To those outside of aviation, pilots seem to have their own language, filled with acronyms, jargon, and incomprehensible terms. The more time you spend in the aviation industry, the more accustomed you become to this terminology. Do you recognize these aviation acronyms, and can you pass this quiz from memory?
Questions – Aviation Acronyms
- 1) UTC
- a. Coordinated Universal Time
- b. Upper Tail Cowling
- c. Unmanned Traffic Control
- d. Universal Temperature Conversion
- 2) TRACON (pronounced “tray-con”)
- a. Trans-continental
- b. Terminal Radar Approach Control
- c. Transfer of Control
- d. Tracking of Navigation
- 3) EGPWS (pronounced “e-jip-wiz)
- a. Exhaust Gas Pressure Warning System
- b. Environmental Gas Pollution and Water Sterilization
- c. Endurance Glide Path Window Speed
- d. Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System
- 4) RAIM (pronounced “raim”)
- a. Rain and Ice Mitigation
- b. Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring
- c. Relay Aircraft Interception Maneuver
- d. Risk Avoidance Integration Management
- 5) EDCT (pronounced “e-dict”)
- a. Emergency Ditching Contact Transmission
- b. Exhaust Distribution Combustibility Threshold
- c. Expect Departure Clearance Time
- d. Estimated Differential Coefficient of Thrust
All right. Put your pencils down, and let’s take a look at how you did.
Answers – Aviation Acronyms
Question 1: “Coordinated Universal Time”
UTC is the standard time used in aviation. Everything from ATC clearances to weather reports are reported in Coordinated Universal Time. This standardization is vital to eliminating the need to convert between time zones or daylight savings time. But wait, why isn’t it abbreviated “CUT”, you may ask. Well, in keeping with the standard abbreviations of other versions of universal time, such as UT1 & UT2, etc., the international community decided to keep the “UT” format.
Question 2: “Terminal Radar Approach Control”
TRACONs are ATC facilities that control airspace in and out of airports. TRACONs control areas at lower altitudes and in smaller areas than “Center” controllers, officially known as Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs), which handle vast sections of en-route airspace. “Boston Center” is an example of an ARTCC, while “Boston Approach” is an example of a TRACON.
Question 3: “Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System”
Have you ever heard that automated voice inside a commercial aircraft cockpit that yells things like “terrain, terrain — pull up?” Well, that voice is part of the plane’s EGPWS. In the 1960s, a series of aircraft accidents prompted the development of automated systems that would help warn pilots of impending collisions with terrain. These systems have made a large impact on commercial aircraft safety.
Question 4: “Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring”
RAIM is a system used to check the integrity of signals received from satellites by your GPS navigation system. This becomes especially important when conducting GPS approaches where accuracy is critical.
Question 5: “Expect Departure Clearance Time”
An EDCT, also simply called a “wheels up time”, is a delay given by Air Traffic Control that is meant to regulate when a particular flight can depart. EDCTs are often part of an ATC Ground Delay Program (GDP) and can be issued due to hazardous weather, airspace congestion, or other factors impacting air traffic management.