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Appendix B: ACRONYMS The Language of Airports Someone new to the business of airports can quickly get frustrated with the sea of acronyms. It is common to hear or read something like: "FAA's ADO says the EA, FONSI, ACIP, and ALP need to be finished before they can approve PFC or AIP funds for the ILS, RPZ land, and RWY project." Below are some of the more common acronyms that are used. ACIP Airport Capital Improvement Plan. An airport owner's representation of the funding and prioritization of their multi-year (normally three to five years) program for planning and development at their airport. AIP - Airport Improvement Program. A program that provides financial grants-in-aid for airport development projects such as runways, taxiways, aircraft parking aprons, terminal buildings, and land acquisition associated with airport development including runway protection zones and approach protection. ALP - Airport Layout Plan. A plan (drawings) for an airport showing boundaries and proposed additions to all areas owned or controlled by the sponsor for airport purposes, the location and nature of existing and proposed airport facilities and structures, and the location on the airport of existing and proposed non-aviation areas and improvements thereon. AOA Airport Operations Area. Those areas inside the airport boundaries that directly support aircraft and airport operations, including both movement and non-movement areas. ARFF - Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting. A special category of firefighting that involves the response, hazard mitigation, evacuation, and possible rescue of passengers and crew of an aircraft involved in an airport ground emergency. ATCT Airport Traffic Control Tower or Air Traffic Control Tower. The facility used by personnel to control air traffic at the airport. DBE - Disadvantaged Business Enterprise. A federal program developed to ensure firms owned and controlled by minorities may take part in contracts supported with federal funds. DNL - Day-Night Noise Level. Sound level measured in relative intensity of sound, or decibels (dB), on the "A" weighted scale (dBA). This scale most closely approximates the response characteristics of the human ear to sound. The higher the number on the scale, the louder is the sound. DNL represents noise exposure events over a 24-hour period. To account for human sensitivity to noise between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., noise events occurring during these hours receive a "penalty" when the DNL is calculated. Each nighttime event is measured as if 10 daytime events occurred. EA - Environmental Assessment. An assessment of the environmental effects of a proposed action for which federal financial assistance is being requested or for which federal authorization is required. The EA serves as the basis for the FAA's environmental impact statement or finding of no significant impact. EIS - Environmental Impact Statement. A document prepared under the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The EIS represents a federal agency's evaluation of the effect of a proposed action on the environment. EMAS - Engineered Materials Arresting System. Materials of closely controlled strength and density placed at the end of a runway to stop or greatly slow an aircraft that overruns the runway. A commonly used material is a lightweight, crushable concrete. When an aircraft rolls into an EMAS arrestor bed, the tires of the aircraft sink into the lightweight concrete and the aircraft is decelerated by having to roll through the material. FAA - Federal Aviation Administration. The United States Department of Transportation's agency for aviation. In addition to regulating airports, aircraft manufacturing and parts certification, aircraft operation, and pilot certification ("licensing"), the FAA operates air traffic control, purchases and maintains navigation equipment, certifies airports, and aids airport development, among other activities. FBO - Fixed-Base Operator. A business operating at an airport that provides aircraft services to the general pubic, including but not limited to: sale of fuel and oil; aircraft sales, rental, maintenance, and repair; parking and tie-down or storage of aircraft; flight instruction; air taxi/charter operations; and specialty services, such as instrument and avionics maintenance, painting, overhaul, aerial application, aerial photography, aerial hoists, or pipeline patrol. FONSI - Finding of No Significant Impact. An administrative determination by the FAA that a proposed action by the airport sponsor will have no significant impact on the environment. 52
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FSDO - Flight Standards District Office. An FAA field office serving an assigned geographic area and staffed with flight standards personnel who serve the aviation industry and the general public on matters relating to the certification and operation of air carrier and general aviation aircraft. Activities include general surveillance of operational safety, certification of airmen and aircraft, accident prevention, investigation, and enforcement. GA - General Aviation. All civil aviation (excluding military) except that classified as air carrier or air taxi. The types of aircraft typically used in general aviation activities vary from multi-engine jet aircraft to single-engine piston aircraft. GPS - Global Positioning System. Satellite-based navigation system operated by the Department of Defense, providing extremely accurate position, time, and speed information to civilian and military users. Based on a "constellation" of 24 satellites, GPS will replace ground based navigation systems (e.g., VHF omnidirectional range, instrument landing system) as the primary worldwide air navigation system in the 21st century. IFR - Instrument Flight Rules. A set of regulations and procedures permitting qualified and current IFR pilots to penetrate clouds and low-visibility conditions. Aircraft must be equipped with radio and navigation instruments operating under air traffic control flight plans and clearances. Flights are monitored and traffic separated by air traffic control usually by radar. (See VFR.) ILS - Instrument Landing System. A precision instrument approach system utilizing radio transmitters at the runway ends that provide precise descent and course guidance to the runway, permitting aircraft to land during periods of low ceilings or poor visibility. NAS - National Airspace System. A complex collection of air navigation and air traffic control facilities, systems, equipment, and airports located throughout the United States. NAVAID - Navigation Aid. A device or process to help with navigation. NEPA - National Environmental Policy Act. One of the federal laws that outlines policies to protect our environment. It establishes policy, sets goals, and provides a means for carrying out policy. Further, the NEPA process makes sure that environmental information is available to public officials and citizens before decisions are made and actions are taken on development projects. NPIAS - National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. An FAA plan that identifies existing and proposed airports significant to national air transportation and thus eligible to receive Federal grants under the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). It also includes cost estimates for needed development of each airport. PAPI - Precision Approach Path Indicator. A lighting system that provides the pilot with a safe and accurate glide slope on final approach to the runway. PFC Passenger Facility Charge. Fees that commercial airports charge passengers to help fund FAA-approved projects. RPZ - Runway Protection Zone. A trapezoidal area at ground level at the end of a runway, intended to be kept free of obstructions and any uses that might cause a congregation of persons. RSA - Runway Safety Area. A cleared, drained, graded, and preferably turfed area symmetrically located about the runway which, under normal conditions, is capable of supporting snow removal, firefighting, and rescue equipment and of accommodating the occasional passage of aircraft without causing major damage to the aircraft. RWY - Runway. A defined rectangular area on a land airport prepared for the landing and takeoff run of aircraft along its length. Runways are normally numbered in relation to their magnetic direction, rounded off to the nearest 10 degrees, e.g., Runway 01, Runway 25. TSA Transportation Security Administration. The federal agency charged with protecting the nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce. VFR - Visual Flight Rules. A defined set of FAA regulations covering operation of aircraft primarily by visual reference to the horizon (for aircraft control) and see-and-avoid procedures (for traffic separation). VFR weather minimums for controlled airspace require at least a 1,000-foot ceiling and three miles visibility except for "special VFR" clearances to operate "clear of clouds." 53