Glossary of Terms
A: Airbus Industrie.
Accident (ICAO): An incident associated with the operation of an aircraft in which the aircraft sustains damage or structural failure which adversely affects the structural strength, performance or flight characteristics of the aircraft. Such an incident would normally require major repair or replacement of that affected component. This does not include engine failure or damage, its cowlings or accessories, damage limited to propellors, wing tips, antennae, tyres, brakes, fairings, small ducts or punctures in the aircraft skin.It is also defined when an aircraft is missing or completely inaccessible.
ACMI: Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance. A type of lease normally, but not always, between two airlines, where the lessor provides the aircraft, one or more complete crews including their salaries, all maintenance for the aircraft, and hull insurance for the aircraft itself. Sometimes it will provide third-party liability cover. ACMI charges will be by the hour, but with a minimum number of hours per month guaranteed.
ACMI wet rate: Charge, normally in US$ per block hour, for an ACMI lease.
Ad hoc carrier: Cargo carrier offering aircraft for ad hoc charters.
Ad hoc charter: See Charter, ad hoc.
Aeroplane: See Aircraft.
Air cargo: Any property carried on an aircraft other than stores, COMAT and baggage. This includes freight, mail or express items. Also known as air cargo, airfreight, air freight. See also Aircraft, freighter; COMAT - Company Owned Material.
Air cargo (IATA): Any property carried on an aircraft other than stores and baggage. This includes freight or express items. See also Aircraft, freighter; Company owned material.
Aircraft certificate: Certificate issued by a relevant aviation authority in relation to a particular aircraft used to indicate compliance with the appropriate requirements concerning aircraft type, airworthiness, etc.
Aircraft, combi: An aircraft intended for the movement of passengers and cargo sharing main-deck accommodation during the flight ~ from Combination.
Aircraft, freighter: An aircraft, which is either newly constructed, or permanently or temporarily converted from passenger service, which is dedicated to carrying cargo with no passenger complement.
Aircraft, green: Aircraft flyable but unpainted, unfurnished and basically equipped.
Aircraft hangar: Building especially constructed or converted to allow the maintenance or storage of aircraft at an airport/airfield.
Aircraft On Ground (AOG): A situation in which technical failure prevents an aircraft from moving or taking off. This is not normally at its regular maintenance base.
Aircraft pallet: A platform of standard dimensions on which goods are assembled and secured before being loaded as a complete unit onto an aircraft. It is built to interface with ball, roller or castor surfaces. See also Igloo.
Aircraft range: See Range.
Aircraft stand: A designated area on an apron intended to be used for aircraft parking.
Aircraft tow tractor: Vehicle used to manoeuvre aircraft on ground by towing and pushing when the aircraft is not powering movement with its own engines.
Aircraft towbarless tractor: Aircraft tow tractor which does not utilise a towbar.
Aircraft unit load device: A standard-sized aircraft container unit used to facilitate rapid loading and unloading of aircraft having compatible handling and restraint systems.
Aircraft weights: A series of weights, taken with or without various loads, of an aircraft during various stages of its operation. See also AUW; Basic Operating Weight; MLW; MRW; MTOW; MZFW; OEW; Ramp Weight; TOGW; Zero Fuel Weight.
Airframe: An aircraft's structure without power plants or aircraft systems.
Airlift: The carriage of personnel or supplies by air.
Airline: Certificated air carrier operating own or hired aircraft for paying passengers, cargo or a combination of both on a scheduled or charter basis.
Airline (ICAO): Under Article 96 of the ICAO Convention, any air transport enterprise offering or operating on a scheduled national or international basis.
Airport: An area of land that is used, or intended to be used, for the landing and take-off of aircraft and any associated buildings and infrastructure. See also Terminal.
Airport, all-cargo: An airport solely for the use of scheduled or ad hoc cargo aircraft operations. Can be a common carrier airport or non-common for the use of one company.
Airport, alternate: An airport at which an aircraft may land if a landing at the intended airport becomes inadvisable. If an aircraft must re-route in flight, this may be the original departure airport.
Airport charges: Charges levied by airport owners or operators to airlines for landing an aircraft. These charges can include landing fees, take-off fees, airside charges and landside charges.
Airport, free: An international airport at which, provided they remain within a designated area until removal by air to a point outside the territory of the country, crew, cargo, mail and stores may be disembarked or unloaded, may remain and may be transhipped, without being subject to any Customs charges or dues or, except in special circumstances, be searched. See also Bonded stores; Free Trade Zone.
Airport, gateway: An airport serving the role of being the airport that cargo operators generally use to first enter a country.
Airport, international (ICAO): An airport designated by the contracting country in whose territory it is situated as an airport of entry and departure for international transport, where formalities required by Customs, immigration, public health, animal and plant quarantine etc are carried out.
Airside: The area of an airport, adjacent terrain, buildings or apron area, access to which is regulated and controlled. Normally restricted to airport personnel, aircraft crew, departing and transiting passengers and cargo ground handlers. See also Landside.
Airwaybill: A document made out by a shipper as evidence of the contract between shipper and carrier. Not a deed of title to the consignment. Sometimes called Air Waybill.
Airworthy: Describes an aircraft which meets all relevant statutory requirements of the registering country and any other required to give authority to its operation. See also Certificate of Airworthiness.
All-cargo airport: See Airport, all-cargo.
Alternate airport: See Airport, alternate.
AOG: See Aircraft on Ground.
Apron (ICAO): A defined area on an airport intended to accommodate aircraft for the purpose of loading or unloading cargo, re-fuelling, parking or maintenance.
APU: Auxiliary Power Unit.
AUW - All Up Weight: Total weight of aircraft under defined conditions or at a specific time during flight. Not to be confused with MTOW.
Auxiliary power unit: Item carried on an aircraft for tasks such as electrical power, main engine starting, ground air-conditioning etc.
AWB: See Airwaybill.
Bare Hull Charter: Another name for a dry lease. See also Lease, dry
Base: Bottom of container or pallet which comes into contact with the floor.
Basic operating weight: MTOW minus payload.
Belt loader: Equipment using a belt to load bulk freight, baggage and mail into an aircraft. Can be self-propelled or trailer-mounted.
Bird strike: Collision between an aircraft and birds.
Bird strike precautions: Measures taken at an airport to avoid bird strikes.
Block hour: Chargeable hour for which an aircraft is leased to a lessee during a wet lease (sixty minutes of block time).
Block time: Time elapsed from the moment an aircraft starts to leave its loading point to the moment it comes to rest at its destination. Also known as block-to-block, chock-to-chock.
Boarding: Crew and/or passengers entering an aircraft prior to flight.
Bonded fuel: Aviation fuel imported into a country for use only in international services on which no tax is paid.
Bonded stores: Warehousing under the direct or indirect control of Customs authorities where dutiable goods are stored prior to entry into the country, upon which the duty will be paid.
Border controls: Checks made on cargo attempting to enter a country. Normally includes physical examination of the freight, as well as examination of relevant import and export licences.
Braking action: A report on conditions on the airport movement area providing a pilot with a degree/quality of braking expected: braking action is reported in terms of good, medium, fair, poor or nil.
Broker: An individual or company who, for a fee, locates and arranges the hire of a cargo aircraft, with or without crew, for a client.
Bulk cargo: All cargo not packed in containers or on a pallet.
Bulk loader: Self-drive belt conveyor vehicle for loading bulk cargo into an aircraft.
C: See Aircraft, combi.
CAA: Civil Aviation Authority (UK).
C of A: See Certificate of Airworthiness.
Cabotage: See Freedoms.
Capacity: General term given to cargo space and available lift from a given aircraft.
Cargo: See Air cargo.
Cargo conversion: Passenger or other non-cargo aircraft permanently converted to carry cargo.
Cargo dock: Loading bay of a cargo terminal.
Cargo door: Door in aircraft designed to take freight, vehicles or containers.
Cargo door, nose: Cargo door in nose of aircraft hinged to swing upwards or to one side, to allow easier access to general cargo or access for cargo too large to pass through side cargo door.
Cargo door, rear: Cargo door in rear of aircraft often hinged to become a ramp for access. Some aircraft types open at the rear by swinging the tail housing to one side.
Cargo door, side: Cargo door generally on portside of an aircraft.
Cargo ground handling: Function of moving cargo from terminal to aircraft side and vice versa while at all times the cargo is on the airport's premises. Can be performed by the air carrier, a second-party airline providing such services, the airport authority or an independent ground handling company.
Cargo hold: General term for the area of an aircraft where cargo is stowed for a journey. Can be entire inside space on a freighter, that space not used by passengers on a combi, or lower deck area in a passenger aircraft.
Cargo insurance: See Insurance.
Cargo loader: Mobile equipment with elevating platforms and powered rollers for loading and unloading ULDs on aircraft.
Cargo ramp: Airside area upon which freighter aircraft are parked for loading or unloading of cargo.
Cargo village: Term sometimes used to group air cargo operations at an airport, especially newly constructed warehousing developments.
Carnet: Customs document allowing the temporary importation of goods without duty, conditional on the goods being re-exported in the same state as when they entered the country. These goods cannot be altered, used in manufacture, or disposed of without the duty being paid as if they had been imported normally.
Certificate of Airworthiness: Certificate that an individual aircraft meets all relevant legal and safety standards.
CF: Convertible freighter.
Chapter III: Regulations imposing stringent limits on aircraft noise and emission. Failure to comply with the standards would prevent an aircraft landing at an airport where the regulations are in force.
Charter, ad hoc: A non-scheduled, non-common carrier cargo service hired to move a single shipment. See also Scheduled freight service.
Charter, split: Where an intermediary such as a freight forwarder charters an aircraft and re-sells capacity to third parties.
Cockpit: A compartment to accommodate pilots and other crew members. See also Flight-deck.
C of A: Certificate of Airworthiness.
COMAT - Company Owned Material: An airline's own property such as spare-parts, station supplies, ticket stock, etc, carried in the airline's own aircraft.
Combi aircraft: See also Aircraft, combi.
Consignment: One or more pieces of cargo accepted by a carrier at one time and one address, moving as one lot under an AWB to one destination.
Crew, flight: Personnel required for the immediate safe handling in flight of an aircraft.
Crew, ground: Personnel required for the handling of an aircraft on the ground.
Cube utilisation: Maximum use of available space in an aircraft.
Customs: A government organisation fulfiling three main functions:
i) Levying and collecting taxes, duties and charges against imported and exported items.
ii) Preventing the importation of banned, prohibited and illegal material within shipments.
iii) Collecting and collating statistical information from point of exit or entry.
Cwt (UK): Weight equal to 112 lb or 50.80 kg.
Cwt (US): Weight equal to 100 lb or 45.36 kg.
Dangerous goods: Articles or substances which are capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or property. Significant and strict local, national and international laws and regulatory rules govern the handling, storage and movement of such substances to and at airports.
Dangerous goods accident: An occurrence associated with, and related to, the transport of dangerous goods by air which results in fatal or serious injury to a person or major property damage.
Dangerous goods classes: Nine international classes categorise dangerous goods:
- Class 1 Explosives
- Class 2 Gases
- 2.1 Flammable gases
- 2.2 Non-flammable gases
- 2.3 Toxic gases
- Class 3 Flammable liquids
- Class 4 Flammable solids
- 4.1 Flammable solids
- 4.2 Spontaneously combustible substances
- 4.3 Water reactive substances
- Class 5 Oxidising substances
- 5.1 Oxidising substances
- 5.2 Organic peroxides
- Class 6 Toxic substances
- 6.1 Poisonous substances
- 6.2 Infectious substances
- Class 7 Radioactive materials
- Class 8 Corrosives
- Class 9 Miscellaneous material, including that which can only be flown on a cargo aircraft
Deck, lower: Term for cargo hold under the main deck.
Deck, main: Main floor of aircraft forming base of upper hold in freighter aircraft or where passengers and cargo are placed in a combi.
De-icing: Removal of ice accretion on an aircraft at an airport - can be done by use of fluids, heating systems and expanding rubber membranes.
Demurrage: Charge for storage in an airline warehouse or other warehouse, which accrues after a given time for consignments not collected. Also applies to delay caused to an aircraft (eg by a charterer).
Departure procedures: Air traffic control procedures established for an aircraft departing from an airport.
Departure time: Exact time at which an aircraft becomes airborne, an important factor in air traffic control. Can also be time when an aircraft moves away from the terminal at the commencement of taxiing prior to take-off. Colloquially known as 'off chocks'.
Diversion: Act of proceeding to an airport other than one at which landing was intended.
Doorsill height: Height from ground to aircraft doorsill.
Down time: The time an aircraft is on the ground at an airport other than when it is being loaded or unloaded or made ready for flight. Also colloquially a term for the time of landing.
Dry lease: See Lease, dry.
Dry rate: Cost, normally per month, of a dry lease. See also Lease, Dry.
Eighth Freedom: See Freedoms.
Empty (vb): To remove goods from a ULD.
ER: Extended Range.
EROPS: See Extended Range Twin [engine] Operations.
ETOPS: See Extended Twin [engine] Overwater Passenger Operations.
EU: See European Union.
European Union: Association of 25 European countries with the ultimate aim of a single entity in Europe, possessing a free trade zone and common currency. Establishes common standards for the aviation industry over all member states.
Extended Range Twin [engine] Operations: Sometimes referred to as EROPS, this is a routing with a given flight time of not more than 120 or 180 minutes from a useable alternative airport.
Extended Twin [engine] Overwater Passenger Operations: The ability of a twin-engined aircraft to operate over large stretches of water, such as the Pacific.
FAA: Federal Aviation Administration (USA).
FAR: Federal Aviation Regulations (USA).
Ferry range: See Range, ferry.
Fifth freedom: See Freedoms.
Fill (vb): To insert goods into a ULD.
Fire Categories: The five categories of cargo and baggage compartments in respect of the
fire detection and fire fighting systems within are:
- Class A: Where the presence of a fire would be easily discovered by a crew member whilst at their crew position and each compartment is easily accessible in flight
- Class B: Typically used on Combi aircraft. There is sufficient access in flight to enable crew members to reach any part of the compartment with the contents of a hand-held fire extinguisher. When the access provisions are being used, no hazardous quantity of smoke, flames or extinguishing agent will enter any compartment occupied by crew or passengers. There is a separate approved smoke or fire detector system to give warning at the pilot or flight engineer station
- Class C: Typically below the main deck, or on the same deck as passengers, but are not readily accessible. There is a separate approved smoke or fire detector system to give warning at the pilot or flight engineer station. There is an approved built-in fire extinguishing or suppression system controllable from the cockpit. There are means to exclude hazardous quantities of smoke, flames or extinguishing agent from any compartment occupied by crew or passengers. There are means to control ventilation and draughts within the compartment so that the extinguishing agent used can control any fire that may start within the compartment
- (Former) Class D: Used oxygen starvation to control the fire, but must now meet the same standards as Class C compartments
- Class E: Used only for the carriage of cargo. There is a separate approved smoke or fire detector system to give warning at the pilot or flight engineer station. There are means to shut off the ventilating airflow to or within the compartment. The controls for these means must be accessible to the crew in the crew compartment. There are means to exclude hazardous quantities of smoke, flames or noxious gases from the flight crew compartment The required crew emergency exits are accessible under any cargo loading condition.
First Freedom: See Freedoms.
First Responders - Awareness (FRA): See Hazmat emergency response.
First Responders - Operations (FRO): See Hazmat emergency response.
Flight-deck: A compartment to accommodate flight crew. See also Cockpit.
Floor bearing: Maximum weight the aircraft floor can bear.
Floor load: Static and dynamic loads imposed by the payload.
FOD: Foreign Object Damage.
Fourth freedom: See Freedoms.
FRA: See Hazmat emergency response.
Free airport: See Airport, free.
Free Trade Zone - FTZ: An industrial area in which manufacturers are permitted to import raw materials or semi-assemblies for manufacturing purposes which, provided they leave the zone by air to a point outside the territory of the country, do not incur import duties.
Freedoms: There are ten international aviation freedoms.
- i) First Freedom: To overfly one country en-route to another.
- ii) Second Freedom: To make a technical stop in another country.
- iii Third Freedom: To carry passengers/cargo from the home country to another.
- iv) Fourth Freedom: To carry passengers/cargo to the home country from another.
- v) Fifth Freedom: To carry passengers/cargo between two countries by an airline of a third on a route with origin/destination in its home country.
- vi) Sixth Freedom: To carry passengers/cargo between two countries by an airline of a third on two routes connecting in its home country.
- vii) Seventh Freedom: To carry passengers/cargo between two countries by an airline of a third on a route outside its home country.
- viii) Eighth Freedom or Cabotage: To carry passengers/cargo within a country by an airline of another country on a route with origin/destination in its home country.
- ix) Ninth Freedom or Stand-Alone Cabotage: To carry passengers/cargo within a country by an airline of another country.
- x) True Domestic: To carry passengers/cargo by an airline within its home country.
Freeport: See Free Trade Zone.
Freight door: See Cargo door.
Freight hub: See Hub, freight.
Freighter aircraft: See Aircraft, freighter.
FRO: See Hazmat emergency response.
FTZ: See Free Trade Zone.
Fuel burn: Rate at which fuel is burnt during a flight, normally given in tonnes per hour. This is a vital element in the cost of chartering or operating a freighter aircraft.
Fuel capacity: Fuel available for propulsion.
Fuel consumption: See Specific fuel consumption.
Gallon (UK): Liquid volume equal to 8 pints or 4.54 litres.
Gallon (US): Liquid volume equal to 0.83 UK gallon or 3.79 litres.
Gate: A point of access to the apron from the terminal at an airport.
Gate hold procedure: A procedure to hold aircraft at the gate or other ground location whenever departures are expected to be delayed by more than five minutes.
Gateway airport: See Airport, gateway.
GPU: See Ground Power Unit.
Green Aircraft: See Aircraft, green.
Ground crew: See Crew, ground.
Ground Power Unit: Equipment used to provide power to an aircraft to run vital services while stationary on the ground.
Ground support equipment: All the handling facilities employed to service an aircraft at an airport - such as tractors, steps, fuelling tanks, food and cleaning supplies.
Hangar: See Aircraft hangar.
Hazardous goods: Another term for dangerous goods. Also known as Hazardous material. See also Dangerous goods.
Hazardous Materials On-scene Incident Commander (HMOIC): See Hazmat emergency response.
Hazardous Materials Specialist (HMS): See Hazmat emergency response.
Hazardous Materials Technician (HMT): See Hazmat emergency response.
Hazchem: International warning panel designed to alert as to the dangers, characteristics and appropriate accident response to hazardous chemicals and liquids.
Hazmat: Another term for hazardous material.
Hazmat emergency response: There are five levels of response to a Hazmat incident recognised by the FAA:
- i) First Responders - Awareness (FRA): Trained individuals able to recognise when a Hazmat incident has occurred or could potentially occur and thereby can alert the appropriate authorities. They do not deal with an incident.
- ii) First Responders - Operations (FRO): Trained individuals able to contain a Hazmat spillage or incident, to prevent it spreading and prevent exposure. They do not deal with an incident.
- iii) Hazardous Materials Technician (HMT): Trained individuals able to aggressively respond to a spillage or potential spillage in order to stop it. They will approach the point of release in order to plug, patch or otherwise close it. They receive an extra 24 hours of training beyond an FRO.
- iii) Hazardous Materials Specialist (HMS): Trained individuals also able to respond aggressively to a spillage or potential spillage, but with a specialisation training in particular aspects of responses, such as for chlorine releases. They receive an extra 24 hours of training beyond an FRO.
- iv) Hazardous Materials On-scene Incident Commander (HMOIC): Person in overall command of all activities during an emergency response. Can also co-ordinate resources outside an airline.
- v) Hazmat emergency response team: Personnel trained in the proper procedures to deal with an incident, an accident or potential accident, involving hazardous material.
High Density Rule: US government regulation which caps operations at Washington National, New York's LaGuardia and JFK and Chicago O'Hare airports.
HMOIC: See Hazmat emergency response.
HMS: See Hazmat emergency response.
HMT: See Hazmat emergency response.
Hub, freight: An airport used by an integrator or scheduled freight airline to sort and disperse goods through its network from incoming flights or road services operated by the airline or its agents. A hub can be a freight-only airport or a facility at a general airport.
Hub-and-spoke: An airline's operation which utilises major services to connect key hub airports, with minor services then connecting with minor destinations unable to support major services themselves in terms of traffic.
Hull insurance: See Insurance.
Hush-kit: Device to limit noise levels produced by aircraft engines. See also Chapter III.
Hushkitting: To fit a hush-kit on an existing engine.
IATA: See International Air Transport Authority.
ICAO: See International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Igloo: Bottomless shell made of fibreglass, metal etc, conforming to aircraft dimensions, produced to cover the maximum useable area of a pallet to which it is secured in flight.
Insurance: There are four main types of insurance involved with most common air freighter operations:
- i) Hull Insurance: This is taken out by the owner of the aircraft in order to protect his investment against damage to, or loss of, the aircraft itself. A charterer should never be involved with this as it is usually the responsibility of the owner, and its premiums should be already included in any charter or lease price.
- ii) Third Party Liability: This is to protect the owner or operator against claims that may be made by other people, for example if the undercarriage damaged the roof of a house when the aircraft was landing, or if the wingtip hit another aircraft while manoeuvring on the ground. Once again, it is the owner's responsibility to provide this cover all the time its crews are flying the aircraft. However, on dry leases the owner may not want to be responsible for events which take place while the aircraft is under someone else's control, so in that case the third party may be required to provide cover. Amounts of liability that third party insurance covers can be substantial.
- iii) War Risk Insurance: This is applied by insurance companies and underwriters if the aircraft intends to operate into countries or areas considered by them to be dangerous. If the aircraft operates to these areas without the additional war-risk cover, then the Hull and Third-Party cover may become invalid, and thus the whole operation becomes illegal. The cover can be taken out for a specific period, or on a 'per flight' basis.
- iv) Cargo Insurance: International regulations demand that an airline will provide insurance cover for all cargo carried on its aircraft, up to a specified limit. It applies throughout the entire period during which the cargo is in the care of that airline and covers theft, damage, loss or total destruction in the event of an accident.
Integrator: A non-common-carrier freight service regulated by a published timetable and operating to a network of stations exclusively to its own benefit; also provides liveried vehicles and staff to manage the entire transport of the consignment.
International airport: See Airport, international.
International Air Transport Association (IATA): Organisation whose aims are to promote safe, regular and economical air transport as well as providing means of collaboration among international air transport companies. Its specialist publication function establishes standards for the handling of dangerous goods and livestock by air, as well as published standard rates for cargo transport.
International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO): Branch of the United Nations governing the aviation relationships between member countries.
Kilogram(me): SI weight equal to 1 000 gram(me)s or 2.2 lb.
Kilometre/er: SI length equal to 1 000 m or 1 094 yards.
Knot: One nautical mile per hour/1.85 kph/1.15 mph.
Landside: Those parts of an airport not considered airside. Access is open to all persons legally entitled to be at an airport, subject to local and national laws.
Large aircraft (US): Aircraft over 12 500 lb maximum certificated take-off weight.
Lease, ACMI: Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance lease.
Lease, dry: Sometimes called a Bare Hull Charter. In this case, the lessee has to supply his own crew (with all the associated costs), provide all his own maintenance, and obtain own insurance coverage. It is normally charged at a fixed rate per month, plus an hourly charge for engine overhauls or replacements, and major checks.
Lease, wet: Hire of aircraft from another carrier or lessor complete with flight crew, where major servicing is carried out by the owner but with hirer's logo and insignia temporarily applied.
LEL: See Lower Explosive Limit.
Litre/liter: SI liquid volume equal to 1 000 cc or 0.22 gal.
Load factor: Revenue tonne-miles (RTM) as a percentage of RTM available.
Load factor (SI): Revenue tonne-kms (RTK) as a percentage of RTK available.
Load manifest: Detailed inventory of load on the aircraft.
Load range: See Range, load.
Loading chart: Chart displaying correct locations of cargo in transport aircraft.
Loading contour: Maximum aircraft envelope for the purposes of stowage inside the aircraft, having taken into account the required clearance between the aircraft wall and the load. See also Maximum aircraft envelope.
Loading diagram: Detailed plan of cargo floor and underfloor holds on which responsible officer marks position and masses of all cargo and final centre of gravity position.
Lower deck: See Deck, lower.
Lower Explosive Limit (LEL): This is the lowest point at which enough vapours have been released from a given hazardous liquid to cause a fire when in contact with an ignition source. Also known as flash point.
Main deck: See Deck, main
Maximum aircraft envelope: Maximum space available in the interior of the aircraft, less a given tolerance, from the manufacturer's specifications.
MD: McDonnell Douglas.
Metre/meter: Length equal to 100 cm or 1.09 yards.
Mile: Length equal to 5 180 ft or 1.60 km.
MLW: Maximum Landing Weight.
MRW: Maximum Ramp Weight.
MTOW: Maximum Take Off Weight (MRW minus taxi and run-up fuel).
MZFW: Maximum Zero Fuel Weight (MTOW minus useable fuel and other consumables).
NAFTA: See North American Free Trade Association.
Nautical mile (UK): Length of 6 080 ft or 1.85 km.
NCD: See Cargo door, nose.
Ninth Freedom or Stand Alone Cabotage: See Freedoms.
Noise abatement climb: Means of flying an aircraft from an airport so as to climb rapidly until a built-up area is reached and thereafter reducing power to maintain climb until the area is overflown or 5 000 ft is reached.
Noise footprint: The contour beneath an aircraft of constant noise level measured in decibels.
Noise restrictions: Laws concerning permitted noise levels at airports aimed at preventing disturbance to local residents, most widely felt by aircraft operators who must reduce noise levels from aircraft and airports which are restricting the type of aircraft able to land. Some airports are actively marketing the lack of noise restrictions as a user benefit. See also Chapter III.
North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA): Association of USA, Canada and Mexico to promote a free trade area between the three countries similar to the EU.
Nose cargo door: See Cargo door.
NOTAM: Notice containing information essential to airport personnel connected with flight operations.
OEW: Operating Empty Weight.
Out-of-gauge: Description of cargo exceeding standard dimensions.
Out-station: See Station.
Pallet: See Aircraft pallet.
Payload: Disposable load generating revenue. Also known as cargo payload.
PF: Package Freighter.
Pint (UK): Liquid volume equal to 20 fluid ounces or 0.568 litres.
Pint (US): Liquid volume equal to 16 fluid ounces or 0.359 litres.
Port: On left hand side of an aircraft looking towards the front.
Pound: Weight equal to 16 ounces or 0.453 kg.
QC: Designation used to indicate the ability of an aircraft to be changed quickly from passenger to cargo use and vice versa.
QT: Quiet Trader.
Ramp: Area where servicing and boarding of aircraft is possible.
Ramp equipment operations: Operations responsible for providing ground support equipment to aircraft, such as supply of drinking water and cleaning services.
Ramp weight: Maximum weight of aircraft at start of flight (MTOW plus taxi and run-up fuel).
Range: Distance an aircraft can fly or is permitted to fly with a specified load and (usually) after making allowances for specified manoeuvres such as diversions, stand-off, go-around etc.
Range, ferry: Range an aircraft can fly empty between one point and another.
Range, load: Range an aircraft can fly while carrying payload.
Rear cargo door: See Cargo door, rear.
Revenue Tonne Kms (RTK): See Load factor.
Revenue Tonne Miles (RTM): See Load factor.
RFS: See Road feeder service.
Road feeder service (RFS): A service offered by a scheduled cargo operator to move its carried goods to and from the aircraft and/or terminal by road service. Allows a carrier to offer services to a city to which it does not fly aircraft. Some such services are allocated an airline flight number.
RTK: Revenue tonne-kms. See also Load factor.
RTM: Revenue ton-miles. See also Load factor.
SCD: See Cargo door, side
Scheduled freight carrier: A common-carrier freight service regulated by a published timetable and operating to a network of stations.
Scheduled freight service: A service of regular common-carrier flights.
Scissor lift: Platform for loading cargo, containers, etc by means of cross arms jointed in the middle to take the appearance of scissors.
Second Freedom: See Freedoms.
Security: Combination of measures and human and material resources intended to safeguard civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference.
Self-handling: When an airline handles ground tasks, such as loading, in-house.
Serious injury (ICAO): Sustained by a person at an airport in an accident which: requires hospitalisation for more than 48 hours within seven days of injury; results in fractures of any bone, except simple fracture; involves lacerations; involves injury to internal organs; involves second or third degree burns; involves exposure to infectious substances or injurious radiation.
Seventh Freedom: See Freedoms.
Shipment: One item or consignment delivered to a customer.
Shipper: A person, company or entity that is shown in all the shipping documents (bill of lading, commercial invoice, packing list) as the party responsible for procuring and/or placing the order for shipment and maybe also for arranging the freight payment etc. Large manufacturers will act as their own shipper whereas small companies may show a freight forwarder's name as the shipper on the documents.
Short Take Off and Landing: See STOL.
SI: [Units] Systeme International, also known as metric.
Sixth Freedom: See Freedoms.
Small aircraft (UK): Aircraft between 17 000 kg and 40 000 kg.
Small aircraft (US): Aircraft tare-weight 12 500 lb or less, maximum certificated take-off weight.
Specific fuel consumption: Rate at which aviation fuel is consumed divided by power and thrust developed - this becomes a measure of engine efficiency. It is also used as a basis for the hiring charge of an aircraft.
Split charter: See Charter, split.
Stand Alone Cabotage: See Freedoms.
Starboard: On right hand side of an aircraft looking towards the front.
Station: An airport in an airline's network other than main network airport. Can also be known as an out-station.
Statute mile: Length of 5 280 ft or 0.57 nautical mile or 0.621 km See also Nautical mile.
STOL: Short take off and landing characteristic aircraft requiring shorter than normal runway lengths.
Supplemental capacity: Capacity hired by an airline from a supplemental carrier or other aviation source.
Supplemental carrier: An air carrier offering cargo capacity which a scheduled carrier can hire to supplement its own capacity during peak periods.
TBO: Time Between Overhauls.
TCAS: Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System.
Terminal: A building on an airport which links airside and landside, through which cargo being flown or received is stored, consolidations built up or broken down and/or cargo is transhipped
Third Freedom: See Freedoms.
Third Party Liabilities: See Insurance.
Tie-down diagram: Diagram showing the planned method of securing particular types and items of cargo in flight.
Tie-down point: Mechanism designed to secure pallets or containers in flight.
Time slot: A period of time allocated to an aircraft to take off.
TOGW: Take Off Gross Weight.
Ton (UK): Mass equal to 2 240 lb or 1 016 kg/1.016 tonnes. Commonly known as a long or gross ton.
Ton (US): Mass equal to 2,000 lb or 907.20 kg/0.907 tonnes. Commonly known as a short ton.
Ton-mile: One ton transported one mile.
Tonne: SI mass equal to 1 000 kg or 2 280 lb.
Tonne-kilometre: One tonne of cargo transported one kilometre.
Touch and go: An operation by an aircraft that lands and departs on a runway without stopping or exiting the runway.
Touchdown: The point at which an aircraft first makes contact with the landing surface.
Touchdown (ICAO): The point at which the nominal glidepath intercepts the runway.
Tow tractor: See Aircraft tow tractor.
Transit zone: Area where cargo arriving from a first country remains airside at an airport prior to an international flight to a third country. Such an area is not subject to Customs.
Transporter: A self-propelled vehicle equipped with a powered roller platform for hauling ULDs between the cargo terminal and the loader at the aircraft and vice versa.
Truck-mounted stairs: Stairs mounted on a truck capable of being moved to an aircraft's side to facilitate crew and passenger boarding or disembarking.
True Domestic: See Freedoms.
Turnaround: Time between the moment aircraft engines are stopped at the terminal or ramp, the ground support operations are completed, the next load of cargo is stowed and the engines are started for next flight. Not to be confused with downtime.
ULD: See Aircraft unit load device.
UN: United Nations.
UN number: Four-digit number assigned to dangerous substances by the UN. Assists safe handling of such items. See also Dangerous goods.
Unit load: A number of items of cargo in a single box or container or loaded on a pallet.
Unit load device: See Aircraft unit load device.
Useable fuel: Total mass of fuel consumable in flight; usually some 95% - 98% of total capacity.
Useful load: Payload plus useable fuel.
Utility tug: A vehicle used for towing baggage carts or trailers between cargo terminals and the aircraft.
War Risk Insurance: See Insurance.
Wet Lease: See Lease, wet.
Zero Fuel Weight: See Aircraft weights.