A Career in aviation ? Here's common aviation terms to know - By Ahmed Haouaria

25 Fév 2022

Airline  industry is distinguished by the usage of a specialized terminology by staffs working in the industry. Are you considering a career in aviation? Are you interested in becoming a flight attendant  or an airport agent? How can you do this if you don't know the aviation terms that are used all over the world and that will help you succeed in this field, such as those used for landing and take-off, the words and phrases exchanged between flight attendants, the pilot and the control tower, and specific terms to the plane's parts and components, as well as terms specific to the plane's devices?

If all you care about is traveling and flying, you may take advantage of the terminology you'll encounter at every airport throughout the world, regardless of your vacation destination or the language spoken in the country you're visiting.

The word ‘’Airline’’ is used to identify  a business. That operates regular services for carrying passengers and/or goods by aircraft. Thus,an Airline or Air Carrier is a company that provides aircraft transport services for remuneration or in under a rental agreement.

Let's have a look at some different sorts of aircraft and the vocabulary used in aviation, as well as their definitions. 

The following are some types of flying services provided by sepecilized companies:

Recreational aviation  

Recreational aviation means the use of an aircraft, other than to provide transportation to persons or property for compensation or hire, upon privately owned land.

recreational aviation is dedicated to aviation enthusiasts and adventurers, and it is represented by aircraft that engage in activities that are not economically or militarily feasible. One of the most common types of recreational flying is the use of gliders that operate without an engine and are pulled to a certain height by another aircraft or crane before being released. It is commonly done in mountainous settings because the commander tries to control it using the shifting air currents between the terrain.

Tourism Aviation

Is it possible to utilize the plane for tourism? The answer is obviously no, whereas tourist aviation requires the tourist obtaining a pilot's license, allowing him to fly light aircraft on tours and at low altitudes.

Specific flight services 

Services for flights include Small aircraft or helicopters are used in this type of aviation to perform a variety of tasks from the air, such as treating crops after equipping the aircraft with the necessary equipment, as well as transporting water, extinguishing fires, transporting rescuers and air ambulances in the event of a disaster, and pilots are trained for service areas on dedicated aircraft.

Commercial Aviation

It is used to transport various goods and individuals around the world via regular airlines, and small carriers can transport small numbers of passengers, unlike large airlines that own a fleet of large and modern aircraft equipped with the best capabilities and amenities to transport thousands of passengers and tons of various goods.

Military Aviation

The military paid attention to the importance of aviation in war operations, so they presented technical ideas for developing aircraft, and warplanes are classified according to the tasks they perform, such as combat aircraft, attack aircraft, transport aircraft, and refuelling aircraft.

Terminology used at airports

Many people rely on flying for their travel because of its ease and speed in moving from one region to another, and we find some aviation terms frequently used in travel and airports, including:

 Airport: It is the place where all aircraft, such as helicopters, or which transport passengers and goods, are located, and are usually located on the outskirts of cities.

Domestic airport: It means the terminal or airport designated for domestic flights in the same country.

International Airport: It means the terminal or airport designated for international flights.

Airport lounge: An airport in which the traveler completes his procedures upon travel or arrival, and there are a number of services available such as selling tickets, shipping luggage, checkpoints, and so on.

Baggage: are the bags that passengers bring on board the plane and are placed in small lockers above the seats to be easily accessible throughout the flight; One piece of small baggage is often brought on board. Large baggage is kept in a special part of the plane called the cabin of the plane due to its heavy or large size.

Registration for a flight: When you arrive at the airport, look at the big screen that shows the window numbers where different airlines check in passengers on flights. When you arrive at the appropriate counter, the responsible registration officer of the airline you are flying with will ask you for your passport and register you as a passenger on the flight. Check in Aircraft take-off time: refers to the time at which the aircraft is expected to take off. The flight crew prepare the aircraft on or near the runway as soon as possible.

Paid passenger: a person who pays a fee for the full ticket price and has full eligibility to reserve a seat on the flight.

Passenger with a free ticket: Like airline employees, they get free tickets and discount tickets for the duration of their work in the company.

Final Call to Boarding: One of the most popular aviation terms used to tell slow-moving passengers to speed up. It shows the urgency of boarding the plane.

Customs: It is the point of checking the baggage upon the traveler’s arrival at the destination airport and after receiving the bags. The arriving passengers will not be able to enter the country of arrival until after passing through the customs area.

Airport runway: It is one of the most important aviation terms; Where it is known as a large area of ​​land at the airport designated for the pilot to be able to take off from and land there. It has a limited length and is well lit at night so that night flights can land safely.

Some important terms related to the pilot

Acknowledged: The pilot says it and indicates the answer that he understood the message. This word is usually circulated between the pilot and the ATC, Air Trafic Contollers as a shortcut to long sentences.


A word uttered by the pilot or this first officer to the control tower controllers, which means the sudden stop to complete the task when the plane is on the runway for take-off, before the plane reaches the specified speed, this happens when any technical malfunction is noticed.

Air Traffic controller: the air controller who provides the pilot with information, instructions and final directions regarding final approach using a radar equipment.

Air dispatcher: or an air operations officer, is a person legally qualified and authorized to deport aircraft after studying, compiling and preparing all the technical information for the flight for the pilot before take-off, taking into account the following elements: planning accuracy, flight safety, and deportation law. There are many names for this profession as operations officer.

Appeal to all crew: This is one of the phrases used in the process of checking aircraft doors. It can also be intended for all flight attendants to communicate with each other through an intercom system, as a kind of conference call between cabin crew.

Flight level: The term flight level is one of the well-known aviation terms, and it is a method for determining the altitude of an aircraft above sea level in thousands of feet.

Turbulence: It is a colloquial term for tremor caused by air turbulence.

Specific terms to the outer and inner parts of the aircraft

The wing: It is one of the main parts of the aircraft, and the wing of the aircraft extends outward from each side of the aircraft. The lower surface of the wing is almost flat while the upper surface is curved. This streamlined shape helps generate the lift force that lifts the plane off the ground and keeps it in the air

Body: The fuselage extends from the front to the tail. The fuselage of most aircraft takes the tubular shape, covered with a light aluminum casing. In single-engine aircraft, the engine is usually installed in the front part of the body. But some jet aircraft install one or all of their engines in the back of the body. The body collects controls, crew, passengers and cargo inside. In small aircraft, the body contains a cockpit that can accommodate only the pilot and one passenger. The captain sits with the passengers in the plane, which can accommodate between two and six passengers.

Landing gear: It consists of the wheels over which the aircraft moves when it is moving on the ground. The landing gear bears the weight of the aircraft when it is moving.

Engine: The engine generates the power needed to fly the plane. Modern aircraft are powered by gas turbine engines that pass air through a series of stages where it is compressed, ignited, and expelled. This process creates a high-pressure exhaust that is used to drive rotating engine parts and produce thrust.

Aircraft require tremendous engine power to achieve liftoff and flight. A fully-loaded Airbus A380 – the largest passenger jet in operation – can weigh over 500 tons at takeoff, requiring four massive engines combining for 300,000 pounds of thrust.

The cockpit: The pilot’s seat is placed in the cockpit and specific equipment that enables him to pilot the plane and carry out his tasks, such as pedals. It also includes devices for communication, clarifying the flight route , devices for recording sounds, receiving radar signals, and other automated flight devices that enable the plane to fly in the air.

What do the huge numbers on the tarmac mean?

As mentioned before, the airport runway is a large area designated for the pilot to be able to take off and land on. With the increase in air transport movement and the development in the field of aviation, it became important to have a system to separate the runways from each other, and the main tool used in aircraft became the magnetic compass, and each airport had a clear designation based on the magnetic direction.

The runways are generally numbered based on the magnetic compass on a 1/10 basis based on the direction of the magnetic field. Since the compass is divided into 360 degrees, the steps get numbers from 1 to 36. The ones facing north (360 degrees) get the number 36. Since the steps are bi-directional, the south facing north (180 degrees) gets the number 18 According to its angle from the North Pole. Many of the aircraft's landing strips have parallel runways, so naming them requires that it be more specialized. We find that some letters are written next to numbers, such as the letter R, which means the right runway, and the letter L, which means the left runway, and some airports have three runways for aircraft, so we find that they use the letter C, which means the middle runway.

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