The Language of Airports

Airports and the world of aviation as a whole have their own unique language. It’s easy to get lost in the slew of acronyms, abbreviations and other denotations. Here is a helpful list of few airport abbreviations you’ve heard, and a few you haven’t:

A/C - Aircraft: An airplane, helicopter, or other machine capable of flight.

ACID - Aircraft Identification: The number in the FAA registry used to differentiate aircraft.

ADG - Airplane Design Group: Aircraft groupings defined by the FAA

AFP - Area Flight Plan: Documents filed with the FAA denoting the intended path of an aircraft.

APP - Approach: The final descent and alignment of an airplane onto the runway.

ATC - Air Traffic Control: A service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft both on the ground and in controlled airspace.

CAA - Civil Aviation Authority: Corporation that oversees and regulates all facets of civil aviation in the United Kingdom. It is the U.K. equivalent to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

DH - Decision Height: Decision height refers to the lowest height at which, if the required visual reference to continue the approach is not visible, the pilot must begin procedure for a missed approach.

DoD - Department of Defense: Executive branch of the U.S. government in charge of agencies and functions of the government related to national security and armed forces.

FAA - Federal Aviation Administration: U.S. Governing body with power to regulate civil aviation.

FBO - Fixed Base Operator: Organization at an airport that provides services like fueling, hangaring, small maintenance, and other generic needs.

HDQ - FAA Headquarters: The acronym given to the headquarters of the FAA located in Washington, D.C.

IFSS - International Flight Service Station: An IFSS is an air traffic facility that provides pilots with information during flights. Unlike Air Traffic Control, an IFSS is not responsible for giving instructions or clearances.

Hopefully this gives you a better idea of some words and phrases you may have heard at an airport or read on our website.

At Just NSN Parts, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the unique parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-714-705-4780.


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