The many terms, abbreviations and aviation specific language you hear can be hard to understand. There are a lot of acronyms. To help make sense of what they all mean we’ve developed this glossary.


CAA Civil Aviation Authority The CAA's role is to manage safety and security risks in New Zealand civil aviation through the implementation of efficient oversight, regulatory, and promotional action 
Controlled Airspace  Airspace of defined dimensions within which ATC services are provided In place to provide a safe area for aircraft operations around an aerodrome for landing and take-off and for aircraft enroute between two aerodromes
Drone An alternative term for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)  
Flight Information Service A service provided for the purpose of giving information useful for the safe and efficient conduct of flights  
GA General Aviation  Civil aviation operations other than scheduled and non-scheduled air transport operations for remuneration or hire. General aviation flights range from gliders and powered parachutes to corporate jet flights
ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations. It sets international standards and recommended practices for the contracting States (one of which NZ is) for the safety and security of the aviation system.
LOS Line of Sight  
MBZ  Mandatory Broadcast Zone Designated zones in uncontrolled airspace in which an aircraft operator must make a number of broadcasts on the radio frequency assigned to the MBZ to report position and intention. These areas are designated due to high traffic density or special circumstances. Details relating to these zones can be found in CAA regulations Part 91 General Operating and Flight Rules. Location of MBZs can be found in this document
NOTAM Notice to Airman A notice filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight. A notice containing information concerning the establishment, condition or change in any aeronautical facility, service, procedure or hazard, the timely knowledge of which is essential to personnel concerned with flight operations. NOTAMS are distributed by way of telecommunications. To file a NOTAM please go to:
PIC  Pilot in Command In relation to any aircraft, means the pilot responsible for the operation and safety of the aircraft (Rule Part 1)
PPL  Private Pilot’s Licence  
Rules The Minister of Transport approves 'Civil Aviation Rules' that are administered by CAA and detail requirements relating to: Rules of the Air, General Operating Rules, Certification for Airways Services, organisations and operators, Aerodromes, Airspace, Personnel and Procedures 
The Civil Aviation Rules are split into 'Parts' covering specific areas. Part 101 of the Civil Aviation Rules prescribes the rules relating to Gyrogliders and Parasails; Unmanned Aircraft (including Balloons), Kites, and Rockets. Part 102 prescribes the rules relating to Unmanned Aircraft Operator Certification.   
Restricted Airspace An area of airspace in which the CAA has determined that air traffic must be restricted for safety or security concerns  
RPAS  Remotely Piloted Aircraft System RPAS has been adopted as the ICAO definition of unmanned aircraft technology
RSM Radio Spectrum Management RSM is responsible for efficiently and effectively managing the radio spectrum in New Zealand, including through allocating spectrum rights and enforcing compliance. 
SUA Special Use Airspace Airspace may be designated as an SUA in the interests of safety, securtiy or public interest. Examples include restricted airspace, military operating areas, mandatory broadcast zones and danger areas. 
Transponder  A device that emits an identifying signal in response to an interrogating received signal Aircraft carrying a transponder allows ATC to know the location of the aircraft and ensure a safe seperation between aircraft
UAS  Unmanned Aerial System Describes an unmanned aircraft vehicle and associated software
UAV  Unmanned Aerial Vehicle An aircraft without a human pilot aboard. Its flight is controlled either autonomously by onboard computers or by the remote control of a pilot on the ground or in another vehicle.  
UAVNZ UAV industry body in New Zealand comprising of commercial UAV operators, UAV manufacturers, Airways New Zealand, research and development organisations, and Callaghan Innovation UAVNZ aims to maximise the benefits from UAV technologies and develop a world-class UAV industry in New Zealand
Uncontrolled airspace Airspace where an Air Traffic Control (ATC) service is not deemed necessary or cannot be provided for practical reasons  
VNC  Visual Navigation Chart Intended for pre-flight planning and in-flight navigation