Note 1. Throughout the text of this document the term “service” is used as an abstract noun to designate functions, or service rendered; the term “unit” is used to designate a collective body performing a service.
Note 2. All references to “Radio Regulations” are to the Radio Regulations published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Radio Regulations are amended from time to time by the decisions embodied in the Final Acts of World Radiocommunication Conferences held normally every two to three years.
Further information on the ITU processes as they relate to aeronautical radio system frequency use is contained in the Handbook on Radio Frequency Spectrum Requirements for Civil Aviation including statement of approved ICAO policies (Doc 9718).
When the following terms are used in Doc 4444 (Air Traffic Management) they have the following meanings:
Accepting unit/controller. Air traffic control unit/air traffic controller next to take control of an aircraft.
Note. See definition of “transferring unit/controller”.
ADS-C agreement. A reporting plan which establishes the conditions of ADS-C data reporting (i.e. data required by the air traffic services unit and frequency of ADS-C reports which have to be agreed to prior to using ADS-C in the provision of air traffic services).
Note. The terms of the agreement will be exchanged between the ground system and the aircraft by means of a contract, or a series of contracts.
Advisory airspace. An airspace of defined dimensions, or designated route, within which air traffic advisory service is available.
Advisory route. A designated route along which air traffic advisory service is available.
Note. Air traffic control service provides a much more complete service than air traffic advisory service; advisory areas and routes are therefore not established within controlled airspace, but air traffic advisory service may be provided below and above control areas.
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 surface movement of aircraft.
Note. The term “aerodrome” where used in the provisions relating to flight plans and ATS messages is intended to cover also sites other than aerodromes which may be used by certain types of aircraft, e.g. helicopters or balloons.
Aerodrome control service. Air traffic control service for aerodrome traffic.
Aerodrome control tower. A unit established to provide air traffic control service to aerodrome traffic. Aerodrome elevation. The elevation of the highest point of the landing area.
Aerodrome traffic. All traffic on the manoeuvring area of an aerodrome and all aircraft flying in the vicinity of an aerodrome.
Note. An aircraft is in the vicinity of an aerodrome when it is in, entering or leaving an aerodrome traffic circuit.
Aerodrome traffic circuit. The specified path to be flown by aircraft operating in the vicinity of an aerodrome.
Aeronautical fixed service (AFS). A telecommunication service between specified fixed points provided primarily for the safety of air navigation and for the regular, efficient and economical operation of air services.
Aeronautical fixed station. A station in the aeronautical fixed service.
Aeronautical ground light. Any light specially provided as an aid to air navigation, other than a light displayed on an aircraft.
Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). A publication issued by or with the authority of a State and containing aeronautical information of a lasting character essential to air navigation.
Aeronautical mobile service (RR S1.32). A mobile service between aeronautical stations and aircraft stations, or between aircraft stations, in which survival craft stations may participate; emergency position-indicating radio beacon stations may also participate in this service on designated distress and emergency frequencies.
Aeronautical station (RR S1.81). A land station in the aeronautical mobile service. In certain instances, an aeronautical station may be located, for example, on board ship or on a platform at sea.
Aeronautical telecommunication station. A station in the aeronautical telecommunication service.
Airborne collision avoidance system (ACAS). An aircraft system based on secondary surveillance radar (SSR) transponder signals which operates independently of ground-based equipment to provide advice to the pilot on potential conflicting aircraft that are equipped with SSR transponders.
Aircraft. 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 address. A unique combination of 24 bits available for assignment to an aircraft for the purpose of air-ground communications, navigation and surveillance.
Aircraft identification. A group of letters, figures or a combination thereof which is either identical to, or the coded equivalent of, the aircraft call sign to be used in air-ground communications, and which is used to identify the aircraft in ground-ground air traffic services communications.
Aircraft observation. The evaluation of one or more meteorological elements made from an aircraft in flight.
Aircraft proximity. A situation in which, in the opinion of a pilot or air traffic services personnel, the distance between aircraft as well as their relative positions and speed have been such that the safety of the aircraft involved may have been compromised. An aircraft proximity is classified as follows:
- Risk of collision. The risk classification of an aircraft proximity in which serious risk of collision has existed. Safety not assured. The risk classification of an aircraft proximity in which the safety of the aircraft may have been
- No risk of collision. The risk classification of an aircraft proximity in which no risk of collision has existed.
- Risk not determined. The risk classification of an aircraft proximity in which insufficient information was available to determine the risk involved, or inconclusive or conflicting evidence precluded such determination.
Air-ground communication. Two-way communication between aircraft and stations or locations on the surface of the earth.
AIRMET information. Information issued by a meteorological watch office concerning the occurrence or expected occurrence of specified en-route weather phenomena which may affect the safety of low-level aircraft operations and which was not already included in the forecast issued for low-level flights in the flight information region concerned or sub-area thereof.
AIRPROX. The code word used in an air traffic incident report to designate aircraft proximity.
Air-report. A report from an aircraft in flight prepared in conformity with requirements for position, and operational and/or meteorological reporting.
Air-taxiing. Movement of a helicopter/VTOL above the surface of an aerodrome, normally in ground effect and at a ground speed normally less than 37 km/h (20 kt).
Note. The actual height may vary, and some helicopters may require air-taxiing above 8 m (25 ft) AGL to reduce ground effect turbulence or provide clearance for cargo slingloads.
Air-to-ground communication. One-way communication from aircraft to stations or locations on the surface of the earth.
Air traffic. All aircraft in flight or operating on the manoeuvring area of an aerodrome.
Air traffic advisory service. A service provided within advisory airspace to ensure separation, in so far as practical, between aircraft which are operating on IFR flight plans.
Air traffic control clearance. 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”, “take-off”, “departure”, “en-route”, “approach” or “landing” to indicate the particular portion of flight to which the air traffic control clearance relates.
Air traffic control instruction. Directives issued by air traffic control for the purpose of requiring a pilot to take a specific action.
Air traffic control service. A service provided for the purpose of:
a) preventing collisions:
-1) between aircraft, and
-2) on the manoeuvring area between aircraft and obstructions; and
b) expediting and maintaining an orderly flow of air traffic.
Air traffic control unit. A generic term meaning variously, area control centre, approach control unit or aerodrome control tower.
Air traffic flow management (ATFM). A service established with the objective of contributing to a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic by ensuring that ATC capacity is utilized to the maximum extent possible, and that the traffic volume is compatible with the capacities declared by the appropriate ATS authority.
Air traffic management (ATM). The dynamic, integrated management of air traffic and airspace including air traffic services, airspace management and air traffic flow management — safely, economically and efficiently — through the provision of facilities and seamless services in collaboration with all parties and involving airborne and ground-based functions.
Air traffic management system. A system that provides ATM through the collaborative integration of humans, information, technology, facilities and services, supported by air and ground- and/or space-based communications, navigation and surveillance.
Air traffic service (ATS). A generic term meaning variously, flight information service, alerting service, air traffic advisory service, air traffic control service (area control service, approach control service or aerodrome control service).
Air traffic services airspaces. Airspaces of defined dimensions, alphabetically designated, within which specific types of flights may operate and for which air traffic services and rules of operation are specified.
Note. ATS airspaces are classified as Class A to G as shown in Annex 11, Appendix 4 (Ats Airspace Classes — Services Provided And Flight Requirements).
Air traffic services reporting office. A unit established for the purpose of receiving reports concerning air traffic services and flight plans submitted before departure.
Note. An air traffic services reporting office may be established as a separate unit or combined with an existing unit, such as another air traffic services unit, or a unit of the aeronautical information service.
Air traffic services unit. A generic term meaning variously, air traffic control unit, flight information centre or air traffic services reporting office.
Airway. A control area or portion thereof established in the form of a corridor.
ALERFA. The code word used to designate an alert phase.
Alerting service. A service provided to notify appropriate organizations regarding aircraft in need of search and rescue aid, and assist such organizations as required.
Alert phase. A situation wherein apprehension exists as to the safety of an aircraft and its occupants.
Allocation, allocate. Distribution of frequencies, SSR codes, etc. to a State, unit or service. Distribution of 24-bit aircraft addresses to a State or common mark registering authority.
Alphanumeric characters (alphanumerics). A collective term for letters and figures (digits).
Alternate aerodrome. 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. Alternate aerodromes include the following:
Take-off alternate. An alternate aerodrome at which an aircraft can land should this become necessary shortly after take-off and it is not possible to use the aerodrome of departure.
En-route alternate. An aerodrome at which an aircraft would be able to land after experiencing an abnormal or emergency condition while en route.
Destination alternate. An alternate aerodrome to which an aircraft may proceed should it become either impossible or inadvisable 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 that flight.
Altitude. The vertical distance of a level, a point or an object considered as a point, measured from mean sea level (MSL).
Approach control service. Air traffic control service for arriving or departing controlled flights.
Approach control unit. A unit established to provide air traffic control service to controlled flights arriving at, or departing from, one or more aerodromes.
Approach sequence. The order in which two or more aircraft are cleared to approach to land at the aerodrome. Appropriate ATS authority. The relevant authority designated by the State responsible for providing air traffic services in the airspace concerned.
a) Regarding flight over the high seas: The relevant authority of the State of Registry.
b) Regarding flight other than over the high seas: The relevant authority of the State having sovereignty over the territory being overflown.
Apron. A defined area, on a land aerodrome, intended to accommodate aircraft for purposes of loading or unloading passengers, mail or cargo, fuelling, parking or maintenance.
Area control centre (ACC). A unit established to provide air traffic control service to controlled flights in control areas under its jurisdiction.
Area control service. Air traffic control service for controlled flights in control areas.
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.
Area navigation route. An ATS route established for the use of aircraft capable of employing area navigation.
Assignment, assign. Distribution of frequencies to stations. Distribution of SSR codes or 24-bit aircraft addresses to aircraft.
ATIS. The symbol used to designate automatic terminal information service.
ATS route. A specified route designed for channelling the flow of traffic as necessary for the provision of air traffic services.
Note 1. The term “ATS route” is used to mean variously, airway, advisory route, controlled or uncontrolled route, arrival or departure route, etc.
Note 2. An ATS route is defined by route specifications which include an ATS route designator, the track to or from significant points (waypoints), distance between significant points, reporting requirements and, as determined by the appropriate ATS authority, the lowest safe altitude.
ATS surveillance service. A term used to indicate a service provided directly by means of an ATS surveillance system.
ATS surveillance system. 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.
Automatic dependent surveillance — broadcast (ADS-B). A means by which aircraft, aerodrome vehicles and other objects can automatically transmit and/or receive data such as identification, position and additional data, as appropriate, in a broadcast mode via a data link.
Automatic dependent surveillance — contract (ADS-C). A means by which the terms of an ADS-C agreement will be exchanged between the ground system and the aircraft, via a data link, specifying under what conditions ADS-C reports would be initiated, and what data would be contained in the reports.
Note.— The abbreviated term “ADS contract” is commonly used to refer to ADS event contract, ADS demand contract, ADS periodic contract or an emergency mode.
Automatic terminal information service (ATIS). The automatic provision of current, routine information to arriving and departing aircraft throughout 24 hours or a specified portion thereof:
Data link-automatic terminal information service (D-ATIS). The provision of ATIS via data link.
Voice-automatic terminal information service (Voice-ATIS). The provision of ATIS by means of continuous and repetitive voice broadcasts.
Base turn. A turn executed by the aircraft during the initial approach between the end of the outbound track and the beginning of the intermediate or final approach track. The tracks are not reciprocal.
Note.— Base turns may be designated as being made either in level flight or while descending, according to the circumstances of each individual procedure.
Blind transmission. A transmission from one station to another station in circumstances where two-way communication cannot be established but where it is believed that the called station is able to receive the transmission.
Broadcast. A transmission of information relating to air navigation that is not addressed to a specific station or stations.
Ceiling. The height above the ground or water of the base of the lowest layer of cloud below 6 000 m (20 000 ft) covering more than half the sky.
Clearance limit. The point to which an aircraft is granted an air traffic control clearance.
Code (SS R). The number assigned to a particular multiple pulse reply signal transmitted by a transponder in Mode A or Mode C.
Common point. A point on the surface of the earth common to the tracks of two aircraft, used as a basis for the application of separation (e.g. significant point, waypoint, navigation aid, fix).
Computer. A device which performs sequences of arithmetical and logical steps upon data without human intervention.
Note. When the word “computer” is used in this document it may denote a computer complex, which includes one or more computers and peripheral equipment.
Control area. A controlled airspace extending upwards from a specified limit above the earth.
Controlled aerodrome. An aerodrome at which air traffic control service is provided to aerodrome traffic.
Note. The term “controlled aerodrome” indicates that air traffic control service is provided to aerodrome traffic but does not necessarily imply that a control zone exists.
Controlled airspace. An airspace of defined dimensions within which air traffic control service is provided in accordance with the airspace classification.
Note. Controlled airspace is a generic term which covers ATS airspace Classes A, B, C, D and E as described in Annex 11, 2.6 (Classification of airspaces).
Controlled flight. Any flight which is subject to an air traffic control clearance.
Controller-pilot data link communications (CPDLC). A means of communication between controller and pilot, using data link for ATC communications.
Control zone. A controlled airspace extending upwards from the surface of the earth to a specified upper limit.
Cruise climb. An aeroplane cruising technique resulting in a net increase in altitude as the aeroplane mass decreases.
Cruising level. A level maintained during a significant portion of a flight.
Current data authority. The designated ground system through which a CPDLC dialogue between a pilot and a controller currently responsible for the flight is permitted to take place.
Current flight plan (CPL). The flight plan, including changes, if any, brought about by subsequent clearances.
Note. When the word “message” is used as a suffix to this term, it denotes the content and format of the current flight plan data sent from one unit to another.
Data convention. An agreed set of rules governing the manner or sequence in which a set of data may be combined into a meaningful communication.
Data link initiation capability (DLIC). A data link application that provides the ability to exchange addresses, names and version numbers necessary to initiate data link applications.
Data processing. A systematic sequence of operations performed on data.
Note. Examples of operations are the merging, sorting, computing or any other transformation or rearrangement with the object of extracting or revising information, or of altering the representation of information.
Decision altitude (DA) or decision height (DH). A specified altitude or height in the precision approach or approach with vertical guidance at which a missed approach must be initiated if the required visual reference to continue the approach has not been established.
Note 1. Decision altitude (DA) is referenced to mean sea level and decision height (DH) is referenced to the threshold elevation.
Note 2. The required visual reference means that section of the visual aids or of the approach area which should have been in view for sufficient time for the pilot to have made an assessment of the aircraft position and rate of change of position, in relation to the desired flight path. In Category III operations with a decision height the required visual reference is that specified for the particular procedure and operation.
Note 3.— For convenience where both expressions are used they may be written in the form “decision altitude/ height” and abbreviated “DA/H”.
Dependent parallel approaches. Simultaneous approaches to parallel or near-parallel instrument runways where radar separation minima between aircraft on adjacent extended runway centre lines are prescribed.
DETRESFA. The code word used to designate a distress phase.
Discrete code. A four-digit SSR code with the last two digits not being “00”.
Distress phase. A situation wherein there is reasonable certainty that an aircraft and its occupants are threatened by grave and imminent danger or require immediate assistance.
Downstream data authority. A designated ground system, different from the current data authority through which the pilot can contact an appropriate ATC unit for the purposes of receiving a downstream clearance.
Elevation. The vertical distance of a point or a level, on or affixed to the surface of the earth, measured from mean sea level.
Emergency phase. A generic term meaning, as the case may be, uncertainty phase, alert phase or distress phase.
Estimated elapsed time. The estimated time required to proceed from one significant point to another.
Estimated off-block time. The estimated time at which the aircraft will commence movement associated with departure.
Estimated time of arrival. For IFR flights, the time at which it is estimated that the aircraft will 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 aerodrome, the time at which the aircraft will arrive over the aerodrome. For VFR flights, the time at which it is estimated that the aircraft will arrive over the aerodrome.
Expected approach time. The time at which ATC expects that an arriving aircraft, following a delay, will leave the holding fix to complete its approach for a landing.
Note. The actual time of leaving the holding fix will depend upon the approach clearance.
Filed flight plan (FPL). The flight plan as filed with an ATS unit by the pilot or a designated representative, without any subsequent changes.
Note. When the word “message” is used as a suffix to this term, it denotes the content and format of the filed flight plan data as transmitted.
Final approach. That part of an instrument approach procedure which commences at the specified final approach fix or point, or where such a fix or point is not specified,
a) at the end of the last procedure turn, base turn or inbound turn of a racetrack procedure, if specified; or
b) at the point of interception of the last track specified in the approach procedure; and ends at a point in the vicinity of an aerodrome from which:
1) a landing can be made; or
2) a missed approach procedure is initiated.
Flight crew member. A licensed crew member charged with duties essential to the operation of an aircraft during a flight duty period.
Flight information centre. A unit established to provide flight information service and alerting service.
Flight information region (FIR). An airspace of defined dimensions within which flight information service and alerting service are provided.
Flight information service. A service provided for the purpose of giving advice and information useful for the safe and efficient conduct of flights.
Flight level. A surface of constant atmospheric pressure which is related to a specific pressure datum, 1 013.2 hectopascals (hPa), and is separated from other such surfaces by specific pressure intervals.
Note 1.— A pressure type altimeter calibrated in accordance with the Standard Atmosphere:
a) when set to a QNH altimeter setting, will indicate altitude;
b) when set to QFE altimeter setting, will indicate height above the QFE reference datum;
c) when set to a pressure of 1 013.2 hPa, may be used to indicate flight levels.
Note 2.— The terms “height” and “altitude”, used in Note 1 above, indicate altimetric rather than geometric heights and altitudes.
Flight path monitoring. The use of ATS surveillance systems for the purpose of providing aircraft with information and advice relative to significant deviations from nominal flight path, including deviations from the terms of their air traffic control clearances.
Note. Some applications may require a specific technology, e.g. radar, to support the function of flight path monitoring.
Flight plan. Specified information provided to air traffic services units, relative to an intended flight or portion of a flight of an aircraft.
Note. Specifications for flight plans are contained in Annex 2. A Model Flight Plan Form is contained here.
Flight visibility. The visibility forward from the cockpit of an aircraft in flight.
Flow control. Measures designed to adjust the flow of traffic into a given airspace, along a given route, or bound for a given aerodrome, so as to ensure the most effective utilization of the airspace.
Forecast. A statement of expected meteorological conditions for a specified time or period, and for a specified area or portion of airspace.
Glide path. A descent profile determined for vertical guidance during a final approach.
Ground effect. A condition of improved performance (lift) due to the interference of the surface with the airflow pattern of the rotor system when a helicopter or other VTOL aircraft is operating near the ground.
Note. Rotor efficiency is increased by ground effect to a height of about one rotor diameter for most helicopters.
Ground visibility. The visibility at an aerodrome, as reported by an accredited observer or by automatic systems.
Heading. The direction in which the longitudinal axis of an aircraft is pointed, usually expressed in degrees from North (true, magnetic, compass or grid).
Height. The vertical distance of a level, a point or an object considered as a point, measured from a specified datum.
Holding fix. A geographical location that serves as a reference for a holding procedure.
Holding procedure. A predetermined manoeuvre which keeps an aircraft within a specified airspace while awaiting further clearance.
Hot spot. A location on an aerodrome movement area with a history or potential risk of collision or runway incursion, and where heightened attention by pilots/drivers is necessary.
Human Factors principles. Principles which apply to aeronautical design, certification, training, operations and maintenance and which seek safe interface between the human and other system components by proper consideration to human performance.
Human performance. Human capabilities and limitations which have an impact on the safety and efficiency of aeronautical operations.
Identification. The situation which exists when the position indication of a particular aircraft is seen on a situation display and positively identified.
IFR. The symbol used to designate the instrument flight rules.
IFR flight. A flight conducted in accordance with the instrument flight rules.
IMC. The symbol used to designate instrument meteorological conditions.
INCERFA. The code word used to designate an uncertainty phase.
Incident. An occurrence, other than an accident, associated with the operation of an aircraft which affects or could affect the safety of operation.
Note. The type of incidents which are of main interest to the International Civil Aviation Organization for accident prevention studies can be found at http://www.icao.int/anb/aig.
Independent parallel approaches. Simultaneous approaches to parallel or near-parallel instrument runways where radar separation minima between aircraft on adjacent extended runway centre lines are not prescribed.
Independent parallel departures. Simultaneous departures from parallel or near-parallel instrument runways.
Initial approach segment. That segment of an instrument approach procedure between the initial approach fix and the intermediate approach fix or, where applicable, the final approach fix or point.
Instrument approach procedure (IAP). A series of predetermined manoeuvres by reference to flight instruments with specified protection from obstacles from the initial approach fix, or where applicable, from the beginning of a defined arrival route to a point from which a landing can be completed and thereafter, if a landing is not completed, to a position at which holding or en-route obstacle clearance criteria apply. Instrument approach procedures are classified as follows:
Non-precision approach (NPA) procedure. An instrument approach procedure which utilizes lateral guidance but does not utilize vertical guidance.
Approach procedure with vertical guidance (APV). An instrument procedure which utilizes lateral and vertical guidance but does not meet the requirements established for precision approach and landing operations.
Precision approach (PA) procedure. An instrument approach procedure using precision lateral and vertical guidance with minima as determined by the category of operation.
Note. Lateral and vertical guidance refers to the guidance provided either by:
a) a ground-based navigation aid; or
b) computer-generated navigation data.
Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Meteorological conditions expressed in terms of visibility, distance from cloud, and ceiling, less than the minima specified for visual meteorological conditions.
Note 1. The specified minima for visual meteorological conditions are contained in Chapter 3 of Annex 2.
Note 2. In a control zone, a VFR flight may proceed under instrument meteorological conditions if and as authorized by air traffic control.
Landing area. That part of a movement area intended for the landing or take-off of aircraft.
Level. A generic term relating to the vertical position of an aircraft in flight and meaning variously, height, altitude or flight level.
Location indicator. A four-letter code group formulated in accordance with rules prescribed by ICAO and assigned to the location of an aeronautical fixed station.
Manoeuvring area. That part of an aerodrome to be used for the take-off, landing and taxiing of aircraft, excluding aprons.
Meteorological information. Meteorological report, analysis, forecast, and any other statement relating to existing or expected meteorological conditions.
Meteorological office. An office designated to provide meteorological service for international air navigation.
Meteorological report. A statement of observed meteorological conditions related to a specified time and location.
Minimum fuel. The term used to describe a situation in which an aircraft’s fuel supply has reached a state where little or no delay can be accepted.
Note. This is not an emergency situation but merely indicates that an emergency situation is possible, should any undue delay occur.
Missed approach procedure. The procedure to be followed if the approach cannot be continued.
Mode (SSR). The conventional identifier related to specific functions of the interrogation signals transmitted by an SSR interrogator. There are four modes specified in Annex 10: A, C, S and intermode.
Movement area. That part of an aerodrome to be used for the take-off, landing and taxiing of aircraft, consisting of the manoeuvring area and the apron(s).
Near-parallel runways. Non-intersecting runways whose extended centre lines have an angle of convergence/divergence of 15 degrees or less.
Next data authority. The ground system so designated by the current data authority through which an onward transfer of communications and control can take place.
Normal operating zone (NOZ). Airspace of defined dimensions extending to either side of an ILS localizer course and/or MLS final approach track. Only the inner half of the normal operating zone is taken into account in independent parallel approaches.
NOTAM. A notice distributed by means of telecommunication containing information concerning the establishment, condition or change in any aeronautical facility, service, procedure or hazard, the timely knowledge of which is essential to personnel concerned with flight operations.
No transgression zone (NTZ). In the context of independent parallel approaches, a corridor of airspace of defined dimensions located centrally between the two extended runway centre lines, where a penetration by an aircraft requires a controller intervention to manoeuvre any threatened aircraft on the adjacent approach.
Obstacle clearance altitude (OCA) or obstacle clearance height (OCH). The lowest altitude or the lowest height above the elevation of the relevant runway threshold or the aerodrome elevation as applicable, used in establishing compliance with appropriate obstacle clearance criteria.
Note 1. Obstacle clearance altitude is referenced to mean sea level and obstacle clearance height is referenced to the threshold elevation or in the case of non-precision approaches to the aerodrome elevation or the threshold elevation if that is more than 2 m (7 ft) below the aerodrome elevation. An obstacle clearance height for a circling approach is referenced to the aerodrome elevation.
Note 2. For convenience when both expressions are used they may be written in the form “obstacle clearance altitude/height” and abbreviated “OCA/H”.
Operational control. The exercise of authority over the initiation, continuation, diversion or termination of a flight in the interest of the safety of the aircraft and the regularity and efficiency of the flight.
Operator. A person, organization or enterprise engaged in or offering to engage in an aircraft operation.
Pilot-in-command. The pilot designated by the operator, or in the case of general aviation, the owner, as being in command and charged with the safe conduct of a flight.
Position indication. The visual indication, in non-symbolic and/or symbolic form, on a situation display, of the position of an aircraft, aerodrome vehicle or other object.
Position symbol. The visual indication in symbolic form, on a situation display, of the position of an aircraft, aerodrome vehicle or other object, obtained after automatic processing of positional data derived from any source.
Precision approach radar (PAR). Primary radar equipment used to determine the position of an aircraft during final approach, in terms of lateral and vertical deviations relative to a nominal approach path, and in range relative to touchdown.
Note. Precision approach radars are designated to enable pilots of aircraft to be given guidance by radiocommunication during the final stages of the approach to land.
Pressure-altitude. An atmospheric pressure expressed in terms of altitude which corresponds to that pressure in the Standard Atmosphere as defined in Annex 8 (Airworthiness of Aircraft).
Primary radar. A radar system which uses reflected radio signals.
Primary surveillance radar (PSR). A surveillance radar system which uses reflected radio signals.
Procedural control. Term used to indicate that information derived from an ATS surveillance system is not required for the provision of air traffic control service.
Procedural separation. The separation used when providing procedural control.
Procedure turn. A manoeuvre in which a turn is made away from a designated track followed by a turn in the opposite direction to permit the aircraft to intercept and proceed along the reciprocal of the designated track.
Note 1. Procedure turns are designated “left” or “right” according to the direction of the initial turn.
Note 2. Procedure turns may be designated as being made either in level flight or while descending, according to the circumstances of each individual procedure.
Profile. The orthogonal projection of a flight path or portion thereof on the vertical surface containing the nominal track.
PSR blip. The visual indication, in non-symbolic form, on a situation display of the position of an aircraft obtained by primary radar.
Radar. A radio detection device which provides information on range, azimuth and/or elevation of objects.
Radar approach. An approach in which the final approach phase is executed under the direction of a controller using radar.
Radar clutter. The visual indication on a situation display of unwanted signals.
Radar contact. The situation which exists when the radar position of a particular aircraft is seen and identified on a situation display.
Radar separation. The separation used when aircraft position information is derived from radar sources.
RCP type. A label (e.g. RCP 240) that represents the values assigned to RCP parameters for communication transaction time, continuity, availability and integrity.
Receiving unit/controller. Air traffic services unit/air traffic controller to which a message is sent.
Note. See definition of “sending unit/controller”.
Repetitive flight plan (RPL). A flight plan related to a series of frequently recurring, regularly operated individual flights with identical basic features, submitted by an operator for retention and repetitive use by ATS units.
Reporting point. A specified geographical location in relation to which the position of an aircraft can be reported.
Required communication performance (RCP). A statement of the performance requirements for operational communication in support of specific ATM functions.
Required navigation performance (RNP). A statement of the navigation performance necessary for operation within a defined airspace.
Note. Navigation performance and requirements are defined for a particular RNP type and/or application.
Rescue coordination centre. A unit responsible for promoting efficient organization of search and rescue services and for coordinating the conduct of search and rescue operations within a search and rescue region.
Rescue unit. A unit composed of trained personnel and provided with equipment suitable for the expeditious conduct of search and rescue.
RNP type. A containment value expressed as a distance in nautical miles from the intended position within which flights would be for at least 95 per cent of the total flying time.
Example. RNP 4 represents a navigation accuracy of plus or minus 7.4 km (4 NM) on a 95 per cent containment basis.
Runway. A defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and take-off of aircraft.
Runway-holding position. A designated position intended to protect a runway, an obstacle limitation surface, or an ILS/MLS critical/sensitive area at which taxiing aircraft and vehicles shall stop and hold, unless otherwise authorized by the aerodrome control tower.
Note. In radiotelephony phraseologies, the expression “holding point” is used to designate the runway-holding position.
Runway incursion. Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take-off of aircraft.
Runway visual range (RVR). The range over which the pilot of an aircraft on the centre line of a runway can see the runway surface markings or the lights delineating the runway or identifying its centre line.
Safety management system (SMS). A systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organizational structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures.
Secondary radar. A radar system wherein a radio signal transmitted from the radar station initiates the transmission of a radio signal from another station.
Secondary surveillance radar (SSR). A surveillance radar system which uses transmitters/receivers (interrogators) and transponders.
Segregated parallel operations. Simultaneous operations on parallel or near-parallel instrument runways in which one runway is used exclusively for approaches and the other runway is used exclusively for departures.
Sending unit/controller. Air traffic services unit/air traffic controller transmitting a message.
Note. See definition of “receiving unit/controller”.
Shoreline. A line following the general contour of the shore, except that in cases of inlets or bays less than 30 nautical miles in width, the line shall pass directly across the inlet or bay to intersect the general contour on the opposite side.
SIGMET information. Information issued by a meteorological watch office concerning the occurrence or expected occurrence of specified en-route weather phenomena which may affect the safety of aircraft operations.
Significant point. A specified geographical location used in defining an ATS route or the flight path of an aircraft and for other navigation and ATS purposes.
Note. There are three categories of significant points: ground-based navigation aid, intersection and waypoint. In the context of this definition, intersection is a significant point expressed as radials, bearings and/or distances from ground-based navigation aids.
Situation display. An electronic display depicting the position and movement of aircraft and other information as required.
Slush. Water-saturated snow which with a heel-and-toe slap-down motion against the ground will be displaced with a splatter; specific gravity: 0.5 up to 0.8.
Note. Combinations of ice, snow and/or standing water may, especially when rain, rain and snow, or snow is falling, produce substances with specific gravities in excess of 0.8. These substances, due to their high water/ice content, will have a transparent rather than a cloudy appearance and, at the higher specific gravities, will be readily distinguishable from slush.
Snow (on the ground).
a) Dry snow. Snow which can be blown if loose or, if compacted by hand, will fall apart upon release; specific gravity: up to but not including 0.35.
b) Wet snow. Snow which, if compacted by hand, will stick together and tend to or form a snowball; specific gravity: 0.35 up to but not including 0.5.
c) Compacted snow. Snow which has been compressed into a solid mass that resists further compression and will hold together or break up into lumps if picked up; specific gravity: 0.5 and over.
Special VFR flight. A VFR flight cleared by air traffic control to operate within a control zone in meteorological conditions below VMC.
SSR response. The visual indication, in non-symbolic form, on a situation display, of a response from an SSR transponder in reply to an interrogation.
Standard instrument arrival (STAR). A designated instrument flight rule (IFR) arrival route linking a significant point, normally on an ATS route, with a point from which a published instrument approach procedure can be commenced.
Standard instrument departure (SID). A designated instrument flight rule (IFR) departure route linking the aerodrome or a specified runway of the aerodrome with a specified significant point, normally on a designated ATS route, at which the en-route phase of a flight commences.
Stopway. A defined rectangular area on the ground at the end of take-off run available prepared as a suitable area in which an aircraft can be stopped in the case of an abandoned take-off.
Surveillance radar. Radar equipment used to determine the position of an aircraft in range and azimuth.
Taxiing. Movement of an aircraft on the surface of an aerodrome under its own power, excluding take-off and landing.
Taxiway. A defined path on a land aerodrome established for the taxiing of aircraft and intended to provide a link between one part of the aerodrome and another, including:
a) Aircraft stand taxilane. A portion of an apron designated as a taxiway and intended to provide access to aircraft stands only.
b) Apron taxiway. A portion of a taxiway system located on an apron and intended to provide a through taxi route across the apron.
c) Rapid exit taxiway. A taxiway connected to a runway at an acute angle and designed to allow landing aeroplanes to turn off at higher speeds than are achieved on other exit taxiways thereby minimizing runway occupancy times.
Terminal control area (TMA). A control area normally established at the confluence of ATS routes in the vicinity of one or more major aerodromes.
Threshold. The beginning of that portion of the runway usable for landing.
Total estimated elapsed time. For IFR flights, the estimated time required from take-off 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 take-off to arrive over the destination aerodrome.
Touchdown. 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.
Track. 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).
Traffic avoidance advice. Advice provided by an air traffic services unit specifying manoeuvres to assist a pilot to avoid a collision.
Traffic information. Information issued by an air traffic services unit to alert a pilot to other known or observed air traffic which may be in proximity to the position or intended route of flight and to help the pilot avoid a collision.
Transfer of control point. A defined point located along the flight path of an aircraft, at which the responsibility for providing air traffic control service to the aircraft is transferred from one control unit or control position to the next.
Transferring unit/controller. 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”.
Transition altitude. The altitude at or below which the vertical position of an aircraft is controlled by reference to altitudes.
Transition layer. The airspace between the transition altitude and the transition level.
Transition level. The lowest flight level available for use above the transition altitude.
Uncertainty phase. A situation wherein uncertainty exists as to the safety of an aircraft and its occupants.
Unmanned free balloon. A non-power-driven, unmanned, lighter-than-air aircraft in free flight.
Note. Unmanned free balloons are classified as heavy, medium or light in accordance with specifications contained in Annex 2, Appendix 4 (Unmanned free balloons).
Vectoring. Provision of navigational guidance to aircraft in the form of specific headings, based on the use of an ATS surveillance system.
VFR. The symbol used to designate the visual flight rules.
VFR flight. A flight conducted in accordance with the visual flight rules.
Visibility. Visibility for aeronautical purposes is the greater of:
a) the greatest distance at which a black object of suitable dimensions, situated near the ground, can be seen and recognized when observed against a bright background;
b) the greatest distance at which lights in the vicinity of 1 000 candelas can be seen and identified against an unlit background.
Note 1. The two distances have different values in air of a given extinction coefficient, and the latter b) varies with the background illumination. The former a) is represented by the meteorological optical range (MOR).
Note 2. The definition applies to the observations of visibility in local routine and special reports, to the observations of prevailing and minimum visibility reported in METAR and SPECI and to the observations of ground visibility.
Visual approach. An approach by an IFR flight when either part or all of an instrument approach procedure is not completed and the approach is executed in visual reference to terrain.
Visual meteorological conditions. Meteorological conditions expressed in terms of visibility, distance from cloud, and ceiling, equal to or better than specified minima.
Note. The specified minima are contained in Annex 2, Chapter 4 (Visual Flight Rules).
VMC. The symbol used to designate visual meteorological conditions.
Waypoint. A specified geographical location used to define an area navigation route or the flight path of an aircraft employing area navigation. Waypoints are identified as either:
Fly-by waypoint. A waypoint which requires turn anticipation to allow tangential interception of the next segment of a route or procedure, or
Flyover waypoint. A waypoint at which a turn is initiated in order to join the next segment of a route or procedure.
Source: ICAO doc 4444