Glossary

Acronyms and abbreviations have become an intrinsic part of business speak. In the commercial aviation business their usage has become unavoidable and in the following table we try to guide you through some of those most commonly-used examples on Airliner World. This list will be regularly updated.

AAIB Air Accidents Investigation Branch (UK)
ACAS Airborne Collision-Avoidance System
ADR Accident Data Recorder
ALPA Air Line Pilots Association (US)
ANS Airborne Navigation System
APU Auxiliary Power Unit
ATC Air Traffic Control
ATP Advanced Turbo-Prop (BAe)
ATS Air Traffic Service
BAe British Aerospace (now renamed BAE Systems)
CAA Civil Aviation Authority (UK)
CDA Continuous Descent Approach
CEO Chief Executive Officer
CIS Commonwealth of Independent States (formerly Soviet Union)
c/n Construction number
combi Aircraft that routinely carry passengers and cargo on the main deck at the same time
CVR Cockpit Voice Recorder
dB Decibel
DfT Department for Transport (UK)
DME Distance-Measuring Equipment
EADS European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company
EASA European Aviation Safety Agency
ERAA European Regions Airline Association
EROPS Extended-Range OPerationS
ETOPS Extended-range Twin-engine OPerationS
FAA Federal Aviation Administration (US)
FAI Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (France)
FAR Federal Aviation Regulations (US)
FBO Fixed Base Operator
FDR Flight Data Recorder
FL Flight Level (usually expressed in hundreds of feet)
FOD Foreign Object Damage
GA General Aviation
GAPAN Guild of Air Pilots And Navigators (UK)
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GE General Electric
GECAS GE Capital Aviation Services
GMT Greenwich Mean Time
GNS Global Navigation System
GPS Global Positioning System
GPU Ground Power Unit
IACA International Air Carrier Association
IAP International Airport
IATA International Air Transport Association
ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization
IFAL PA International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations
IFR Instrument Flight Rules
ILFC International Lease Finance Corporation
ILS Instrument Landing System
IMC Instrument Meteorological Conditions
INS Inertial Navigation System
JAA Joint Aviation Authorities (European)
LCC Low-Cost Carrier
LCD Liquid Crystal Display
LED Light-Emitting Diode
loca liser Steering guidance element of an ILS system
LORAN Long Range Aid to Navigation
MD Managing Director
MLS Microwave Landing System
MLW Maximum Landing Weight
MoD Ministry of Defence (UK)
MoU Memorandum of Understanding
MRO Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul
MTOW Maximum Take-Off Weight
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration (US)
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NBAA National Business Aircraft Association (US)
OFT Office of Fair Trading (UK)
PAPI Precision Approach Path Indicator
PAR Precision Approach Radar
pax Passenger
P&W Pratt & Whitney
PPL Private Pilot’s Licence
PR P ublic Relations
RFP Request for Proposals
RVR Runway Visual Range
SARS Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
SID Standard Instrument Departure
STAR Standard Terminal Arrival Route
STOL Short Take-Off & Landing
TCAS Traffic alert and Collision-Avoidance System
TWR Tower – airport control tower
VASI Visual Approach Slope Indicator
VFR Visual Flight Rules
VMC Visual Meteorological Conditions
VOR VHF omni-directional range (radio beacons)