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Glossary of Terms

This Glossary of Terms provides an authoritative reference for key terminology in the field of aviation software, including but not limited to Weight and Balance Systems, flight management, and other associated functionalities. The glossary is intended for periodic updates to incorporate evolving terms in the sector.

Key Aviation Terms

Airline Management Software – Comprehensive software for managing airline operations, including scheduling, crew management, and flight planning.

Airport Operations Systems – Integrated systems designed to streamline and optimize various aspects of airport management and operations.

Aviation Compliance Systems – Software solutions ensuring adherence to aviation industry regulations and standards.

Aviation IT Solutions – Specialized technology services and products tailored for the aviation industry’s unique IT needs.

Baggage Reconciliation System – A system that tracks and manages baggage handling to ensure accurate, timely, and secure delivery.

Contract and Billing System – Software for managing contracts and billing processes within aviation operations.

Departure Control System – A system used by airlines and airports to manage passenger check-in, boarding, and aircraft loading.

Dynamic Display System – Advanced digital signage solutions for real-time information display in aviation environments.

Flight Information Display System – Systems that provide real-time flight information to passengers at airports.

Ground Handling Solutions – Comprehensive services and software for efficient management of ground operations at airports.

Handling Database – A centralized database for managing and tracking all aspects of ground handling services.

Logistics Optimization System – Software designed to enhance the efficiency of logistics and supply chain operations in aviation.

Mass and Balance System – A system for calculating and ensuring the optimal distribution of load on an aircraft.

Message Distribution System (MDS) – A communication system for the efficient distribution of critical aviation messages and data.

Weight and Balance System (WBS) – Software to accurately calculate and manage aircraft weight and balance for safe and efficient flights.


ACARS – Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) is a digital datalink system for the transmission of short, relatively simple messages between aircraft and ground stations.

Aft Limit – The Aft Limit is the farthest rearward position at which the Center of Gravity (CG) of an aircraft can safely be located for flight.

AHM Data – AHM Data refers to the Airport Handling Manual data, which provides the latest industry-approved policies and standards covering all facets of safe and efficient airport operations.

AHM560 Data Standards – AHM560 Data Standards are specific guidelines within the IATA Airport Handling Manual related to messaging and data exchange in airport handling services.

Aircraft Weighing Procedure – The Aircraft Weighing Procedure is the systematic process of determining the exact weight of an aircraft using specialized equipment, essential for accurate weight and balance calculations.

AMC1.CAT.POL.MAB.105(b) – AMC1.CAT.POL.MAB.105(b) is a specific regulatory reference in European aviation legislation detailing operational procedures and policies.


Ballast – Ballast in aviation refers to weights added to an aircraft to maintain the desired balance and stability, especially when the aircraft is lightly loaded.


Center of Gravity (CG) – The Center of Gravity in aviation refers to the point where an aircraft’s total weight is evenly distributed, crucial for flight stability and control.

CG Limits – CG Limits define the forward and aft boundaries within which an aircraft’s Center of Gravity must be located for safe flight operations.

Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) – CUTE allows airline and ground handling agents to access their respective IT applications on shared workstations and equipment at airports.


Datum Line – The Datum Line in an aircraft is an imaginary vertical plane from which all horizontal distances are measured for aircraft balance purposes.


EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) – The European Union Aviation Safety Agency, is responsible for aviation safety regulation, certification, and oversight within the European Union.

EASA Regulations – EASA Regulations are standards and guidelines set by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, governing aviation safety and operations in Europe.

Empty Weight – Empty Weight is the total weight of the aircraft without passengers, cargo, or usable fuel, including the weight of the airframe, engines, and permanent equipment.

Entire Flight Cycle – The Entire Flight Cycle encompasses all phases of an aviation operation, from pre-flight planning and boarding to in-flight management and post-flight procedures.


FAA Certification – FAA Certification is an approval granted by the Federal Aviation Administration, indicating that an individual, an aircraft, or an aviation-related component complies with all regulatory standards and requirements.

Forward Limit – The Forward Limit is the foremost point that the Center of Gravity of an aircraft can safely be located, ensuring proper balance during flight.

Fuel Load – Fuel Load in aviation refers to the total weight of fuel carried by an aircraft, which includes fuel in all tanks and any additional reserves, essential for determining the aircraft’s overall weight and balance for flight planning.


Gross Weight – Gross Weight is the total weight of an aircraft, including its structure, fuel, passengers, cargo, and any other items on board at the time of weighing.

Ground Handlers – Ground Handlers are service providers at airports responsible for various tasks including baggage handling, aircraft towing, cabin cleaning, and aircraft deicing.


Handling of Dangerous Goods – Handling of Dangerous Goods involves specific procedures and regulations for safely managing hazardous materials during transportation, particularly in aviation.



IATA Regulations – IATA Regulations are international standards set by the International Air Transport Association, covering various aspects of civil aviation.

In-Flight Weight Distribution – In-Flight Weight Distribution involves the management of passengers, cargo, and fuel within an aircraft during a flight to maintain optimal balance and performance.


Landing Weight – Landing Weight is the total weight of an aircraft at the moment of landing, including the weight of the aircraft, passengers, cargo, and remaining fuel.

Lateral Balance – Lateral Balance in aviation refers to the distribution of weight along the aircraft’s wingspan to ensure stability and efficient aerodynamic performance.

Load Distribution – Load Distribution involves the strategic placement of passengers, cargo, and fuel within an aircraft to maintain optimal balance and ensure safe operations.

Load Factor – The Load Factor in aviation is a measure of the stress (force per unit area) an aircraft’s structure experiences relative to its weight due to aerodynamic forces, particularly during maneuvers.

Load Planning – Load Planning is the process of strategically distributing cargo and passengers in an aircraft to ensure proper balance and compliance with weight restrictions.

Load Sheet – A Load Sheet is a document used in aviation to record the distribution of load, total weight, and balance information for a specific flight.


Mass and Balance System – The Mass and Balance System is a methodological approach in aviation to ensure the aircraft’s mass (weight) and balance are within the specified limits for safe flight.

Maximum Allowable Weight – Maximum Allowable Weight, also known as Maximum Takeoff Weight, is the highest weight at which an aircraft is permitted to take off safely.

Maximum Landing Weight – Maximum Landing Weight is the maximum weight at which an aircraft is certified to land, ensuring safety and structural integrity.

Maximum Ramp Weight – Maximum Ramp Weight is the highest weight at which an aircraft can be operated on the airport surface, including all passengers, cargo, fuel, and other contents.

Maximum Takeoff Weight – Maximum Takeoff Weight is the maximum weight at which an aircraft is certified to take off, as determined by the manufacturer and regulatory bodies.

Maximum Zero Fuel Weight – Maximum Zero Fuel Weight is the maximum permissible weight of an aircraft with its payload, excluding any usable fuel on board.

Moment – In aviation, Moment is a measure of the force exerted by the weight of an object (like an aircraft) at a specific distance from a reference point or axis, affecting its rotation and balance.


Nose-Heavy – An aircraft is considered Nose-Heavy when excessive weight is located toward the front, affecting the balance and potentially making the control of the aircraft more difficult, especially during takeoff.


Operational Empty Weight (OEW) – Operational Empty Weight represents the total weight of an aircraft including its structure, engines, and all permanently installed equipment, but excludes the weight of passengers, cargo, and usable fuel.


Payload – Payload in aviation refers to the total weight of passengers, cargo, mail, and any other items transported by an aircraft, excluding the weight of the aircraft itself and its fuel.

Pilot-in-Command Responsibility – Pilot-in-Command Responsibility encompasses the authority and duty of the pilot to operate the aircraft safely and comply with all relevant regulations and procedures.

Preflight Weight Check – A Preflight Weight Check is an assessment conducted before flight to ensure the aircraft’s weight and balance are within safe operational limits.


Ramp Weight – Ramp Weight, also known as Taxi Weight, is the total weight of an aircraft at the time it is ready to move from the parking area to the runway, including fuel, passengers, and cargo.

Reference Datum – A Reference Datum in aviation is a specific point on an aircraft from which all horizontal distances are measured for balance and loading purposes.


Secure Private Network – A Secure Private Network is a dedicated communication network that provides enhanced security for data transmission, crucial in sensitive industries like aviation.

Specialized Loads – Specialized Loads in aviation refer to cargo that requires specific handling and transportation conditions due to its unique characteristics, such as size, shape, or hazard potential.


Tail-Heavy – An aircraft is considered Tail-Heavy when there is excessive weight towards the rear, which can compromise the aircraft’s stability and control, particularly during flight maneuvers.

Takeoff Weight – 

Total Aircraft Weight – Takeoff Weight is the weight of an aircraft at the moment of takeoff, including all cargo, passengers, and fuel necessary for the flight.

Type-B Messaging – Type-B in aviation typically refers to a standardized message format used for airline operational communication, particularly in areas like flight planning and coordination.


Useful Load – Useful Load in aviation refers to the difference between the aircraft’s maximum allowable takeoff weight and its empty weight, representing the total weight of passengers, cargo, and fuel that can be carried.


Web Application – A Web Application is a software program that runs on a web server and can be accessed through a web browser, offering functionality and data management over the internet.

Weight and Balance Calculation – Weight and Balance Calculation is the process of determining the correct loading of an aircraft to ensure its center of gravity is within the specified limits.

Weight and Balance Manual – The Weight and Balance Manual is a detailed document providing instructions and information for maintaining an aircraft’s weight and balance within safe operational limits.

Weight and Balance Report – A Weight and Balance Report is a document that records the weight and balance calculations and settings for a specific flight, ensuring the aircraft meets all necessary safety parameters.

Weight and Balance System – The Weight and Balance System in aviation is a set of procedures and tools used to ensure an aircraft’s weight distribution and center of gravity are within safe operational limits.

Weight Shift – Weight Shift in aviation refers to the redistribution of weight within an aircraft, affecting its center of gravity and overall stability during flight.


Zero Fuel Weight – Zero Fuel Weight is the total weight of an aircraft excluding its fuel, encompassing the weight of the airframe, passengers, crew, and cargo.


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