Essential ArcGIS for Aviation vocabulary (Aviation)

Aeronautical Information System (AIS)

A data model based on AIXM 4.5 and 5.x that enables aeronautical information management, charting, and data exchange.

Aeronautical Information Exchange Model (AIXM)

A data model designed to enable the management and distribution of Aeronautical Information System data in digital format.

Air Traffic Services (ATS)

This is a generic term meaning all of the following:

Area Navigation (RNAV)

Allows a pilot to fly a selected course to a predetermined point, without the need to overfly ground-based navigation facilities, by using waypoints.

Distance Measuring Equipment (DME)

A pulse-type electronic navigation system that shows the pilot, by an instrument panel indication, the number of nautical miles between the aircraft and a ground station or waypoint.

Extract, Transform, Load (ETL)

ETL is often referred to as data transformation, which enables you to control the dataflow by mapping geometry and attributes in the source data to geometry and attributes in the destination. This process may include a change in coordinate system, spatial feature types, or the attribute schema.

Holding Pattern (HP)

A racetrack pattern, involving two turns and two legs, used to keep an aircraft within a prescribed airspace with respect to a geographic fix. A standard pattern uses right turns; nonstandard patterns use left turns.

Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP)

A series of predetermined maneuvers for the orderly transfer of an aircraft under IFR from the beginning of the initial approach to a landing or to a point from which a landing may be made visually.

Instrument Flight Rules (IFR)

Rules and regulations established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to govern flight under conditions in which flight by outside visual reference is not safe. IFR flight depends on flying by reference to instruments in the flight deck, and navigation is accomplished by reference to electronic signals.

Instrument Landing System (ILS)

An electronic system that provides both horizontal and vertical guidance to a specific runway, used to execute a precision instrument approach procedure.

Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA)

The lowest altitude (in feet MSL) to which descent is authorized on final approach or during circle-to-land maneuvering in execution of a nonprecision approach.

Military Operations Area (MOA)

Airspace established for the purpose of separating certain military training activities from IFR traffic.

Minimum Safe Altitude (MSA)

The minimum altitude depicted on approach charts that provides at least 1,000 feet of obstacle clearance for emergency use within a specified distance from the listed navigation facility.

Non-Directional Beacon (NDB)

A low or medium frequency radio beacon that transmits signals whereby the pilot of an aircraft equipped with direction finding equipment can determine bearing to or from the radio beacon and home in on or track to or from the station.

Standard Instrument Departure (SID) procedure

Published procedures to expedite clearance delivery and to facilitate transition between takeoff and en route operations.

Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR)

A preplanned IFR ATC arrival procedure published for pilot use in graphic and/or textual form.

Tactical Air Navigation beacon (TACAN)

An electronic navigation system used by military aircraft, providing both distance and direction information.

Visual Flight Rules (VFR)

Flight rules adopted by the FAA governing aircraft flight using visual references. VFR operations specify the amount of ceiling and the visibility the pilot must have to operate according to these rules. When the weather conditions are such that the pilot cannot operate according to VFR, Instrument Flight Rules must be used.

VHF Omni-Directional Range (VOR)

Electronic navigation equipment in which the flight deck instrument identifies the radial or line from the VOR station, measured in degrees clockwise from magnetic north, along which the aircraft is located.