Aviation Acronyms are Out of Control

Aviation Acronyms are Out of Control

If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: aviation acronyms are out of control. And yet, once you start using them, you can’t stop. This might be the origin of the entire “can’t stop, won’t stop” fad. Seriously.

If you’ve worked in aviation for more than five minutes, you know the industry is jam-packed with acronyms, everything from the fairly basic (such as FAA – Federal Aviation Administration) to the more complex (like WHMP – Wildlife Hazard Management Plan). Below is a collection of some of the most common acronyms you’ll run across in aviation and airport marketing. TNTGO (Try Not To Get Overwhelmed)!

Aviation acronyms are not for the faint of heart

  • AAAE – American Association of Airport Executives
  • ACI-NA – Airports Council International – North America
  • ACIP – Airport Capital Improvement Plan
  • AIP – Airport Improvement Plan (or Program)
  • ALP – Airport Layout Plan
  • ARFF – Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting
  • ASD – Air Service Development
  • ATC – Air Traffic Control
  • CASM – Cost per Available Seat Mile
  • CIP – Capital Improvement Plan
  • CPE – Cost Per Enplanement
  • DOT – Department of Transportation
  • EA – Environmental Assessment
  • ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival
  • FAA – Federal Aviation Administration
  • FBO – Fixed Base Operator
  • FIDS – Flight Information Display System
  • FOD – Foreign Object Damage or Foreign Object Debris
  • GA – General Aviation
  • IATA – International Air Transport Association
  • IFR – Instrument Flight Rules
  • ILS – Instrument Landing System
  • NOTAM – Notice To Airmen
  • O&D – Origin and Destination
  • PFC – Passenger Facility Charge
  • PIO – Public Information Officer
  • RASM – Revenue per Available Seat Mile
  • RW – Runway
  • SCASDG – Small Community Air Service Development Grant
  • TQG – The Quotient Group, duh
  • TSA – Transportation Security Administration
  • TW – Taxiway
  • VFR – Visual Flight Rules
  • WHMP – Wildlife Hazard Management Plan
  • WX – Weather

And then there are the major U.S. airline IATA codes

  • AA – American Airlines (subsidiary of American Airlines Group)
  • AS – Alaska Airlines
  • B6 – JetBlue Airways
  • DL – Delta Air Lines
  • F9 – Frontier Airlines
  • G4 – Allegiant Air
  • HA – Hawaiian Airlines
  • NK – Spirit Airlines
  • UA – United Airlines
  • VX – Virgin America
  • WN – Southwest Airlines
  • And there are plenty more

For a much larger (and searchable) list of aviation acronyms, visit the FAA’s Acronyms and Abbreviations page or this list on Wikipedia.