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AC. Air Carrier.
APO. FAA Policy Office.
ARTCC. Air Route Traffic Control Center.
ASPM. Aviation System Performance Metrics System.
ASQP. Airline Service Quality Performance.
AT. Air Taxi.
ATADS. Air Traffic Activity Data Center.
ATCT. Airport Traffic Control Tower.
Centers. See Definitions: Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC).
CERAP. Central Radar Approach. A facility combining the functions of an ARTCC and a TRACON.
CY. Calendar Year.
Departures. See Definitions: IFR Departures.
Domestic. See Definitions: Domestic.
FAA. Federal Aviation Administration.
FTC. Federal Contract Tower.
FY. Fiscal Year.
GA. General Aviation.
IFR. Instrument Flight Rules.
Itinerant. See Definitions: Airport Operations.
Local. See Definitions: Airport Operations.
NAS. National Airspace System.
Oceanics. See Definitions: Oceanics.
Overflight. See Definitions: Overflight Operations.
Overs. See Definitions: IFR Overs.
RAPCON. Radar Approach Control.
Serv-Area. Service Area.
Total Handled. See Definitions: IFR Aircraft Handled.
Towers. See Definitions: Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT).
TRACON. Terminal Radar Approach Control.
VFR. Visual Flight Rules.
Air Carrier (AC). An aircraft with seating capacity of more than 60 seats or a maximum payload capacity of more than 18,000 pounds carrying passengers or cargo for hire or compensation. This includes US and foreign flagged carriers.
Aircraft Handled. See IFR Aircraft Handled.
Airport. An area on land or water that is used or intended to be used for the landing and takeoff of aircraft and includes its buildings and facilities, if any.
Airport Operations. The number of arrivals and departures from the airport at which the airport traffic control tower is located. There are two types of operations: local and itinerant.
- 1. Local operations are those operations performed by aircraft that remain in the local traffic pattern, execute simulated instrument approaches or low passes at the airport, and the operations to or from the airport and a designated practice area within a 20−mile radius of the tower.
- 2. Itinerant operations are operations performed by an aircraft, either IFR, SVFR, or VFR, that lands at an airport, arriving from outside the airport area, or departs an airport and leaves the airport area.
Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT). A terminal facility which, through the use of air/ground communications, visual signaling, and other devices, provides air traffic control services to airborne aircraft operating in the vicinity of an airport and to aircraft operating on the movement area.
Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). A facility established to provide air traffic control service to aircraft operating on an IFR flight plan within controlled airspace and principally during the en route phase of flight. When equipment capabilities and controller workload permit, certain advisory/assistance service may be provided to VFR aircraft.
Air Taxi (AT). An aircraft designed to have a maximum seating capacity of 60 seats or less or a maximum payload capacity of 18,000 pounds or less carrying passengers or cargo for hire or compensation.
Air Traffic. An aircraft operating in the air or on airport surfaces, exclusive of loading ramps and parking areas. Air Traffic Operations. All aircraft operations, excluding ground movement of aircraft vehicles and personnel.
Calendar Year. Time period beginning on January 1 of a given year and ending on December 31 of the same year.
Center Radar Approach Control (CERAP). An air traffic facility which combines the functions of an ARTCC with a TRACON facility.
Class of Airspace. (Terminal use only) Airspace of defined dimensions within which air traffic control service is provided to aircraft operations in accordance with the airspace classification. Class B, Class C and TRSA are used for classification.
Combined Control Facility (CCF). An air traffic control facility which provides approach control services for one or more airports as well as en route air traffic control (center control) for a large area of airspace. Some may provide tower services along with approach control and en route services.
Combination Non-Radar Approach Control and Tower Without Radar. An air traffic control terminal which provides air traffic control services for the airport at which the tower is located and, without the use of radar, approach and departure control services to aircraft operation under IFR to and from one or more adjacent airports.
Combination Radar Approach Control and Tower With Radar. An air traffic control terminal which provides radar control to aircraft arriving or departing the primary airport and adjacent airports, and to aircraft transiting the terminal's airspace. This terminal is divided into two functional areas: radar approach control positions and tower positions. These two areas are located within the same facility, or in close proximity to one another, and controllers rotate between both areas.
Combined TRACON Facility. An air traffic control terminal that provides radar approach control services for two or more large hub airports, as well as other satellite airports, where no single airport accounts for more than 60% of the total Combined TRACON facility’s air traffic count. This terminal requires such a large number of radar control positions that it precludes the rotation of controllers through all positions of operation.
Domestic. Enroute IFR departures or overs which occur over land.
FAA facilities. Towers, TRACONS, and en route facilities staffed by FAA air traffic controllers.
Federal Contract Towers (FCT). Low-activity VFR ATCTs providing air traffic control services for a municipality or subdivision thereof while under contract to the FAA. The municipality has the option of using its own employees or subcontracting for these services.
Fiscal Year. Time period beginning on October 1 of previous calendar year and ending on September 30 of the current calendar year.
General Aviation (GA). Takeoffs and landings of all civil aircraft, except those classified as air carriers or air taxis.
IFR Aircraft Handled. The number of ARTCC enroute IFR departures multiplied by two, plus the number of en route IFR overs. This formula assumes that the number of departures (acceptances, extensions, and organizations of IFR flight plans) is equal to the number of arrivals (IFR flight plans closed).
IFR Departures. An enroute IFR flight which originates in an ARTCC’s area and enters that center’s airspace.
IFR Overs. An enroute IFR flight that originates outside the ARTCC’s area and passes through the area without landing.
Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). Rules governing the procedures for conducting instrument flight.
Itinerant. See Airport Operations.
Limited Radar Tower. An air traffic control tower (ATCT) that uses radar and non-radar capabilities to provide approach control services to aircraft arriving, departing, or transiting airspace controlled by the facility and to aircraft operating in the vicinity of one or more civil and/or military airports in the terminal area.
Local. See Airport Operations.
Military. All classes of military takeoffs and landings at FAA and FTC facilities.
Non-FAA Facilities. Non-federal low-activity VFR ATCT providing air traffic control services for a municipality or subdivision thereof which is not under contract to the FAA. The municipality has the option of using it own employees or subcontracting these services.
Oceanics. Enroute IFR departures or overs which occur over the ocean.
Overflight Operations. Operation performed by aircraft, IFR, SVFR, or VFR, that transit the facility's area and did not originate or do not terminate within the designated airspace.
Overflights. A terminal IFR flight that originates outside the TRACON’s/RAPCON’s/Radar ATCT’s area and passes through the area without landing. For en route (ARTCC) overflights, see IFR OVERS.
Overs. See IFR Overs.
Primary Airport. The airport with the most volume in the TRACON's airspace.
Proximity Airports. To be counted as a proximity airport, an airport must have at least 300,000 operations per year, and must have one or more additional airports within 10 miles (center of airport to center of airport) that also have 300,000 operations or more.
Radar Tower. Single facilities that combine an approach control with an ATCT providing both radar and non-radar air traffic control services.
Secondary airport. An airport not considered the primary airport for an air traffic control facility for which air traffic services are provided by that ATC facility.
Service Area. The FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) combined the FAA’s Research and Acquisitions, Air Traffic Services and Free Flight offices into one performance-based organization. The employees of the organization are the service providers and ATADS collects data from two of the ten services, Terminal and Enroute. Each of these service areas are divided into three groups. They are as follow: Eastern, Central, and Western. ATADS identifies them as follow:
ET – Eastern Terminal, EE – Eastern Enroute, CT – Central Terminal, CE – Central Enroute, WT – Western Terminal, WE – Western Enroute.
- NOTE: For more information on service areas, please refer to the ATO Info link on Air Traffic Organization.
Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON). An FAA air traffic control facility using radar and air/ground communications to provide approach control services to aircraft arriving, departing, or transiting the airspace controlled by the facility. Service may be provided to both civil and military airports.
Touch-and-go. An operation by an aircraft that lands and departs on a runway without stopping or exiting the runway. Tower Without Radar. An air traffic control terminal which provides services via direct observation primarily to aircraft operating under VFR. These terminals are located at airports where the principal user category is low performance aircraft.
Tower With Radar. An air traffic control terminal which provides traffic advisories, spacing, sequencing, and separation services to VFR and IFR aircraft operating within the vicinity of the airport using a combination of radar and direct observation.
Visual Flight Rules (VFR). Rules that govern the procedures to conducting flight under visual conditions. The term is also used in the US to indicate weather conditions that are equal to or greater than minimum VFR requirements. In addition, it is used by pilots and controllers to indicate type of flight plan. VFR access varies according to the airspace classification.