between subsequent participating flights.
- ASLAR procedures shall be covered in a Letter of Agreement between the responsible USAF military ATC facility and the concerned Federal Aviation Administration facility. Initial Approach Fix spacing requirements are normally addressed as a minimum.
AIRCRAFT HAZARD AREA (AHA)- Used by ATC to segregate air traffic from a launch vehicle, reentry vehicle, amateur rocket, jettisoned stages, hardware, or falling debris generated by failures associated with any of these activities. An AHA is designated via NOTAM as either a TFR or stationary ALTRV. Unless otherwise specified, the vertical limits of an AHA are from the surface to unlimited.
AIRCRAFT WAKE TURBULENCE CATEGORIES- For the purpose of Wake Turbulence Recategorization (RECAT) Separation Minima, ATC groups aircraft into categories ranging from Category A through Category I, dependent upon the version of RECAT that is applied. Specific category assignments vary and are listed in the RECAT Orders.
AIRMEN'S METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION (AIRMET)- A concise description of an occurrence or expected occurrence of specified en route weather phenomena that may affect the safety of aircraft operations, but at intensities lower than those that require the issuance of a SIGMET. An AIRMET may be issued when any of the following weather phenomena are occurring or expected to occur:
- Moderate turbulence
- Low-level windshear
- Strong surface winds greater than 30 knots
- Moderate icing
- Freezing level
- Mountain obscuration
(Refer to AIM.)
AIRPORT- An area on land or water that is used or intended to be used for the landing and takeoff of aircraft and includes its buildings and facilities, if any.
AIRPORT ADVISORY AREA- The area within ten miles of an airport without a control tower or where the tower is not in operation, and on which a Flight Service Station is located.
(Refer to AIM.)
AIRPORT ARRIVAL RATE (AAR)- A dynamic input parameter specifying the number of arriving aircraft which an airport or airspace can accept from the ARTCC per hour. The AAR is used to calculate the desired interval between successive arrival aircraft.
AIRPORT DEPARTURE RATE (ADR)- A dynamic parameter specifying the number of aircraft which can depart an airport and the airspace can accept per hour.
AIRPORT ELEVATION- The highest point of an airport's usable runways measured in feet from mean sea level.
AIRPORT LIGHTING- Various lighting aids that may be installed on an airport. Types of airport lighting include:
Approach Light System (ALS)- An airport lighting facility which provides visual guidance to landing aircraft by radiating light beams in a directional pattern by which the pilot aligns the aircraft with the extended centerline of the runway on his/her final approach for landing. Condenser-Discharge Sequential Flashing Lights/Sequenced Flashing Lights may be installed in conjunction with the ALS at some airports. Types of Approach Light Systems are:
- ALSF-1- Approach Light System with Sequenced Flashing Lights in ILS Cat-I configuration.
- ALSF-2- Approach Light System with Sequenced Flashing Lights in ILS Cat-II configuration. The ALSF-2 may operate as an SSALR when weather conditions permit.
- SSALF- Simplified Short Approach Light System with Sequenced Flashing Lights.
- SSALR- Simplified Short Approach Light System with Runway Alignment Indicator Lights.
- MALSF- Medium Intensity Approach Light System with Sequenced Flashing Lights.
- MALSR- Medium Intensity Approach Light System with Runway Alignment Indicator Lights.
- RLLS- Runway Lead-in Light System Consists of one or more series of flashing lights installed at or near ground level that provides positive visual guidance along an approach path, either curving or straight, where special problems exist with hazardous terrain, obstructions, or noise abatement procedures.
- RAIL- Runway Alignment Indicator Lights- Sequenced Flashing Lights which are installed only in combination with other light systems.
- ODALS- Omnidirectional Approach Lighting System consists of seven omnidirectional flashing lights located in the approach area of a nonprecision runway. Five lights are located on the runway centerline extended with the first light located 300 feet from the threshold and extending at equal intervals up to 1,500 feet from the threshold. The other two lights are located, one on each side of the runway threshold, at a lateral distance of 40 feet from the runway edge, or 75 feet from the runway edge when installed on a runway equipped with a VASI.
(Refer to FAA Order JO 6850.2, VISUAL GUIDANCE LIGHTING SYSTEMS.)
- Runway Lights/Runway Edge Lights- Lights having a prescribed angle of emission used to define the lateral limits of a runway. Runway lights are uniformly spaced at intervals of approximately 200 feet, and the intensity may be controlled or preset.
- Touchdown Zone Lighting- Two rows of transverse light bars located symmetrically about the runway centerline normally at 100 foot intervals. The basic system extends 3,000 feet along the runway.
- Runway Centerline Lighting- Flush centerline lights spaced at 50-foot intervals beginning 75 feet from the landing threshold and extending to within 75 feet of the opposite end of the runway.
- Threshold Lights- Fixed green lights arranged symmetrically left and right of the runway centerline, identifying the runway threshold.
- Runway End Identifier Lights (REIL)- Two synchronized flashing lights, one on each side of the runway threshold, which provide rapid and positive identification of the approach end of a particular runway.
- Visual Approach Slope Indicator (VASI)- An airport lighting facility providing vertical visual approach slope guidance to aircraft during approach to landing by radiating a directional pattern of high intensity red and white focused light beams which indicate to the pilot that he/she is “on path” if he/she sees red/white, “above path” if white/white, and “below path” if red/red. Some airports serving large aircraft have three-bar VASIs which provide two visual glide paths to the same runway.
- Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI)- An airport lighting facility, similar to VASI, providing vertical approach slope guidance to aircraft during approach to landing. PAPIs consist of a single row of either two or four lights, normally installed on the left side of the runway, and have an effective visual range of about 5 miles during the day and up to 20 miles at night. PAPIs radiate a directional pattern of high intensity red and white focused light beams which indicate that the pilot is “on path” if the pilot sees an equal number of white lights and red lights, with white to the left of the red; “above path” if the pilot sees more white than red lights; and “below path” if the pilot sees more red than white lights.
- Boundary Lights- Lights defining the perimeter of an airport or landing area.
(Refer to AIM.)
AIRPORT MARKING AIDS- Markings used on runway and taxiway surfaces to identify a specific runway, a runway threshold, a centerline, a hold line, etc. A runway should be marked in accordance with its present usage such as:
- Nonprecision instrument.
- Precision instrument.
(Refer to AIM.)
AIRPORT RESERVATION OFFICE- Office responsible for monitoring the operation of slot controlled airports. It receives and processes requests for unscheduled operations at slot controlled airports.
AIRPORT ROTATING BEACON- A visual NAVAID operated at many airports. At civil airports, alternating white and green flashes indicate the location of the airport. At military airports, the beacons flash alternately white and green, but are differentiated from civil beacons by dualpeaked (two quick) white flashes between the green flashes.
(Refer to AIM.)
AIRPORT SURFACE DETECTION EQUIPMENT (ASDE)- Surveillance equipment specifically designed to detect aircraft, vehicular traffic, and other objects, on the surface of an airport, and to present the image on a tower display. Used to augment visual observation by tower personnel of aircraft and/or vehicular movements on runways and taxiways. There are three ASDE systems deployed in the NAS:
- ASDE-3- a Surface Movement Radar.
- ASDE-X- a system that uses an X-band Surface Movement Radar, multilateration, and ADS-B.
- Airport Surface Surveillance Capability (ASSC)- A system that uses Surface Movement Radar, multilateration, and ADS-B.
AIRPORT SURVEILLANCE RADAR- Approach control radar used to detect and display an aircraft's position in the terminal area. ASR provides range and azimuth information but does not provide elevation data. Coverage of the ASR can extend up to 60 miles.
AIRPORT TRAFFIC CONTROL SERVICE- A service provided by a control tower for aircraft operating on the movement area and in the vicinity of an airport.
AIRSPACE FLOW PROGRAM (AFP)- AFP is a Traffic Management (TM) process administered by the Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) where aircraft are assigned an Expect Departure Clearance Time (EDCT) in order to manage capacity and demand for a specific area of the National Airspace System (NAS). The purpose of the program is to mitigate the effects of en route constraints. It is a flexible program and may be implemented in various forms depending upon the needs of the air traffic system.
AIRSPACE HIERARCHY- Within the airspace classes, there is a hierarchy and, in the event of an overlap of airspace: Class A preempts Class B, Class B preempts Class C, Class C preempts Class D, Class D preempts Class E, and Class E preempts Class G.
AIRSPEED- The speed of an aircraft relative to its surrounding air mass. The unqualified term “airspeed” means one of the following:
- Indicated Airspeed- The speed shown on the aircraft airspeed indicator. This is the speed used in pilot/controller communications under the general term “airspeed.”
- True Airspeed- The airspeed of an aircraft relative to undisturbed air. Used primarily in flight planning and en route portion of flight. When used in pilot/controller communications, it is referred to as “true airspeed” and not shortened to “airspeed.”
(Refer to 14 CFR Part 1.)
AIRSPACE RESERVATION- The term used in oceanic ATC for airspace utilization under prescribed conditions normally employed for the mass movement of aircraft or other special user requirements which cannot otherwise be accomplished. Airspace reservations must be classified as either “moving” or “stationary.”
AIRSTART- The starting of an aircraft engine while the aircraft is airborne, preceded by engine shutdown during training flights or by actual engine failure.
AIRWAY- A Class E airspace area established in the form of a corridor, the centerline of which is defined by radio navigational aids.
(Refer to 14 CFR Part 71.)
(Refer to AIM.)
AIRWAY [ICAO]- A control area or portion thereof established in the form of corridor equipped with radio navigational aids.
AIRWAY BEACON- Used to mark airway segments in remote mountain areas. The light flashes Morse Code to identify the beacon site.
(Refer to AIM.)
ALERFA (Alert Phase) [ICAO]- A situation wherein apprehension exists as to the safety of an aircraft and its occupants.
ALERT- A notification to a position that there is an aircraft-to-aircraft or aircraft-to-airspace conflict, as detected by Automated Problem Detection (APD).
ALERT NOTICE (ALNOT)- A request originated by a flight service station (FSS) or an air route traffic control center (ARTCC) for an extensive communication search for overdue, unreported, or missing aircraft.
ALERTING SERVICE- A service provided to notify appropriate organizations regarding aircraft in need of search and rescue aid and assist such organizations as required.
ALONG-TRACK DISTANCE (ATD)- The horizontal distance between the aircraft's current position and a fix measured by an area navigation system that is not subject to slant range errors.
ALPHANUMERIC DISPLAY- Letters and numerals used to show identification, altitude, beacon code, and other information concerning a target on a radar display.
ALTERNATE AERODROME [ICAO]- An aerodrome to which an aircraft may proceed when it becomes either impossible or inadvisable to proceed to or to land at the aerodrome of intended landing.
Note: The aerodrome from which a flight departs may also be an en-route or a destination alternate aerodrome for the flight.
ALTERNATE AIRPORT- An airport at which an aircraft may land if a landing at the intended airport becomes inadvisable.
ALTIMETER SETTING- The barometric pressure reading used to adjust a pressure altimeter for variations in existing atmospheric pressure or to the standard altimeter setting (29.92).
(Refer to 14 CFR Part 91.)
(Refer to AIM.)
ALTITUDE- The height of a level, point, or object measured in feet Above Ground Level (AGL) or from Mean Sea Level (MSL).
- MSL Altitude- Altitude expressed in feet measured from mean sea level.
- AGL Altitude- Altitude expressed in feet measured above ground level.
- Indicated Altitude- The altitude as shown by an altimeter. On a pressure or barometric altimeter it is altitude as shown uncorrected for instrument error and uncompensated for variation from standard atmospheric conditions.
ALTITUDE [ICAO]- The vertical distance of a level, a point or an object considered as a point, measured from mean sea level (MSL).
(Refer to AIM.)
ALTITUDE RESERVATION (ALTRV)- Airspace utilization under prescribed conditions normally employed for the mass movement of aircraft or other special user requirements which cannot otherwise be accomplished. ALTRVs are approved by the appropriate FAA facility. ALTRVs must be classified as either “moving” or “stationary.”
ALTITUDE RESTRICTION- An altitude or altitudes, stated in the order flown, which are to be maintained until reaching a specific point or time. Altitude restrictions may be issued by ATC due to traffic, terrain, or other airspace considerations.
APPROACH CLEARANCE- Authorization by ATC for a pilot to conduct an instrument approach. The type of instrument approach for which a clearance and other pertinent information is provided in the approach clearance when required.
(Refer to AIM.)
(Refer to 14 CFR Part 91.)
APPROACH CONTROL FACILITY- A terminal ATC facility that provides approach control service in a terminal area.
APPROACH CONTROL SERVICE- Air traffic control service provided by an approach control facility for arriving and departing VFR/IFR aircraft and, on occasion, en route aircraft. At some airports not served by an approach control facility, the ARTCC provides limited approach control service.
(Refer to AIM.)
APPROACH CONTROL SERVICE [ICAO]- Air traffic control service for arriving or departing controlled flights.
APPROACH GATE- An imaginary point used within ATC as a basis for vectoring aircraft to the final approach course. The gate will be established along the final approach course 1 mile from the final approach fix on the side away from the airport and will be no closer than 5 miles from the landing threshold.
APPROACH/DEPARTURE HOLD AREA- The locations on taxiways in the approach or departure areas of a runway designated to protect landing or departing aircraft. These locations are identified by signs and markings.
APPROACH SEQUENCE- The order in which aircraft are positioned while on approach or awaiting approach clearance.
APPROACH SEQUENCE [ICAO]- The order in which two or more aircraft are cleared to approach to land at the aerodrome.
APPROACH SPEED- The recommended speed contained in aircraft manuals used by pilots when making an approach to landing. This speed will vary for different segments of an approach as well as for aircraft weight and configuration.
APPROACH WITH VERTICAL GUIDANCE (APV)- A term used to describe RNAV approach procedures that provide lateral and vertical guidance but do not meet the requirements to be considered a precision approach.
APPROPRIATE ATS AUTHORITY [ICAO]- The relevant authority designated by the State responsible for providing air traffic services in the airspace concerned. In the United States, the “appropriate ATS authority” is the Program Director for Air Traffic Planning and Procedures, ATP-1.
- Regarding flight over the high seas: the relevant authority is the State of Registry.
- Regarding flight over other than the high seas: the relevant authority is the State having sovereignty over the territory being overflown.
APRON- A defined area on an airport or heliport intended to accommodate aircraft for purposes of loading or unloading passengers or cargo, refueling, parking, or maintenance. With regard to seaplanes, a ramp is used for access to the apron from the water.
APRON [ICAO]- A defined area, on a land aerodrome, intended to accommodate aircraft for purposes of loading or unloading passengers, mail or cargo, refueling, parking or maintenance.
ARC- The track over the ground of an aircraft flying at a constant distance from a navigational aid by reference to distance measuring equipment (DME).
AREA CONTROL CENTER [ICAO]- An air traffic control facility primarily responsible for ATC services being provided IFR aircraft during the en route phase of flight. The U.S. equivalent facility is an air route traffic control center (ARTCC).
AREA NAVIGATION (RNAV)- A method of navigation which permits aircraft operation on any desired flight path within the coverage of ground- or space-based navigation aids or within the limits of the capability of self-contained aids, or a combination of these.
Note: Area navigation includes performance-based navigation as well as other operations that do not meet the definition of performance-based navigation.
- STANDARD T- An RNAV approach whose design allows direct flight to any one of three initial approach fixes (IAF) and eliminates the need for procedure turns. The standard design is to align the procedure on the extended centerline with the missed approach point (MAP) at the runway threshold, the final approach fix (FAF), and the initial approach/intermediate fix (IAF/IF). The other two IAFs will be established perpendicular to the IF.
- MODIFIED T- An RNAV approach design for single or multiple runways where terrain or operational constraints do not allow for the standard T. The “T” may be modified by increasing or decreasing the angle from the corner IAF(s) to the IF or by eliminating one or both corner IAFs.
- STANDARD I- An RNAV approach design for a single runway with both corner IAFs eliminated. Course reversal or radar vectoring may be required at busy terminals with multiple runways.
TERMINAL ARRIVAL AREA (TAA)- The TAA is controlled airspace established in conjunction with the Standard or Modified T and I RNAV approach configurations. In the standard TAA, there are three areas: straight-in, left base, and right base. The arc boundaries of the three areas of the TAA are published portions of the approach and allow aircraft to transition from the en route structure direct to the nearest IAF. TAAs will also eliminate or reduce feeder routes, departure extensions, and procedure turns or course reversal.
- STRAIGHT-IN AREA- A 30 NM arc centered on the IF bounded by a straight line extending through the IF perpendicular to the intermediate course.
- LEFT BASE AREA- A 30 NM arc centered on the right corner IAF. The area shares a boundary with the straight-in area except that it extends out for 30 NM from the IAF and is bounded on the other side by a line extending from the IF through the FAF to the arc.
- RIGHT BASE AREA- A 30 NM arc centered on the left corner IAF. The area shares a boundary with the straight-in area except that it extends out for 30 NM from the IAF and is bounded on the other side by a line extending from the IF through the FAF to the arc.
AREA NAVIGATION (RNAV) GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM (GPS) PRECISION RUNWAY MONITORING (PRM) APPROACH-
A GPS approach, which requires vertical guidance, used in lieu of another type of PRM approach to conduct approaches to parallel runways whose extended centerlines are separated by less than 4,300 feet and at least 3,000 feet, where simultaneous close parallel approaches are permitted. Also used in lieu of an ILS PRM and/or LDA PRM approach to conduct Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approach (SOIA) operations.
ARMY AVIATION FLIGHT INFORMATION BULLETIN- A bulletin that provides air operation data covering Army, National Guard, and Army Reserve aviation activities.
ARRESTING SYSTEM- A safety device consisting of two major components, namely, engaging or catching devices and energy absorption devices for the purpose of arresting both tailhook and/or nontailhook-equipped aircraft. It is used to prevent aircraft from overrunning runways when the aircraft cannot be stopped after landing or during aborted takeoff. Arresting systems have various names; e.g., arresting gear, hook device, wire barrier cable.
(Refer to AIM.)
ARRIVAL DELAY- A parameter which specifies a period of time in which no aircraft will be metered for arrival at the specified airport.
ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE WINDOW (ADW)- A depiction presented on an air traffic control display, used by the controller to prevent possible conflicts between arrivals to, and departures from, a runway. The ADW identifies that point on the final approach course by which a departing aircraft must have begun takeoff.
ARRIVAL SECTOR (En Route)- An operational control sector containing one or more meter fixes on or near the TRACON boundary.
ASSOCIATED- A radar target displaying a data block with flight identification and altitude information.
ATC ADVISES- Used to prefix a message of noncontrol information when it is relayed to an aircraft by other than an air traffic controller.
ATC ASSIGNED AIRSPACE- Airspace of defined vertical/lateral limits, assigned by ATC, for the purpose of providing air traffic segregation between the specified activities being conducted within the assigned airspace and other IFR air traffic.
ATC CLEARS- Used to prefix an ATC clearance when it is relayed to an aircraft by other than an air traffic controller.
ATC INSTRUCTIONS- Directives issued by air traffic control for the purpose of requiring a pilot to take specific actions; e.g., “Turn left heading two five zero,” “Go around,” “Clear the runway.”
(Refer to 14 CFR Part 91.)
ATC PREFERRED ROUTE NOTIFICATION- EDST notification to the appropriate controller of the need to determine if an ATC preferred route needs to be applied, based on destination airport.
ATC REQUESTS- Used to prefix an ATC request when it is relayed to an aircraft by other than an air traffic controller.
ATC SECURITY SERVICES- Communications and security tracking provided by an ATC facility in support of the DHS, the DoD, or other Federal security elements in the interest of national security. Such security services are only applicable within designated areas. ATC security services do not include ATC basic radar services or flight following.
ATC SECURITY SERVICES POSITION- The position responsible for providing ATC security services as defined. This position does not provide ATC, IFR separation, or VFR flight following services, but is responsible for providing security services in an area comprising airspace assigned to one or more ATC operating sectors. This position may be combined with control positions.
ATC SECURITY TRACKING- The continuous tracking of aircraft movement by an ATC facility in support of the DHS, the DoD, or other security elements for national security using radar (i.e., radar tracking) or other means (e.g., manual tracking) without providing basic radar services (including traffic advisories) or other ATC services not defined in this section.
ATS SURVEILLANCE SERVICE [ICAO]- A term used to indicate a service provided directly by means of an ATS surveillance system.
ATC SURVEILLANCE SOURCE- Used by ATC for establishing identification, control and separation using a target depicted on an air traffic control facility's video display that has met the relevant safety standards for operational use and received from one, or a combination, of the following surveillance sources:
ATS SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM [ICAO]- A generic term meaning variously, ADS-B, PSR, SSR or any comparable ground-based system that enables the identification of aircraft.
Note: A comparable ground-based system is one that has been demonstrated, by comparative assessment or other methodology, to have a level of safety and performance equal to or better than monopulse SSR.
ATS ROUTE [ICAO]- A specified route designed for channeling the flow of traffic as necessary for the provision of air traffic services.
Note: The term “ATS Route” is used to mean variously, airway, advisory route, controlled or uncontrolled route, arrival or departure, etc.
ATTENTION ALL USERS PAGE (AAUP)- The AAUP provides the pilot with additional information relative to conducting a specific operation, for example, PRM approaches and RNAV departures.
AUTOLAND APPROACH-An autoland system aids by providing control of aircraft systems during a precision instrument approach to at least decision altitude and possibly all the way to touchdown, as well as in some cases, through the landing rollout. The autoland system is a sub-system of the autopilot system from which control surface management occurs. The aircraft autopilot sends instructions to the autoland system and monitors the autoland system performance and integrity during its execution.
AUTOMATED INFORMATION TRANSFER (AIT)- A precoordinated process, specifically defined in facility directives, during which a transfer of altitude control and/or radar identification is accomplished without verbal coordination between controllers using information communicated in a full data block.
AUTOMATED MUTUAL-ASSISTANCE VESSEL RESCUE SYSTEM- A facility which can deliver, in a matter of minutes, a surface picture (SURPIC) of vessels in the area of a potential or actual search and rescue incident, including their predicted positions and their characteristics.
(See FAA Order JO 7110.65, Para 10-6-4, INFLIGHT CONTINGENCIES.)
AUTOMATED PROBLEM DETECTION (APD)- An Automation Processing capability that compares trajectories in order to predict conflicts.
AUTOMATED PROBLEM DETECTION BOUNDARY (APB)- The adapted distance beyond a facilities boundary defining the airspace within which EDST performs conflict detection.
AUTOMATED PROBLEM DETECTION INHIBITED AREA (APDIA)- Airspace surrounding a terminal area within which APD is inhibited for all flights within that airspace.
AUTOMATED TERMINAL PROXIMITY ALERT (ATPA)- Monitors the separation of aircraft on the Final Approach Course (FAC), displaying a graphical notification (cone and/or mileage) when a potential loss of separation is detected. The warning cone (Yellow) will display at 45 seconds and the alert cone (Red) will display at 24 seconds prior to predicted loss of separation. Current distance between two aircraft on final will be displayed in line 3 of the full data block of the trailing aircraft in corresponding colors.
AUTOMATED WEATHER SYSTEM- Any of the automated weather sensor platforms that collect weather data at airports and disseminate the weather information via radio and/or landline. The systems currently consist of the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) and Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS).
AUTOMATED UNICOM- Provides completely automated weather, radio check capability and airport advisory information on an Automated UNICOM system. These systems offer a variety of features, typically selectable by microphone clicks, on the UNICOM frequency. Availability will be published in the Chart Supplement U.S. and approach charts.
AUTOMATIC ALTITUDE REPORTING- That function of a transponder which responds to Mode C interrogations by transmitting the aircraft's altitude in 100-foot increments.
AUTOMATIC CARRIER LANDING SYSTEM- U.S. Navy final approach equipment consisting of precision tracking radar coupled to a computer data link to provide continuous information to the aircraft, monitoring capability to the pilot, and a backup approach system.
AUTOMATIC DEPENDENT SURVEILLANCE (ADS) [ICAO]- A surveillance technique in which aircraft automatically provide, via a data link, data derived from on-board navigation and position fixing systems, including aircraft identification, four dimensional position and additional data as appropriate.
AUTOMATIC DEPENDENT SURVEILLANCE-BROADCAST (ADS-B)- A surveillance system in which an aircraft or vehicle to be detected is fitted with cooperative equipment in the form of a data link transmitter. The aircraft or vehicle periodically broadcasts its GNSS-derived position and other required information such as identity and velocity, which is then received by a ground-based or space-based receiver for processing and display at an air traffic control facility, as well as by suitably equipped aircraft.
AUTOMATIC DEPENDENT SURVEILLANCE-BROADCAST IN (ADS-B In)- Aircraft avionics capable of receiving ADS-B Out transmissions directly from other aircraft, as well as traffic or weather information transmitted from ground stations.
AUTOMATIC DEPENDENT SURVEILLANCE-BROADCAST OUT (ADS-B Out)- The transmitter onboard an aircraft or ground vehicle that periodically broadcasts its GNSS-derived position along with other required information, such as identity, altitude, and velocity.
AUTOMATIC DEPENDENT SURVEILLANCE-CONTRACT (ADS-C)- A data link position reporting system, controlled by a ground station, that establishes contracts with an aircraft's avionics that occur automatically whenever specific events occur, or specific time intervals are reached.
AUTOMATIC DEPENDENT SURVEILLANCE- REBROADCAST (ADS-R)- A datalink translation function of the ADS-B ground system required to accommodate the two separate operating frequencies (978 MHz and 1090 MHz). The ADS-B system receives the ADS-B messages transmitted on one frequency and ADS-R translates and reformats the information for rebroadcast and use on the other frequency. This allows ADS-B In equipped aircraft to see nearby ADS-B Out traffic regardless of the operating link of the other aircraft. Aircraft operating on the same ADS-B frequency exchange information directly and do not require the ADS-R translation function.
AUTOMATIC DIRECTION FINDER- An aircraft radio navigation system which senses and indicates the direction to a L/MF nondirectional radio beacon (NDB) ground transmitter. Direction is indicated to the pilot as a magnetic bearing or as a relative bearing to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft depending on the type of indicator installed in the aircraft. In certain applications, such as military, ADF operations may be based on airborne and ground transmitters in the VHF/UHF frequency spectrum.
AUTOMATIC FLIGHT INFORMATION SERVICE (AFIS) - ALASKA FSSs ONLY- The continuous broadcast of recorded non-control information at airports in Alaska where a FSS provides local airport advisory service. The AFIS broadcast automates the repetitive transmission of essential but routine information such as weather, wind, altimeter, favored runway, braking action, airport NOTAMs, and other applicable information. The information is continuously broadcast over a discrete VHF radio frequency (usually the ASOS/AWOS frequency).
AUTOMATIC TERMINAL INFORMATION SERVICE- The continuous broadcast of recorded noncontrol information in selected terminal areas. Its purpose is to improve controller effectiveness and to relieve frequency congestion by automating the repetitive transmission of essential but routine information; e.g., “Los Angeles information Alfa. One three zero zero Coordinated Universal Time. Weather, measured ceiling two thousand overcast, visibility three, haze, smoke, temperature seven one, dew point five seven, wind two five zero at five, altimeter two niner niner six. I-L-S Runway Two Five Left approach in use, Runway Two Five Right closed, advise you have Alfa.”
(Refer to AIM.)
AUTOMATIC TERMINAL INFORMATION SERVICE [ICAO]- The provision of current, routine information to arriving and departing aircraft by means of continuous and repetitive broadcasts throughout the day or a specified portion of the day.
AUTOROTATION- A rotorcraft flight condition in which the lifting rotor is driven entirely by action of the air when the rotorcraft is in motion.
- Autorotative Landing/Touchdown Autorotation. Used by a pilot to indicate that the landing will be made without applying power to the rotor.
- Low Level Autorotation. Commences at an altitude well below the traffic pattern, usually below 100 feet AGL and is used primarily for tactical military training.
- 180 degrees Autorotation. Initiated from a downwind heading and is commenced well inside the normal traffic pattern. “Go around” may not be possible during the latter part of this maneuver.
AVAILABLE LANDING DISTANCE (ALD)- The portion of a runway available for landing and roll-out for aircraft cleared for LAHSO. This distance is measured from the landing threshold to the hold-short point.
AVIATION WATCH NOTIFICATION MESSAGE- The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issues Aviation Watch Notification Messages (SAW) to provide an area threat alert for the aviation meteorology community to forecast organized severe thunderstorms that may produce tornadoes, large hail, and/or convective damaging winds as indicated in Public Watch Notification Messages within the Continental U.S. A SAW message provides a description of the type of watch issued by SPC, a valid time, an approximation of the area in a watch, and primary hazard(s).
AVIATION WEATHER SERVICE- A service provided by the National Weather Service (NWS) and FAA which collects and disseminates pertinent weather information for pilots, aircraft operators, and ATC. Available aviation weather reports and forecasts are displayed at each NWS office and FAA FSS.
(Refer to AIM.)