What are the Frequently Used Airport Terminology and Abbreviations?

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What are the Frequently Used Airport Terminology and Abbreviations?

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Airports can be confusing, especially for those unfamiliar with the jargon and terminology used by airport employees and passengers. To help all travelers for their next trip, here is a list of some of the most commonly used terms and abbreviations they will likely encounter at airports under different cases.

What Are Airport Terminology Terms?   


Understanding airport operations terminology and abbreviations can increase passengers' comfort level while preparing for their flights. Thus, the passenger experience becomes less stressful.  

ATC - Air Traffic Control:


ATC is responsible for safe and efficient aircraft movement in the airspace around airports.



It is the designated area where passengers board and disembark from an aircraft.

Departure Lounge:


It is the area where passengers wait before boarding starts.

Arrival Hall :


It is where passengers disembark from their flight and collect their baggage.

Airport Runway :


Airport runway terminology defines the strip of pavement on which aircraft take off and land.



It is the paved surface of an airport where planes are loaded and unloaded.



This term refers to anything that happens while a plane is in the air.

Layover :


It is the period of time between connecting flights.

Baggage Claim:


It is the airport area where passengers collect their luggage after a flight.



International Air Transport Association is a trade association of the world's airlines.



International Civil Aviation Organization is a United Nations agency responsible for the safety and security of international civil aviation.

PNR-Passenger Name Record:


It is a record in the airline reservation system that contains all information about a passenger's itinerary and contact details.

Airport Security


Airport security terminology has its own kind of definition. It refers to the measures and procedures put in place to ensure the safety and protection of passengers, personnel, and aircraft within an airport. The primary goal of airport security is to prevent unauthorized individuals from causing harm, hijacking, or engaging in any criminal or terrorist activities.


Common Terminology for Airport Technology


Airport technology has come a long way in recent years to elevate passenger experience and operational effectiveness. Technology providers such as TAV Technologies helps aviation stakeholders digitalize their workflows. New terminology has emerged in such a world where technology plays a crucial role. Understanding these tech-related terminologies and abbreviations enables passengers better understand how airports operate.

AODB - Airport Operational Database:


A system used to manage and organize airport operational data such as flight schedules, gate assignments, and baggage handling.

CUTE - Common Use Terminal Equipment:


Terminal equipment, such as check-in kiosks and baggage handling systems, can be used by multiple airlines in a single airport.

FIDS - Flight Information Display System:


It is a system that displays flight information such as departure and arrival times, gates, and status updates.

RFID - Radio Frequency Identification:


It is a technology used in baggage handling systems to track the location of bags throughout the airport.

WMS - Warehouse Management System


This system manages and tracks the airport's storage and movement of cargo and baggage.

AMHS - Automated Material Handling System:


This system automates the handling and movement of baggage and cargo within the airport.

BHS - Baggage Handling System:


It is a system used to automate the handling and movement of baggage within the airport.

A-CDM - Airport Collaborative Decision Making:


ACDM uses real-time data to optimize airport operations and improve efficiency.


When passengers familiarize themselves with the above-used airport terms and abbreviations, they can significantly enhance their understanding of the technology and processes taking place at airports. Knowing what they experience can also help them to feel more in control during their journey.