The aviation industry is filled with abbreviations and specific terms. To help our visitors, we've the aviation dictionary below that gives definitions of these terms and abbreviations.

Aviation Abbreviations and Definitions

The colloquial use for naming the Airbus A320 aircraft.
Ab Initio
Pilot flight training from zero experience up to the minimum level acceptable for airline employment.
Asia Pacific Airlines Training Symposium. An annual conference attended by most manufacturers and suppliers of equipment and expertise used in flight training.
Air Traffic Control. A service provided by ground-based air traffic controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and through controlled airspace. The primary purpose of ATC worldwide is to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of air traffic, and provide information and other support for pilots.
Airline Transport Pilots Licence. The highest category of pilot licence. Entitles the holder to be in command of a large jet transport aircraft engaged in public transport. Also see frozen ATPL.
Civil Aviation Training, a magazine produced by Halldale six times each year in which products and services are reviewed, advertised and updated.
Collimated Visual
A visual system used in advanced simulators and training devices which eliminates parallax and other errors thus allowing the visual display to be viewed in the natural sense from all crew stations within the training device.
Commercial Pilot License. A qualification that permits the holder to pilot an aircraft as paid work. As opposed to a PPL (Private Pilot License).
European Aviation Safety Agency. A European Union regulatory organisation responsible for setting standards that govern EU aviation safety. EASA took over the duties of the JAA (Joint Aviation Authority) in 2008. For more information, see the EASA website.
European Pilot Selection and Training. A EASA approved company providing Ab Initio pilot training, and selection tests used by airlines and training organizations to identify applicants who are suitable for pilot training.
Federal Aviation Administration. United States government certification agency responsible for the creation and governance of regulation and safety in Aviation. FAA website
Fixed Base Simulator. A flight simulator for aviation pilot training without a motion platform. Motion cueing is provided by the out of window visuals. See also FTD - Flight training device
Full Flight Simulator. A training device providing a flight deck which replicates a specific aircraft type and is mounted on a motion platform with up to six degrees of freedom (roll, yaw, pitch, left/right, up/down, back/forward).
Flight Management System. The equipment on board an Aircraft which collectively controls the parameters of flight such as Navigation, Autopilot, Autothrust, Engine Operation and Flight Plan Execution. Typically the FMS is arranged to perform these functions so that efficiency is optimised. The FMS is transparent to the pilot and may be updated and modified as required.
Flight Navigation and Procedures Trainer. A device which provides an environment representative of a generic aircraft (although it may be type specific). It may be type I or II and may be used, depending upon other attributes, for a variety of training tasks. It has no motion platform and is therefore 'fixed base'.
frozen ATPL
A licence which is issued after the relevant exams have been passed, but only activated until the holder has achieved a given flight experience, typically measured in flight hours. Once that experience has been reached, the licence is 'unfrozen' automatically and the holder is entitled to exercise the privileges of their ATPL (Airline Transport Pilots License).
Flight Simulation Training Device. A colloquial usage and refers to any device, generic or type specific used in flight training. It might be fixed-base or with motion.
Flight Training Device. A fixed-base flight simulator providing a generic or type specific environment and having flight and visual systems enabling type specific training but not tasks requiring motion simulation. May be used to offload FFS (Full Flight Simulator) training when approved. FTD can sometimes have a more colloquial usage and mean any device used for flight training. EASA recognises 2 levels of certification for fixed base simulators FTD Level 1 and FTD level 2.
Flight Training Organisation. An operation providing pilot training. An FTO may incorporate a TRTO (Type Rating Training Organisation), which is that part of the training directed at a particular aircraft type.
International Civil Aviation Organisation. An organisation with headquarters in Montreal, Canada, created in 1944 in order to set standards in aviation which would be upheld by the signatory members from around the world. It's not a regulatory or a legal body, but the standards and procedures adopted by ICAO are routinely used as the basis for statutory requirements by aviation authorities of member states. More info on the ICAO website.
Instrument Flight Rules. A series of regulations used by Air Traffic Control (ATC) and aviation authorities which apply to any flight NOT using the Visual Flight Rules (VFR). IFR does not refer to weather conditions which do not allow visual flight. Typical IFR would include the need to be under ATC at all times, the need for a given level of crew qualification and aircraft equipment, and other rules relating to the type of airspace in which the aircraft flies. Typically IFR will apply to nearly all public transport flights, but there can be exceptions.
Instrument Rating. A pilot licence qualification allowing flight in an aircraft using only reference to flight instruments.
Joint Aviation Authority. European Union aviation regulatory body that has been replaced by the EASA in 2008. And important difference between JAA and EASA is that JAA regulations were not legally binding but voluntarily adopted by member states. EASA regulations are legally binding and have legal regulatory authority for all European Union member states. Non EU member states can voluntarily adopt EASA regulations.
Joint Aviation Requirements. Requirements arising from the JAA and EASA regulatory bodies.
Jet Orientation Course. A course for student pilots that introduces the operating principles of a modern jet aircraft. Emphasis is placed on crew coordination and the performance characteristics of jet aircraft. Typically the course is carried out in a simulator based on a jet type currently in service. The course may be adapted to a particular operator and include an introduction to the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) of that operator
Line Training
Colloquial for Line Oriented Flight Training. See LOFT.
Line Orientated Flight Training. Pilot training which examines scenarios or problems that might arise or have arisen during flight operations. Used to help flight crews coordinate their activities and develop better understanding of flight systems during normal and abnormal operation.
Multi Crew Coordination. A phase of pilot flight training which addresses two-pilot operation in the environment of a complex aircraft type. This can be undertaken in a generic or type specific training device and will introduce techniques such as checklist usage, system preparation, operation and configuration in normal and abnormal operation. May be carried out in almost any type of FSTD (Flight Simulation Training Device).
Multi (Crew) Pilots Licence. A new flight crew licence which is being adopted by many countries. The emphasis of the training for MPL is simulator-based and expected to be more representative of the type of flying that a pilot may experience in airline employment.

Multi Pilot Simulations. Our associated company in the Netherlands which manufactures fixed base flight simulators. MPS manufacture the Airbus A320 FTD and Boeing 737 FTD; the A320 MPS FTD-1 and FTD-2; and the Boeing 737NG FTD: B737 FTD-1 and FTD-2. The MPS A320 / B737NG MPS FTD 2 have been approved up to EASA cert level FTD 2 and FAA cert level 5 / 6. The MPS A320 / B737NG MPS FTD 1 have been approved up to EASA cert level FTD 1 and FAA cert level 4 / 5. Aviation Focus in Hong Kong is responsible for the lease and sale of all MPS FTDs in Asia.
Naming convention Used by flight simulator manufacturer MPS in the Netherlands to denote the A320 and B737 fixed base flight simulators that comply with EASA certification level FTD 1 and FAA certification level 4 / 5.
Naming convention Used by flight simulator manufacturer MPS in the Netherlands to denote the A320 and B737 fixed base flight simulators that comply with EASA certification level FTD 2 and FAA certification level 5 / 6.
Refers to the latest Airbus A320 (New Engine Option) which has entered service in 2016.
Private Pilot License. A qualification that permits the holder to act as the pilot of a private aircraft.
Qualification Test Guide. A series of requirements drawn up by an aviation authority or other body, which determines features, required of a Training Device in order to qualify it for use in a given phase of flight training. The guide covers items such as Cockpit Environment, Visual Displays, flight characteristics (control and engine response for example) and degrees of movement (FFS only). A device conforming to a given QTG will normally be issued with a certificate by the authority concerned.

Standard Operating Procedure. Standardised steps that flight crew carry out to effectively and safely perform tasks.
Standard. When referring to the MPS FTD, the prefix STD denotes the standard or basic version without collimated visual and fewer failure sets. This device is intended primarily for MCC training. It can be upgraded.
Type Rating Training Organization. A training organization that's approved by an Aviation Authority to conduct training leading to the issue of an aircraft rating.
Visual Flight Rules. A set of regulations under which a pilot operates an aircraft in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow the pilot to see where the aircraft is going.