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Aviation Acronyms


More than 7,000 aviation acronyms are commonly used throughout the industry. We've compiled a list containing some of the more commonly used acronyns that can be found in aviation legislation, operational manuals, weather forecasts and warnings or on associated charts and maps:

A, B, C

AC Altocumulus
AD Aerodrome
AGL Above ground level
AMD Amend or amended
AMSL Above mean sea level
APR April
AS Altostratus
ASR Altimeter setting region
AUG August
AUTO Automated METAR (produced with CAA approval outside normal operational hours)
BASE Cloud base
BCFG Fog patches
BECMG Becoming
BKN Broken (5 to 7 oktas)
BL Blowing
BLW Below
BR Mist
BTN Between
C Degrees Celsius
CAT Clear Air Turbulence
CAVOK Ceiling and visibility OK
CB Cumulonimbus
CC Cirrocumulus
CI Cirrus
CIT Near or over large towns
CLD Cloud
COR Correction
COT At the coast
CS Cirrostratus
CU Cumulus

D, E, F

D Downward (tendency in RVR in Civil observations)
DEC December
DEG Degrees
DP Dew point temperature
DR Low drifting (followed by DU, SA or SN)
DS Duststorm
DU Dust (in suspension)
DUC Dense upper cloud
DZ Drizzle E East or easterly
EMBD Embedded
ENE East-north-east or east-north-easterly
ESE East-south-east or east-south-easterly
ETA Estimated time of arrival
ETD Estimated time of departure
FC Funnel cloud
FCST Forecast
FEB February
FEW Few (1 or 2 oktas)
FG Fog
FL Flight level
FM From (followed by time weather change is to begin)
FPM Feet per minute
FRQ Frequent
FT Feet
FU Smoke
FZ Freezing (followed by DZ, FG or RA)

G, H, I

G Gust
GEN Generally
GND Ground
GR Hail (5 mm or more in diameter)
GS Small hail or snow pellets
H High pressure centre
HPA Hectopascals (= Millibar)
HVY Heavy
HZ Haze
IC Ice crystals (diamond dust)
ICE Icing
INS Inches (on F2309)
INTSF Intensifying
IRVR Instrumented RVR
ISOL Isolated

J, K, L

JAN January
JTST Jet stream
JUL July
JUN June
KM Kilometres
KMH Kilometres per hour
KT Knots
L Low pressure centre
LAN Inland (or over land)
LCA Locally
LSQ Line squall
LV Light & variable (relating to wind)
LYR Layer(s), layered

M, N, O

M Less than 0°C (temperature)
M Less than the lowest reportable value (RVR)
M Metres
MAR March
MAX Maximum
MB Millibars
METAR Aviation routine weather report
MI Shallow (followed by FG)
MNM Minimum
MOD Moderate
MON Above or covering mountains
MPS Metres per second
MS Minus
MSL Mean sea level
MTW Mountain waves
N North or northerly
NAT North Atlantic
NCD No Cloud Detected (on AUTO METARs only)
NDV No Directional Variation (on AUTO METARsonly)
NE North-east or north-easterly
NIL None
NM Nautical miles
NNE North-north-east or north-north-easterly
NNW North-north-west or north-north-westerly
NOSIG No significant change expected
NOTAM Notice containing important aeronautical information to all personnel concerned with flight operations
NOV November
NS Nimbostratus
NSC No significant cloud
NSW No significant weather
NW North-west or north-westerly
OCNL Occasional, occasionally
OCT October
OVC Overcast (8 oktas)

P, Q, R

P Greater than the highest reportable value(RVR)
PL Ice pellets
PO Dust devils
PRFG Fog banks
PROB Probability
PS Plus
PSYS Pressure System(s)
QFE Atmospheric pressure at specified datum
QNE Aerodrome height expressed in pressurealtitude
QNH Altimeter sub-scale setting to obtain elevation when on the ground
RA Rain
RMK Remarks
RVR Runway visual range
RWY Runway

S, T, U

S South or southerly
SA Sand (in suspension)
SC Stratocumulus
SCT Scattered (3 or 4 oktas)
SE South-east or south-easterly
SEA At sea
SEP September
SEV Severe
SFC Surface
SG Snow grains
SH Shower (followed by RA, SN, PL, GR, GSor combinations thereof)
SIG Significant
SKC Sky clear
SN Snow (flakes)
SPECI Aviation special weather report
SQ Squall
SS Sandstorm
SSE South-south-east or south-south-easterly
SSW South-south-west or south-south-westerly
ST Stratus
STNR Stationary
SW South-west or south-westerly
T Temperature
TAF Terminal aerodrome forecast
TCU Towering cumulus
TEMPO Temporary, temporarily
TL Until
TOP Cloud top
TROP Tropopause
TS Thunderstorm (may also be followed byRA, SN, PL, GR, GS or combinations thereof)
TURB Turbulence
U Upward (tendency in RVR)
UP Unidentified Precipitation (on AUTO METARsonly)
UTC Co-ordinated Universal Time

V, W, Z

VA Volcanic ash
VAL In valleys
VC In vicinity of aerodrome (followed byFG, FC, SH, PO, BLDU, BLSA, BLSN)
VIS Visibility
VRB Variable
VSP Vertical speed
W West or westerly
WAFC World Area Forecast Centre
WDSPR Widespread
WNW West-north-west or west-north-westerly
WRNG Warning
WS Wind shear
WSPD Wind speed
WSW West-south-west or west-south-westerly
WX Weather
Z Co-ordinated Universal Time
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