Common Aviation Terms

During your time at the Airport, you may hear some aviation words or terms that you are not very familiar with. Listed below are definitions to words you may hear at the Airport.

Air Traffic Controller - This person works in the control tower and talks to pilots by radio. An Air Traffic Controller tells the pilots when and where they can land their planes at the airport.

Baggage Cart - This is the cart that carries your luggage to and from
the planes while they are on the ground.

Belly - This is the area located in the bottom of the plane where your luggage is stored.


Cargo - Any type of goods that a plane is carrying, including suitcases, golf bags and boxes.

Cockpit - Area located at the front of the plane where the Pilot and Co-Pilot sit. All of the instruments and controls needed to fly the plane and talk to the control tower are also located in this area.

Controls - Dials, knobs and switches that the Pilot and Co-Pilot use to fly the plane. They can use controls for raising and lowering the landing gear, and to takeoff and land the plane.

Control Tower - This is the building where Air Traffic Controllers work. From here, the Air Traffic Controller talks to pilots who are on the ground and those who are in the air.

Conveyor Belt - A machine with a moving surface that is used by Airport personnel to move luggage from one place to another.

Co-Pilot - Person who sits in the cockpit with the Pilot. The Co-Pilot is also known as the first officer and monitors the plane's controls and gauges while the Pilot flies the plane.

Flight Attendant - This person helps you find your seat on the plane, reviews safety information prior to takeoff, and serves you snacks and beverages while the plane is in the air.

Flight Monitors - These television screens are located all around the Airport. They display all your flight information, including the flight number, arrival or departure time, the gate where the flight will be arriving or departing from, and whether it is on time or delayed.

Gates - This is where you wait for your plane. Gates usually have seats that you can sit in and televisions that show information about the Airport and current news. Gates are also the areas where you leave the airport building to board your plane. You can either walk through a jetway/loading bridge or walk outside to get to your plane.

Jetway/Loading Bridges - The hallway that connects the gate entrance to the door of the plane. Passengers use this hallway to board and exit planes.

Pilot - Person who sits in the cockpit with the Co-Pilot and flies the plane.

Runway - A strip of level ground, usually concrete, that airplanes take off and land on.

Security Checkpoints - These are used to protect the flight crew and passengers from possible dangers when flying in the plane. These checkpoints prevent people from carrying weapons and dangerous materials onto the plane.

Skycap - Person who stands in front of the terminal building and provides curbside check-in for flights.

Taxiway - A strip of land that pilots drive their planes on before takeoff and afterlanding. Pilots use taxiways to drive back and forth between the gate area and the runway.

Ticket Agent - Person who works at the ticketing counter who checks your bags onto the plane, gives you a seat assignment, and shows you where your gate is located. A Ticket Agent also sells tickets to passengers who have not yet purchased them or have lost them.

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