Glossary of Terms
The actual (as opposed to straight line) distance flown by the aircraft
between two points, after deviations required by air traffic control and
navigation along republished routes. The difference between this and straight
line distance will vary throughout the country. Average figures would
be between 5-9%.
Airport Reservation Office. Staffed by the FAA, this entity allocates
landing and takeoff reservations for unscheduled aircraft in and out of
the following airports: JFK, LGA, EWR, DCA, ORD (see airport identifier
listings for codes). Since these allocations are scarce and granted 48
hours in advance on a "first-come first served" basis, travel to these
five airports may be difficult by charter.
A lower "contract rate" for scheduling significant amounts of charter
time in advance on a prearranged agreement.
The average speed over a specific distance "block-to block", or door-to-door
with respect to the airport gate.
FAA-issued license (in this context sometimes referred to as ticket, Part
135 license, etc.) to carry passengers for hire.
A regional, scheduled airline. In this book limited to that operator with
adequate fleet capacity as to be available of charter. Not all commuter
airlines charter, because of the limitations of aircraft and crew availability.
A company flight department which has earned a "Part 135" certificate
to carry passengers for compensation.
Cruise speed is the normal speed attained at altitude once the aircraft
is no longer climbing and is en route.
Originally a noun, now a verb meaning to fly the return leg of a trip
without cargo or passengers. Originally coined during the infancy of the
major airlines, the term was pejoratively applied to company employees
or spouses, who were strapped into otherwise empty seats to give the appearance
of high business volume.
That portion of the day when a crew member is on duty in any capacity
(not just in the air). This can be a constraint on long day-trips, as
there are FAA-imposed limits on the amount of time allowed on duty. Many
charter operators have stricter rules, so it pays to inquire before planning
a trip too tight to the limit.
Fixed base operator, which represents a large majority of the air charter
industry. By definition at a permanent location, this is a vendor of services,
maintenance, fuel, flight instruction, and aircraft sales, in addition
A commercial aviation entity developed to subcontract the maintenance
and operation of corporate aircraft, which are often chartered out to
the general public.
That portion of the trip actually spent in the air. For billing purposes
this definition is generally strict and only applies from moment of liftoff
to moment of touchdown.
General Aviation District Office of the FAA is the most local branch of
the FAA, also the entity most likely to know the specific history of a
That portion of aviation other than military or commercial scheduled operations.
Commercial unscheduled operations, corporate flight operations, and private
aviation are the most conspicuous members of this group. Most major metropolitan
airports ten to have a separate "general aviation" terminal, where a chartered
flight is likely to depart or arrive.
Great Circle Distance
The shortest distance between two points on a globe. All distances shown
in distance tables in the Air Charter Guide are "great circle distance".
"Instrument Flight Rules" (flight in clouds).
Instrument Landing System-low level approach equipment at certain airports.
Airports with ILS systems are indicated in bold face type in the airport
listings. Though instrument approaches and departures can be made in airports
without an ILS, its presence is a material benefit to the travel planner
because an instrument landing system improves trip reliability as closely
as possible to the level of scheduled airlines, which generally fly from
airports with these facilities.
A charter operator that does not meet the definition of FBO or commuter,
but may not be involved in contract management of aircraft. The larger
independent operators, however, are very close to the fleet manager in
A night spent in the middle of the trip in a city other than home base
for the aircraft and crew.
Medical evacuation (usually emergency) seen in this book as a service
of many helicopter companies.
Ferrying aircraft for departure from other than originating airport. (Also
A propeller driven airplane, in which the engine is a jet turbine rather
than piston driven.
The apron or open "tarmac" in front of an FBO or terminal facility. This
space is busy, used for deplanement, parking of aircraft, etc. Some facilities
will permit automobiles to drive to the aircraft on the ramp, a feature
of real benefit to the traveler with heavy or bulky luggage.
Distance of itinerary non-stop leg.
That portion of the trip spent rolling between the gate, terminal, or
ramp and runway.
"Visual Flight Rules" (flight out of clouds).
That time that the chartered aircraft and crew must wait on the ground
during any portion of the trip.
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a 4-letter airport location
indicator. The field above is left blank if no ICAO location indicator
is available for the selected airport.
International Air Transport Association (IATA), a 3-letter identifier
for the relevant airport. The field above is left blank if no IATA code
is available for the selected airport.