TACAN-ONLY AIRCRAFT- An aircraft, normally military, possessing TACAN with DME but no VOR navigational system capability. Clearances must specify TACAN or VORTAC fixes and approaches.
TACTICAL AIR NAVIGATION (TCAN)- An ultra-high frequency electronic rho-theta air navigation aid which provides suitably equipped aircraft a continuous indication of bearing and distance to the TACAN station.
(Refer to AIM.)
TAILWIND- Any wind more than 90 degrees to the longitudinal axis of the runway. The magnetic direction of the runway shall be used as the basis for determining the longitudinal axis.
TAKEOFF DISTANCE AVAILABLE (TODA)- The takeoff run available plus the length of any remaining runway or clearway beyond the far end of the takeoff run available.
TAKEOFF DISTANCE AVAILABLE [ICAO]- The length of the takeoff run available plus the length of the clearway, if provided.
TAKEOFF HOLD LIGHTS (THL)- The THL system is composed of in-pavement lighting in a double, longitudinal row of lights aligned either side of the runway centerline. The lights are focused toward the arrival end of the runway at the “line up and wait” point, and they extend for 1,500 feet in front of the holding aircraft. Illuminated red lights indicate to an aircraft in position for takeoff or rolling that it is unsafe to takeoff because the runway is occupied or about to be occupied by an aircraft or vehicle.
TAKEOFF ROLL - The process whereby an aircraft is aligned with the runway centerline and the aircraft is moving with the intent to take off. For helicopters, this pertains to the act of becoming airborne after departing a takeoff area.
TAKEOFF RUN AVAILABLE (TORA) - The runway length declared available and suitable for the ground run of an airplane taking off.
TAKEOFF RUN AVAILABLE [ICAO]- The length of runway declared available and suitable for the ground run of an aeroplane take-off.
TARGET- The indication shown on a display resulting from a primary radar return, a radar beacon reply, or an ADS-B report. The specific target symbol presented to ATC may vary based on the surveillance source and automation platform.
- Generally, any discrete object which reflects or retransmits energy back to the radar equipment.
- Specifically, an object of radar search or surveillance.
TARGET RESOLUTION- A process to ensure that correlated radar targets do not touch. Target resolution must be applied as follows:
- Between the edges of two primary targets or the edges of the ASR-9/11 primary target symbol.
- Between the end of the beacon control slash and the edge of a primary target.
- Between the ends of two beacon control slashes.
Note 1: Mandatory traffic advisories and safety alerts must be issued when this procedure is used.
Note 2: This procedure must not be used when utilizing mosaic radar systems or multi-sensor mode.
TARMAC DELAY- The holding of an aircraft on the ground either before departure or after landing with no opportunity for its passengers to deplane.
TARMAC DELAY AIRCRAFT- An aircraft whose pilot-in-command has requested to taxi to the ramp, gate, or alternate deplaning area to comply with the Three-hour Tarmac Rule.
TARMAC DELAY REQUEST- A request by the pilot-in-command to taxi to the ramp, gate, or alternate deplaning location to comply with the Three-hour Tarmac Rule.
TAXI- The movement of an airplane under its own power on the surface of an airport (14 CFR Section 135.100 [Note]). Also, it describes the surface movement of helicopters equipped with wheels.
(Refer to 14 CFR Section 135.100.)
(Refer to AIM.)
TAXI PATTERNS- Patterns established to illustrate the desired flow of ground traffic for the different runways or airport areas available for use.
TEMPORARY FLIGHT RESTRICTION (TFR)- A TFR is a regulatory action issued by the FAA via the U.S. NOTAM System, under the authority of United States Code, Title 49. TFRs are issued within the sovereign airspace of the United States and its territories to restrict certain aircraft from operating within a defined area on a temporary basis to protect persons or property in the air or on the ground. While not all inclusive, TFRs may be issued for disaster or hazard situations such as: toxic gas leaks or spills, fumes from flammable agents, aircraft accident/incident sites, aviation or ground resources engaged in wildfire suppression, or aircraft relief activities following a disaster. TFRs may also be issued in support of VIP movements, for reasons of national security; or when determined necessary for the management of air traffic in the vicinity of aerial demonstrations or major sporting events. NAS users or other interested parties should contact a FSS for TFR information. Additionally, TFR information can be found in automated briefings, NOTAM publications, and on the internet at . The FAA also distributes TFR information to aviation user groups for further dissemination.
TENTATIVE CALCULATED LANDING TIME (TCLT)- A projected time calculated for adapted vertex for each arrival aircraft based upon runway configuration, airport acceptance rate, airport arrival delay period, and other metered arrival aircraft. This time is either the VTA of the aircraft or the TCLT/ACLT of the previous aircraft plus the AAI, whichever is later. This time will be updated in response to an aircraft's progress and its current relationship to other arrivals.
TERMINAL AREA- A general term used to describe airspace in which approach control service or airport traffic control service is provided.
TERMINAL AREA FACILITY- A facility providing air traffic control service for arriving and departing IFR, VFR, Special VFR, and on occasion en route aircraft.
TERMINAL AUTOMATION SYSTEMS (TAS)- TAS is used to identify the numerous automated tracking systems including STARS and MEARTS.
TERMINAL DATA LINK SYSTEM (TDLS)- A system that provides Digital Automatic Terminal Information Service (D-ATIS) both on a specified radio frequency and also, for subscribers, in a text message via data link to the cockpit or to a gate printer. TDLS also provides Pre-departure Clearances (PDC), at selected airports, to subscribers, through a service provider, in text to the cockpit or to a gate printer. In addition, TDLS will emulate the Flight Data Input/Output (FDIO) information within the control tower.
TERMINAL RADAR SERVICE AREA- Airspace surrounding designated airports wherein ATC provides radar vectoring, sequencing, and separation on a full-time basis for all IFR and participating VFR aircraft. The AIM contains an explanation of TRSA. TRSAs are depicted on VFR aeronautical charts. Pilot participation is urged but is not mandatory.
TERMINAL VFR RADAR SERVICE- A national program instituted to extend the terminal radar services provided instrument flight rules (IFR) aircraft to visual flight rules (VFR) aircraft. The program is divided into four types service referred to as basic radar service, terminal radar service area (TRSA) service, Class B service and Class C service. The type of service provided at a particular location is contained in the Chart Supplement U.S.
- Basic Radar Service- These services are provided for VFR aircraft by all commissioned terminal radar facilities. Basic radar service includes safety alerts, traffic advisories, limited radar vectoring when requested by the pilot, and sequencing at locations where procedures have been established for this purpose and/or when covered by a letter of agreement. The purpose of this service is to adjust the flow of arriving IFR and VFR aircraft into the traffic pattern in a safe and orderly manner and to provide traffic advisories to departing VFR aircraft.
- TRSA Service- This service provides, in addition to basic radar service, sequencing of all IFR and participating VFR aircraft to the primary airport and separation between all participating VFR aircraft. The purpose of this service is to provide separation between all participating VFR aircraft and all IFR aircraft operating within the area defined as a TRSA.
- Class C Service- This service provides, in addition to basic radar service, approved separation between IFR and VFR aircraft, and sequencing of VFR aircraft, and sequencing of VFR arrivals to the primary airport.
- Class B Service- This service provides, in addition to basic radar service, approved separation of aircraft based on IFR, VFR, and/or weight, and sequencing of VFR arrivals to the primary airport(s).
(Refer to AIM.)
(Refer to CHART SUPPLEMENT U.S.)
TERMINAL-VERY HIGH FREQUENCY OMNIDIRECTIONAL RANGE STATION (TVOR)- A very high frequency terminal omnirange station located on or near an airport and used as an approach aid.
TERRAIN AWARENESS WARNING SYSTEM (TAWS)- An on-board, terrain proximity alerting system providing the aircrew `Low Altitude warnings' to allow immediate pilot action.
TERRAIN FOLLOWING- The flight of a military aircraft maintaining a constant AGL altitude above the terrain or the highest obstruction. The altitude of the aircraft will constantly change with the varying terrain and/or obstruction.
TETRAHEDRON- A device normally located on uncontrolled airports and used as a landing direction indicator. The small end of a tetrahedron points in the direction of landing. At controlled airports, the tetrahedron, if installed, should be disregarded because tower instructions supersede the indicator.
(Refer to AIM.)
THREE-HOUR TARMAC RULE- Rule that relates to Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements placed on airlines when tarmac delays are anticipated to reach 3 hours.
THRESHOLD CROSSING HEIGHT- The theoretical height above the runway threshold at which the aircraft's glideslope antenna would be if the aircraft maintains the trajectory established by the mean ILS glideslope or the altitude at which the calculated glidepath of an RNAV or GPS approaches.
TIE-IN FACILITY- The FSS primarily responsible for providing FSS services, including telecommunications services for landing facilities or navigational aids located within the boundaries of a flight plan area (FPA). Three-letter identifiers are assigned to each FSS/FPA and are annotated as tie-in facilities in the Chart Supplement U.S., the Alaska Supplement, the Pacific Supplement, and FAA Order JO 7350.9, Location Identifiers. Large consolidated FSS facilities may have many tie-in facilities or FSS sectors within one facility.
TIME-BASED FLOW MANAGEMENT (TBFM)- The hardware, software, methods, processes, and initiatives to manage air traffic flows based on time to balance air traffic demand with system capacity, and support the management of PBN. This includes, but not limited to, Adjacent Center Metering (ACM), En Route Departure Capability (EDC), Ground-based Interval Management-Spacing (GIM-S), Integrated Departure/Arrival Capability (IDAC), Single Center Metering (SCM), Time-Based Metering (TBM), Time-Based Scheduling (TBS), and Extended/Coupled Metering.
TIME GROUP- Four digits representing the hour and minutes from the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) clock. FAA uses UTC for all operations. The term “ZULU” may be used to denote UTC. The word “local” or the time zone equivalent shall be used to denote local when local time is given during radio and telephone communications. When written, a time zone designator is used to indicate local time; e.g., “0205M” (Mountain). The local time may be based on the 24-hour clock system. The day begins at 0000 and ends at 2359.
TOP ALTITUDE- In reference to SID published altitude restrictions, the charted “maintain” altitude contained in the procedure description or assigned by ATC.
TORCHING- The burning of fuel at the end of an exhaust pipe or stack of a reciprocating aircraft engine, the result of an excessive richness in the fuel air mixture.
TOTAL ESTIMATED ELAPSED TIME [ICAO]- For IFR flights, the estimated time required from takeoff to arrive over that designated point, defined by reference to navigation aids, from which it is intended that an instrument approach procedure will be commenced, or, if no navigation aid is associated with the destination aerodrome, to arrive over the destination aerodrome. For VFR flights, the estimated time required from takeoff to arrive over the destination aerodrome.
TOUCH-AND-GO- An operation by an aircraft that lands and departs on a runway without stopping or exiting the runway.
- The point at which an aircraft first makes contact with the landing surface.
- Concerning a precision radar approach (PAR), it is the point where the glide path intercepts the landing surface.
TOUCHDOWN [ICAO]- The point where the nominal glide path intercepts the runway.
Note: Touchdown as defined above is only a datum and is not necessarily the actual point at which the aircraft will touch the runway.
TOUCHDOWN ZONE- The first 3,000 feet of the runway beginning at the threshold. The area is used for determination of Touchdown Zone Elevation in the development of straight-in landing minimums for instrument approaches.
TOUCHDOWN ZONE [ICAO]- The portion of a runway, beyond the threshold, where it is intended landing aircraft first contact the runway.
TOUCHDOWN ZONE ELEVATION- The highest elevation in the first 3,000 feet of the landing surface. TDZE is indicated on the instrument approach procedure chart when straight-in landing minimums are authorized.
TOWER- A terminal facility that uses air/ground communications, visual signaling, and other devices to provide ATC services to aircraft operating in the vicinity of an airport or on the movement area. Authorizes aircraft to land or takeoff at the airport controlled by the tower or to transit the Class D airspace area regardless of flight plan or weather conditions (IFR or VFR). A tower may also provide approach control services (radar or nonradar).
(Refer to AIM.)
TOWER EN ROUTE CONTROL SERVICE- The control of IFR en route traffic within delegated airspace between two or more adjacent approach control facilities. This service is designed to expedite traffic and reduce control and pilot communication requirements.
TRACEABLE PRESSURE STANDARD- The facility station pressure instrument, with certification/calibration traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Traceable pressure standards may be mercurial barometers, commissioned ASOS or dual transducer AWOS, or portable pressure standards or DASI.
TRACK [ICAO]- The projection on the earth's surface of the path of an aircraft, the direction of which path at any point is usually expressed in degrees from North (True, Magnetic, or Grid).
TRACK OF INTEREST (TOI)- Displayed data representing an airborne object that threatens or has the potential to threaten North America or National Security. Indicators may include, but are not limited to: noncompliance with air traffic control instructions or aviation regulations; extended loss of communications; unusual transmissions or unusual flight behavior; unauthorized intrusion into controlled airspace or an ADIZ; noncompliance with issued flight restrictions/security procedures; or unlawful interference with airborne flight crews, up to and including hijack. In certain circumstances, an object may become a TOI based on specific and credible intelligence pertaining to that particular aircraft/object, its passengers, or its cargo.
TRACK OF INTEREST RESOLUTION- A TOI will normally be considered resolved when: the aircraft/object is no longer airborne; the aircraft complies with air traffic control instructions, aviation regulations, and/or issued flight restrictions/security procedures; radio contact is re-established and authorized control of the aircraft is verified; the aircraft is intercepted and intent is verified to be nonthreatening/nonhostile; TOI was identified based on specific and credible intelligence that was later determined to be invalid or unreliable; or displayed data is identified and characterized as invalid.
A term used by a controller to transfer radar identification of an aircraft to another controller for the purpose of coordinating separation action. Traffic is normally issued:
- In response to a handoff or point out,
- In anticipation of a handoff or point out, or
- In conjunction with a request for control of an aircraft.
- A term used by ATC to refer to one or more aircraft.
TRAFFIC ADVISORIES- Advisories issued to alert pilots to other known or observed air traffic which may be in such proximity to the position or intended route of flight of their aircraft to warrant their attention. Such advisories may be based on:
- Visual observation.
- Observation of radar identified and nonidentified aircraft targets on an ATC radar display, or
- Verbal reports from pilots or other facilities.
Note 1: The word “traffic” followed by additional information, if known, is used to provide such advisories; e.g., “Traffic, 2 o'clock, one zero miles, southbound, eight thousand.”
Note 2: Traffic advisory service will be provided to the extent possible depending on higher priority duties of the controller or other limitations; e.g., radar limitations, volume of traffic, frequency congestion, or controller workload. Radar/ nonradar traffic advisories do not relieve the pilot of his/her responsibility to see and avoid other aircraft. Pilots are cautioned that there are many times when the controller is not able to give traffic advisories concerning all traffic in the aircraft's proximity; in other words, when a pilot requests or is receiving traffic advisories, he/she should not assume that all traffic will be issued.
(Refer to AIM.)
TRAFFIC ALERT AND COLLISION AVOIDANCE SYSTEM (TCAS)- An airborne collision avoidance system based on radar beacon signals which operates independent of ground-based equipment. TCAS-I generates traffic advisories only. TCAS-II generates traffic advisories, and resolution (collision avoidance) advisories in the vertical plane.
TRAFFIC INFORMATION SERVICE-BROADCAST (TIS-B)- The broadcast of ATC derived traffic information to ADS-B equipped (1090ES or UAT) aircraft. The source of this traffic information is derived from ground-based air traffic surveillance sensors, typically from radar targets. TIS-B service will be available throughout the NAS where there are both adequate surveillance coverage (radar) and adequate broadcast coverage from ADS-B ground stations. Loss of TIS-B will occur when an aircraft enters an area not covered by the GBT network. If this occurs in an area with adequate surveillance coverage (radar), nearby aircraft that remain within the adequate broadcast coverage (ADS-B) area will view the first aircraft. TIS-B may continue when an aircraft enters an area with inadequate surveillance coverage (radar); nearby aircraft that remain within the adequate broadcast coverage (ADS-B) area will not view the first aircraft.
TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PROGRAM ALERT- A term used in a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued in conjunction with a special traffic management program to alert pilots to the existence of the program and to refer them to a special traffic management program advisory message for program details. The contraction TMPA is used in NOTAM text.
TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT UNIT- The entity in ARTCCs and designated terminals directly involved in the active management of facility traffic. Usually under the direct supervision of an assistant manager for traffic management.
TRAFFIC PATTERN- The traffic flow that is prescribed for aircraft landing at, taxiing on, or taking off from an airport. The components of a typical traffic pattern are upwind leg, crosswind leg, downwind leg, base leg, and final approach.
- Upwind Leg- A flight path parallel to the landing runway in the direction of landing.
- Crosswind Leg- A flight path at right angles to the landing runway off its upwind end.
- Downwind Leg- A flight path parallel to the landing runway in the direction opposite to landing. The downwind leg normally extends between the crosswind leg and the base leg.
- Base Leg- A flight path at right angles to the landing runway off its approach end. The base leg normally extends from the downwind leg to the intersection of the extended runway centerline.
- Final Approach- A flight path in the direction of landing along the extended runway centerline. The final approach normally extends from the base leg to the runway. An aircraft making a straight-in approach VFR is also considered to be on final approach.
(Refer to 14 CFR Part 91.)
(Refer to AIM.)
TRAFFIC SITUATION DISPLAY (TSD)- TSD is a computer system that receives radar track data from all 20 CONUS ARTCCs, organizes this data into a mosaic display, and presents it on a computer screen. The display allows the traffic management coordinator multiple methods of selection and highlighting of individual aircraft or groups of aircraft. The user has the option of superimposing these aircraft positions over any number of background displays. These background options include ARTCC boundaries, any stratum of en route sector boundaries, fixes, airways, military and other special use airspace, airports, and geopolitical boundaries. By using the TSD, a coordinator can monitor any number of traffic situations or the entire systemwide traffic flows.
TRAJECTORY- A EDST representation of the path an aircraft is predicted to fly based upon a Current Plan or Trial Plan.
TRAJECTORY OPTIONS SET (TOS)- A TOS is an electronic message, submitted by the operator, that is used by the Collaborative Trajectory Options Program (CTOP) to manage the airspace captured in the traffic management program. The TOS will allow the operator to express the route and delay trade-off options that they are willing to accept.
TRANSFER OF CONTROL- That action whereby the responsibility for the separation of an aircraft is transferred from one controller to another.
TRANSFERRING CONTROLLER- A controller/facility transferring control of an aircraft to another controller/facility.
TRANSFERRING UNIT/CONTROLLER [ICAO]- Air traffic control unit/air traffic controller in the process of transferring the responsibility for providing air traffic control service to an aircraft to the next air traffic control unit/air traffic controller along the route of flight.
Note: See definition of accepting unit/controller.
- The general term that describes the change from one phase of flight or flight condition to another; e.g., transition from en route flight to the approach or transition from instrument flight to visual flight.
- A published procedure (DP Transition) used to connect the basic DP to one of several en route airways/jet routes, or a published procedure (STAR Transition) used to connect one of several en route airways/jet routes to the basic STAR.
(Refer to DP/STAR Charts.)
TRANSITION POINT- A point at an adapted number of miles from the vertex at which an arrival aircraft would normally commence descent from its en route altitude. This is the first fix adapted on the arrival speed segments.
TRANSITION WAYPOINT- The waypoint that defines the beginning of a runway or en route transition on an RNAV SID or STAR.
TRANSITIONAL AIRSPACE- That portion of controlled airspace wherein aircraft change from one phase of flight or flight condition to another.
TRANSITIONAL HAZARD AREA (THA)- Used by ATC. Airspace normally associated with an Aircraft Hazard Area within which the flight of aircraft is subject to restrictions.
TRANSMISSOMETER- An apparatus used to determine visibility by measuring the transmission of light through the atmosphere. It is the measurement source for determining runway visual range (RVR).
TRANSMITTING IN THE BLIND- A transmission from one station to other stations in circumstances where two-way communication cannot be established, but where it is believed that the called stations may be able to receive the transmission.
TRANSPONDER- The airborne radar beacon receiver/transmitter portion of the Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System (ATCRBS) which automatically receives radio signals from interrogators on the ground, and selectively replies with a specific reply pulse or pulse group only to those interrogations being received on the mode to which it is set to respond.
(Refer to AIM.)
TRANSPONDER [ICAO]- A receiver/transmitter which will generate a reply signal upon proper interrogation; the interrogation and reply being on different frequencies.
TRANSPONDER OBSERVED - Phraseology used to inform a VFR pilot the aircraft’s assigned beacon code and position have been observed. Specifically, this term conveys to a VFR pilot the transponder reply has been observed and its position correlated for transit through the designated area.
TRIAL PLAN- A proposed amendment which utilizes automation to analyze and display potential conflicts along the predicted trajectory of the selected aircraft.
TURBOJET AIRCRAFT- An aircraft having a jet engine in which the energy of the jet operates a turbine which in turn operates the air compressor.
TURBOPROP AIRCRAFT- An aircraft having a jet engine in which the energy of the jet operates a turbine which drives the propeller.
TURBULENCE- An atmospheric phenomenon that causes changes in aircraft altitude, attitude, and or airspeed with aircraft reaction depending on intensity. Pilots report turbulence intensity according to aircraft's reaction as follows:
- Light - Causes slight, erratic changes in altitude and or attitude (pitch, roll, or yaw).
- Moderate- Similar to Light but of greater intensity. Changes in altitude and or attitude occur but the aircraft remains in positive control at all times. It usually causes variations in indicated airspeed.
- Severe- Causes large, abrupt changes in altitude and or attitude. It usually causes large variations in indicated airspeed. Aircraft may be momentarily out of control.
- Extreme- The aircraft is violently tossed about and is practically impossible to control. It may cause structural damage.
(Refer to AIM.)