Select Committee on European Union Seventeenth Report

APPENDIX 4 Glossary of Terms


ABTA—Association of British Travel Agents.

ACAS—Airborne Avoidance Collision System.

ACL—Airport Co-ordination Limited.

Aeronautical authority—body responsible for drafting and implementation of an ASA and MOU. In the UK this is the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions for all issues except tariffs for which the CAA is the aeronautical authority.

Agreed Record—this is the same as an MOU.

AIP—Aeronautical Information Publication—a publication issued by, or with the authority of, a State and containing information of a lasting character essential to air navigation.

Air Service—for definition, see Article 96 of the Chicago Convention.

AIS—Aeronautical Information Service—run by the CAA, Issue NOTAMs (or Special Notices) to airlines on security, safety and navigational matters; based at Gatwick.

AMD—Aviation and Maritime Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office—liase between DOT and geographical sections of FCO.

ANO—Air Navigation Order 2000—secondary legislation covering the legal requirements under which UK-registered aircraft/airlines operate; providing that operating permits should be required for foreign airlines operating commercial services (scheduled and charter) to the UK and setting out the grounds on which permits may be refused and the penalties for infringements of the ANO.

AN(OT)O—Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order 1989.

ASA—Air Services Agreement—Treaty containing bilaterally-agreed legal framework upon which scheduled air services may operate.

ATOL—Air Travel Organisers Licence—granted by the CAA, these licences are a legal requirement for tour operators which sell most types of air travel/holiday packages in the UK. The procedure involved in obtaining such a licence which is mandatory for UK tour organisers, involves financial screening by the CAA so that money can be provided to bring passengers home from abroad and to refund those who have paid in advance in circumstances where, for example, airlines cease operations through bankruptcy.


Bermuda 1—original UK/US air services agreement signed in 1945; the original "liberal" non-restrictive type of ASA.

Bermuda 2—UK/US ASA negotiated in 1977 which superseded Bermuda 1 in order to redress the balance of air service advantage which at that time lay with the US by limiting the number of airlines which could be designated to operate on certain routes and the over-provision of capacity by some US carriers.

Blind Sector—a sector within an agreed route on which traffic may not be carried. For example, a service London-Hong Kong-Manila operating Hong Kong-Manila as a blinded sector means that traffic could not be carried between Hong Kong and Manila.


CAA—Civil Aviation Authority.

Cabotage—domestic services in one country operated by a carrier of another country.

Certificate of Airworthiness—see Article 31 of the Chicago Convention. Every aircraft should have a certificate issued by the State Registry, which is in effect its MOT certificate.

Channel Islands—the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not part of the United Kingdom but are self-governing dependencies of the Crown with their own legislative assemblies and systems of law and administration. They have no representation at Westminster but the UK Government is responsible for the defence and international relations of the Islands. The islands should be consulted, via the Home Office, on air services agreements affecting them.

Charter—a non-scheduled flight operated according to the national laws and regulations of the country being served as provided for in Article 5 of the Chicago Convention. A flight on which all (or almost all) the capacity which is occupied by passengers or cargo has been sold to one or more charterers for resale. Somtimes charter operators seek to sell some seat only tickets in order to fill the aircraft (some aviation partners are more liberal than others; some will allow any type of charter, including seat-only, subject to reciprocity, others control charter operations very tightly).

Chicago Convention—see ICAO—Convention signed in December 1944 which sets out the framework on which air services operate in order that "international air transport services may be established on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically". Established the ICAO. The key articles are:

    —  Article 1—sovereignty of air space

    —  Article 5—covering charter flights

    —  Article 6—covering scheduled flights

    —  Article 7—restriction on cabotage

    —  Article 15—non-discriminatory user charges

    —  Article 24 and Annex 9—customs

    —  Article 29—documents to be carried on aircraft

    —  Article 31—certificates of airworthiness

    —  Article 33—recognition of certificates

The Annexes to the Chicago convention are documents covering technical issues and are updated on a fairly regular basis. The Annexes are:

    —  1—Personnel licensing

    —  2—Rules of the Air

    —  3—Meteorological Services for International Air Navigation

    —  4—Aeronautical Charts

    —  5—Units of Measurement for Air and Ground Operations

    —  6—Operation of Aircraft

    —  7—Aircraft Nationality and Registration Marks

    —  8—Airworthiness of Aircraft

    —  9—Facilitation (expediting entry and departure at airports)

    —  10—Aeronautical Telecommunications

    —  11—Air Traffic Services

    —  12—Search and Rescue

    —  13—Aircraft Accident Investigation

    —  14—Aerodromes

    —  5—Aeronautical Information Services

    —  16—Environmental Protection

    —  17—Security—Acts of Unlawful Interference

    —  18—The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air

City Pairs—the points of origin and destination of a flight.

CMU—Confidential Memorandum of Understanding—confidential version of an MOU.

COCC—Russian equivalent of Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS).

COA—Certificate of Airworthiness.

Combi—combined passenger and cargo service. Carries fewer seats and takes more cargo than passenger aircraft.

Contracting Party—signatory to an ASA.

Contracting State—a State which has consented to be bound by a treaty whether or not the treaty has entered into force.

Co-ordinated Airport—airport where demand exceeds available slots and a slot allocation procedure has to be used; eg Heathrow.

COR—Certificate of Registration of an aircraft.


Damp lease—see lease.

Dependent Territories (aka Overseas Territories)—comprise: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Montserrat, Pitcairn/Henderson/Ducie and Oeno Islands, St Helena, St Helena Dependencies, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands and the UK Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus.

Designation—nomination by a State of the airline or airlines to operate a particular route. The bilateral partner can be informed of the nomination by letter, Diplomatic Note or inclusion of the detail in an MOU/Agreed Record. Designation is required for charter airlines between UK and the US.

Diplomatic Note—formal "letter" sent by FCO/Embassy on behalf of the Contracting Party used, eg to notify designation of an airline (although this can usually be done by a letter from the aeronautical authority unless the ASA says otherwise) or formally requesting talks (again a letter is usually sufficient).

DIS—Defence Intelligence Staff—part of the Ministry of Defence, provide assessment of security risks relating to individual countries.

Dry lease—see lease.


ECAC—European Civil Aviation Conference—an autonomous body set up in 1955 following a decision by the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe. It is an autonomous body which is neither a completely independent body nor a body subordinate to ICAO and integrated with it. Its objectives are to review generally the development of European air transport in order to promote the co-ordination, the better utilisation and the orderly development of air transport. Its principal interest is the economic aspects of air transport and to advise and assist European signatory states in the preparation of their national regulations. Membership list attached. There are similar regional conferences in Africa (AFCAC) and Latin America (LACAC).

EEA—European Economic Area. Comprising: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK.

ERG—Economic Regulation Group—part of the CAA dealing with economic analyses of rights exchanges, UK and foreign carrier tariffs and route licences for, and financial competence of, UK-registered airlines.

Eurocontrol—provider of ATC for overflights of European countries. CAA collects fees on their behalf and acts to detain aircraft where debts to Eurocontrol have built up.

Exchange of Letters—letters between the aeronautical authorities amending an MOU or equivalent document, not published, not legally binding although breach of their terms by one side would permit withdrawal of reciprocal/exchanged rights by the other side.

Exchange of Notes—letters between Contracting Parties used to amend an ASA, published, legally binding of Treaty status.


FAA—Federal Aviation Administration of the United States. Carries out similar regulatory functions for domestic registered aircraft and airlines, and safety functions in relation to foreign airlines as the CAA.

FIC—Flight Information Centre—a unit providing flight information services and an alerting service for airlines in the event of an accident.

Flight Information Region—an airspace of defined dimensions within which air traffic services are provided by the named centre/country.

Flight Information Service—a service provided to aircraft for the purpose of giving advice and information useful for the safe and efficient conduct of flights.

Flight Plan—information provided to air traffic service units about the intended flight of an aircraft.

Freedoms of the Air (these definitions relate to aircraft registered in state A):

    1st freedom—right to flight over state B without commercial or technical stops.

    2nd freedom—right to land in state B for technical purposes, eg refuelling.

    3rd freedom—right to set down traffic from state A in state B.

    4th freedom—right to pick up traffic in state B destined for state A.

    5th freedom—right to pick up traffic in state B destined for state C or put down traffic in state B originating in state C.

    6th freedom—service taking passengers between states B and C which flies via state A.

    7th freedom—service between state B and state C operated by airline of state A—a "free-standing fifth freedom".

    8th freedom—cabotage.

    NOTES: 3rd and 4th freedoms are always granted together. 6th freedoms are effectively two 3rd/4th freedom services linked together each of which are operated under the relevant bilateral agreement. These are not rights "granted" under an ASA but they are controlled under the tariff and primary justification provisions of an ASA.

Free-standing fifth freedom—see freedoms of the air Appendix 5.


GAMTA—General Aviation & Manufacturers Trade Association.

Gateway—the points of last departure and first arrival of international scheduled services; eg on a London—Manchester—Boston flight, the gateway airports would be Manchester and Boston.

GPWS—Ground Proximity Warning System.


High Commission—representative office of a State in another country where both states are members of the Commonwealth.

Hub and spoke system—a hub is an airport on which traffic from a number of peripheral points is concentrated, and which is in turn linked by direct flights to peripheral (spoke) points. Such systems can involve linking a gateway airport to a number of domestic points (common in the US) or can be used in change of gauge operations.

Humanitarian Flights—flights to take humanitarian aid or carry refugees etc. Can be organised by the UN or DfID (Department of International Development—UK Govt Dept). Under international conventions, UN flights are simply cleared whatever the carrier or routeing. DfID chartered flights are normally hired in accordance with EC Council Regulation 92/50 on public procurement and would not be subject to the normal "no objections" requirements of the 5th freedom procedures. All other 5th freedom flights not hired under Regulation 92/50 will require non-objections from UK carriers.


IASTA—International Air Services Transit Agreement December 1944—provides for overflight (scheduled services) of signatory States by airlines of other signatory States.

IATA—International Air Transport Agreement of December 1944—intended to fulfil the same function regarding air services which is now discharged by bilateral agreements. Only 12 states acceded to it and now the only importance of this document is that it defines the first five freedoms of the air.

IATA—International Air Transport Association—a trade body to which most scheduled international airlines belong. Has traditionally provided a forum in which interline agreements and other commercial arrangements as well as tariffs can be agreed. Increasing role in negotiating improved airways and access to airports.

ICAO—International Civil Aviation Organisation—United Nations body formed in December 1944 under the auspices of the Chicago Convention with the objectives of developing the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fostering the planning and development of international air transport so as: to ensure safe and orderly growth of international aviation throughout the world; to encourage the arts of aircraft design and operation for peaceful purposes; to encourage the development of airways, airports and air navigation facilities for civil aviation; to meet the needs of peoples of the world for safe, regular, efficient and economical air transport; to prevent economic waste caused by unreasonable competition; to ensure the rights of States are respected; to avoid discrimination between States; to promote the safety of flight. Detailed standards and recommendations are included in the Annexes to the Convention, eg Annex 6 on safety and Annex 9 on "facilitation" (customs, immigration, security checks etc).

Inclusive tour—sale of transport and accommodation as a package.

Interlining—changing, at an intermediate point on a journey, from one aircraft to an aircraft of a different airline but without any sharing of the airline codes.

International Air Service—see Art. 96 of the Chicago Convention.

Isle of Man—see Channel Islands.


JAA—Joint Aviation Authorities—ECAC body concerned with safety standards. Member States: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, UK.


Lease—arrangement whereby an airline operates services on behalf of another airline. Leases can involve provision by the lessor airline of an aircraft (dry lease), aircraft and crew (wet lease) or aircraft and flight crew (damp lease).


MOU—Memorandum of Understanding—a non-binding document agreed between two countries accompanying the air services agreement and including the detailed rights which cannot be contained in the Treaty because they are likely to be updated fairly frequently, eg capacity limits and 5th freedom rights.


Non-revenue passenger—passenger carried free-of-charge by an airline. Usually a company employee. In their economic analyses, the CAA include an allowance (a set percentage) for seats not sold to the public in assessing load factors.

Non-traffic stop—see stop for non-traffic purposes.

Non-scheduled service—see charter.

NOTAM—NOTice to AirMen—a notice containing information about 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. Issued in the UK by the AIS. A NOTAM Class 1 is distributed by means of telecommunications, a NOTAM Class 2 is distributed by slower and cheaper means.


Operating permit—permit issued permitting a carrier to operate a service to the UK under Article 102 of the ANO. Permits are required for scheduled and non-scheduled passenger, cargo and combi services where these services are operated for reward. Empty flights to position aircraft or for aircraft maintenance and flights operated on a non-commercial basis (eg a corporate-owned aircraft flying company members) do not require permits. UK airlines similarly need to seek permits from the aviation authorities of the country to which they wish to operate.

Overflight right—see freedoms of the air for definition, available for scheduled services under IASTA and Article 3 of the model ASA; for charter services the right is granted under Article 5 of the Chicago Convention.

Overseas Territories—see Dependent Territories.


Permit—see operating permit.

Programme charter—a series of charters for which a single application is being made by the operator.

Protocol—an agreement amending or supplementing an existing convention or agreement. Usually a legally binding document.


Ratification—confirmation of signature and signifies the intention to be bound by the provisions of a treaty.

Route—the permitted points to or through which a carrier may fly under the bilateral arrangements with third/fourth freedom traffic rights. Usually contained in the route schedule/annex to an ASA but amendments to the route may be set out in subsequent exchanges of notes.

Route Schedule—annex to an ASA setting out the routes that the designated airlines may use. An open route schedule allows a carrier to operate via or to any point without restriction. The route schedule usually contains a footnote requiring any fifth freedom rights to be the subject of negotiation between the bilateral partners. In some cases this footnote is omitted with the effect that open (ie unlimited) fifth freedom rights are permitted on the points on the routes set out in the route schedule.


Scheduled service—an air service operated on a regular basis by a carrier in accordance with a published timetable or with flights so regular or frequent that they constitute a recognisably systemic series. Requires bilateral agreement to operate by virtue of Article 6 of the Chicago Convention.

Seat-only operations—services where tickets only cover the cost of travel and not hotel, transfers etc.

Sector—a journey between two points/cities. A flight may be made up of a series of sectors, for example London-Calcutta-Dacca.

Slot—a particular time allocated to an airline to land or take-off from a particular airport.

Sole Use—aircraft on which the entire space is hired by a single person (individual, firm, corporation or institution) for the cariage of his or its staff or merchandise, provided that no part of such space is resold.

Special Event—sale of transport and bona fide ticket to an event (ie football match etc).

SRG—Safety Regulation Group—part of the CAA dealing with safety issues relating to UK (licensing of airlines and pilots etc) and foreign airlines (advising on complaints relating to safety and carrying out ramp checks of aircraft and audits of airlines/aviation authorities).

Stop for non-traffic purposes—see Art 96 of the Chicago Convention. See also freedoms of the air for definition, available for scheduled services under IASTA and Article 3 of the model ASA; for charter services the right is granted under Article 5 of the Chicago Convention.

Stopover—an ability on a multi-sector route for a passenger to remain for a few days at an intermediate point and then be carried on to their ultimate destination. Usually negotiated as a separate right since it is difficult in practice to distinguish such passengers from fifth freedom passengers.

STGA—subject to government approval—airlines are permitted to sell particular services whilst approval from the relevant aeronautical authorities is awaited. Such services should appear in timetables and on CRS with this descriptor.


Tariff—price charged for the public transport of passengers, baggage and cargo (excluding mail) on scheduled air services, including the conditions governing the availability or application of such price and the charges and conditions for services ancillary to such transport.

Technical stop—see stop for non-traffic purposes.

Third Package—third EC package of measures to liberalise aviation.

TOP—temporary operating permit.

Transit Passenger—a passenger passing through an airport for the express purpose of connecting with another flight.

Treaty—an agreement concluded in written form between two or more States (or entities such as international organisations having international personality) and governed by international law. A treaty, which may take the form of a convention, an agrement or a protocol, ususally consists of a title, a preamble, recitals, a series of numbered articles and a conclusion which is immediately followed by the signatures.



VIP flight—a sole-use flight for Heads of State, Ministers etc. Treated as a non-commercial flight for which no operating permit is needed. FCO Protocol Department may be informed by the airline of the flight but no permission is needed for it from FCO or DOT.


Wet lease—see lease.


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