English is the international aviation language. Through the years, aviators and controllers have
developed what is, at times, their own language. Several terms have been modified to fit the
aviation environment. Here is a list of common aviation terms you will use throughout your
Let me know that you have received and under
stood my message
EXAMPLE: "[Call sign], _____ APPROACH,
execute an immediate right turn heading 180, vector
for traffic, acknowledge."
Tell me what you plan to do.
EXAMPLE: "[Call sign], _____ TOWER, advise
intentions after touch-and-go."
An altitude or altitudes stated in the order flown
which are to be maintained until reaching a specific
point or time.
AT PILOT'S DISCRETION
ATC has offered the pilot the option of complying
with the instruction whenever he/she wishes.
EXAMPLE: "[Call sign], _____ CENTER, descend
at pilot's discretion and maintain one six thousand."
The fix, point, or location to which an aircraft is
cleared when issued an ATC clearance.
EXAMPLE: "[Call sign] is cleared to Navy
CLEARANCE ON REQUEST
Used by Clearance Delivery to inform the pilot that
his clearance is being processed by ATC.
EXAMPLE: "[Call sign], _____ CLEARANCE,
your clearance is on request."
CLEARED AS FILED
Means the aircraft is cleared to proceed in
accordance with the route of flight filed in the flight
plan. This clearance does not include the altitude,
SID, or SID transition.
(also CLEARED VIA FLIGHT PLAN EXAMPLE: "[Call sign] is cleared to Navy
Pensacola as filed (flight plan route). . ."