top of page

Aviation Abbreviations

Updated: Apr 20, 2021

Aviation Abbreviations Lesson by wifiCFI

This quiz will cover common aviation abbreviations and their meanings.

AC = Advisory Circular

AD = Airworthiness Directive

ADIZ = Air Defense Identification Zone

ADS = Automatic Dependent Surveillance

ADS-B = Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast

AFSS = Automated Flight Service Station

AGL = Above Ground Level

AIM = Aeronautical Information Manual

AIRMET = Airmen’s Meteorological Information

ALS = Approach Light System

AOA = Angle of Attack

ASOS = Automated Surface Observing System

ATC = Air Traffic Control

ATIS = Automated Terminal Information Service

AWOS = Automated Weather Observing System

CAT = Category or Clear Air Turbulence

CFI = Certified Flight Instructor

CFIT = Controlled Flight Into Terrain

CFR = Code of Federal Regulations

CG = Center of Gravity

CTAF = Common Traffic Advisory Frequency

DA/DH = Decision Altitude/Decision Height

D-ATIS = Digital – Automatic Terminal Information Service

DP = Departure Procedure

DPE = Designated Pilot Examiner

DUATS = Direct User Access Terminal System

DVFR = Defense Visual Flight Rules

ETA/ETE = Estimated Time of Arrival/Estimated Time En-Route

FAA = Federal Aviation Administration

FAR = Federal Aviation Regulations

FBO = Fixed Base Operator

FL = Flight Level

FP = Flight Plan

FSDO = Flight Standards District Office

GA = General Aviation

GPS = Global Positioning System

GS = Glideslope

HAT = Height Above Touchdown

HIRL = High Intensity Runway Lights

HIS = Horizontal Situation Indicators

HIWAS = Hazardous In-Flight Weather Advisory Service

IAF = Initial Approach Fix

IAP = Instrument Approach Procedure

IAS = Indicated Airspeed

IF = Intermediate Fix

IFR = Instrument Flight Rules

ILS = Instrument Landing System

KIAS = Knots Indicated Airspeed

LAAS = Local Area Augmentation System

LDA = Localizer Directional Aid

LIRL = Low Intensity Runway Lights

LLWS = Low Level Wind Shear

LMM = Locator Middle Marker

LOA = Letter of Authorization

LOC = Localizer

LOM = Locator Outer Marker

LPV = Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance

MAA = Maximum Authorized Altitude

MAP = Missed Approach Point

MALS = Medium-Intensity Approach Lighting System

MCA = Minimum Crossing Altitude

MCL = Middle Compass Locator

MDA/MDH = Minimum Descent Altitude/Minimum Descent Height

MEA = Minimum En-Route Altitude

MEL = Minimum Equipment List

METAR = Aviation Routine Weather Report

MHA = Minimum Holding Altitude

MIRL = Medium Intensity Runway Lights

MLS = Microwave Landing System

MM = Middle Marker

MOA = Military Operations Area

MOCA = Minimum Obstruction Clearance Altitude

MODE C = Altitude Reporting Mode of Secondary Radar

MODE S = Mode Select; Discreet Addressable Secondary Radar System with Data Link

MRA = Minimum Reception Altitude

MSA = Minimum Safe Altitude

MSL = Mean Sea Level

MTR = Military Training Route

MVFR = Marginal VFR

MVA = Minimum Vectoring Altitude

NAS = National Airspace System

NAVAID = Navigation Aid

NEXRAD = Next Generation Weather Radar

NM = Nautical Mile

NOTAM = Notice to Airmen

NTSB = National Transportation Safety Board

NTZ = No Transgression Zone

NWS = National Weather Service

ODP = Obstacle Departure Procedure

PAPI = Precision Approach Path Indicator

PAR = Precision Approach Radar

PFD = Primary Flight Display

PIC = Pilot In Command

PIREP = Pilot Weather Report

PT = Procedure Turn

RAIL = Runway Alignment Indicator Lights

RCO = Remote Communications Outlet

REIL = Runway End Identifier Lights

RNAV = Area Navigation

RNP = Required Navigation Performance

RPM = Revolutions Per Minute

RVR = Runway Visual Range

RVSM = Reduced Vertical Separation Minima

SCT = Scattered

SDF = Simplified Direction Finding

SIC = Second In Command

SID = Standard Instrument Departure

SIGMET = Significant Meteorological Information

SM = Statute Mile

SOP = Standard Operating Procedures

SRM = Single Pilot Resource Management

STAR = Standard Terminal Arrival Route

STC = Supplemental Type Certificate

SUA = Special Use Airspace

SVFR = Special VFR

TAC = Terminal Area Chart

TACAN = Tactical Air Navigation

TAS = True Airspeed

TAWS = Terrain Awareness and Warning System

TBO = Time Before Overhaul

TCAS = Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System

TH = Threshold

TODA = Takeoff Distance Available

TORA = Takeoff Run Available

TSA = Transportation Safety Administration

UTC = Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

VASI = Visual Approach Slope Indicator

VDP = Visual Descent Point

VFR = Visual Flight Rules

VGS = Visual Glideslope Indicator

VHF = Very High Frequency

VNAV = Vertical Navigation

VOR = Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Range

VOR/DME = VOR with Distance Measuring Equipment


VOT = VOR Test Facility

WAAS = Wide Area Augment System

WX = Weather


bottom of page