A B C D E F G H I J K L M N 

Abbreviation for: peripheral station



The international radiotelephony urgency signal. Preferably spoken three times, it indicates a condition that concerns the safety of an aircraft or another vehicle, or of some person on board or within sight, but that does not require immediate assistance.

Fr: « PAN PAN »


Abbreviation for: precision approach path indicator



Abbreviation for: precision approach radar


parallel offset route

A parallel track to the left or right of the designated airway or route. Such routes are normally associated with area navigation (RNAV) operations.

Fr: route décalée parallèle

parallel runways

Two or more runways at the same airport whose centrelines are parallel. In addition to having a runway number, parallel runways are designated as “L” (left) and “R” (right) or, if three parallel runways exist, “L” (left), “C” (centre), and “R” (right).

Fr: pistes parallèles

participating aircraft

Aircraft that are engaged in and identified as being part of an air refuelling mission or a military activity being conducted or to be conducted under the auspices of an altitude reservation approval (ALTRV APVL).

Fr: aéronef participant


Abbreviation for: private advisory station



U.S.: Expression for: circuit (2)


Abbreviation for: pilots’ automatic telephone weather answering system


pavement classification number

ICAO: A number expressing the bearing strength of a pavement for unrestricted aircraft operations.

Note: PCNs are expressed on a scale from approximately 5 (weakest pavements) to 110 (strongest pavements) and are linked to the pavement type and a standard subgrade category. Aircraft tire pressure restrictions, where applicable, are contained within the PCN reporting code. The ICAO PCN system is the internationally approved and accepted method for the reporting of airport pavement bearing strengths. In Canada, the pavement load rating (PLR) chart for each airport reports bearing strength using both the ICAO PCN and the Canadian PLR code.

Fr: numéro de classification de chaussée

pavement load rating

Canada: A number expressing the bearing strength of a pavement for unrestricted aircraft operations. PLRs are expressed on a scale from 1 (weakest pavements) to 12 (strongest pavements). Aircraft tire pressure restrictions, where applicable, are given in megapascals (MPa). The PLR system for reporting airport pavement bearing strength is used exclusively in Canada. For international reporting purposes, the PLR chart for each airport also reports bearing strength using the ICAO PCN code.

Fr: indice de résistance de chaussée


Abbreviation for: performance-based navigation



Abbreviation for: pilot briefing service



ICAO: Abbreviation for: pavement classification number



Abbreviation for: pre-departure clearance


penetration turn

DND: An arrival procedure involving a turn or series of turns during descent from a cruising altitude that will position the aircraft for a landing during a high-level approach.

Fr: virage d’intégration

performance-based navigation

Area navigation based on performance requirements for aircraft operating along an ATS route, on an instrument approach procedure or in a designated airspace.

  • abbreviation: PBN
Note: Performance requirements are expressed in navigation specifications in terms of accuracy, integrity, continuity, availability and functionality needed for the proposed operation.

Fr: navigation fondée sur les performances

peripheral station

An unstaffed VHF/UHF transmitter/receiver facility used to facilitate direct contact between pilots and controllers. Sometimes these facilities are not equipped with emergency frequencies 121.5 MHz and 243.0 MHz.

  • abbreviation: PAL

Fr: station périphérique

personal locator beacon

NATO: Expression for: emergency locator transmitter (ELT)

photo block

An area of Canadian Domestic Airspace (CDA), approximately 30 mi. by 40 mi. in lateral dimensions, that is charted to facilitate flight planning by photo survey operators and that is delineated by quadrangles based on a modified version of the National Topographic System.

Fr: bloc photo


Abbreviation for: pilot-in-command

pilot briefing

(1) The provision of, or consultation on, meteorological and aeronautical information to assist pilots in pre-flight planning.

(2) U.S. A service provided by the FSS to assist pilots in flight planning. Briefing items may include weather information, NOTAMS, military activities, flow control information, and other items as requested.

Fr: exposé au pilote

pilot briefing service

The provision of pilot briefings by an FIC.

Fr: service d’exposé au pilote


(1) The pilot having responsibility and authority for the operation and safety of the aircraft during flight time.

  • abbreviation: PIC
  • also called: aircraft captain

Fr: commandant de bord

(2) DND: Expression for: aircraft commander

(3) ICAO:

  • (a) The pilot designated by the operator, or in the case of general aviation, the owner, as being in command and charged with the safe conduct of a flight.
  • (b) The pilot responsible for the operation and safety of the aircraft during flight time.

Fr: pilote commandant de bord

pilots’ automatic telephone weather answering system

An automated telephone answering system providing up-to-date weather information to pilots.

  • abbreviation: PATWAS

Fr: système téléphonique automatique de renseignements météorologiques pour les pilotes

pilot weather report

A report by a pilot pertaining to weather conditions encountered in flight.

  • abbreviation: PIREP

Fr: compte rendu météorologique de pilote


Abbreviation for: point-in-space approach



Abbreviation for: pilot weather report



Other expression for: overhead break


Canada: Abbreviation for: pavement load rating


point-in-space approach

A helicopter instrument approach procedure (IAP) to a missed approach point (MAP) that is more than 2600 ft from an associated helicopter landing area.

  • abbreviation: PINSA

Fr: approche vers un point dans l’espace

point of activation

The position, expressed by either a four-letter, four-digit geographical reference (GEOREF) or four-digit latitude and longitude coordinates, from which an aircraft departs or is estimated to be along its intended track.

Fr: point d’activation

“. . . position and hold”

U.S.: Expression for: “Line up and wait . . .”

Note: Used in conjunction with a runway.

position report

A report over a known location as transmitted by an aircraft.

  • also called: position reporting, progress report

Fr: compte rendu de position

position reporting

Other expression for: position report

positive target control

The operation of faker aircraft transponders on discrete Mode 3/A codes to satisfy air defence faker monitor and ATC requirements.

Fr: contrôle intégral d’objectif


An expression used to indicate the rearward taxi of an aircraft under its own engine power.

Fr: refoulement au moteur

powered glider

An aeroplane that, with engines shut off, has the flight characteristics of a glider.

Fr: planeur propulsé


Abbreviation for: prior permission required



Abbreviation for: present position symbol


practice instrument approach

Other expression for: simulated approach


Any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapour that is deposited on the earth’s surface.

Fr: précipitations

precision approach CAT I

Operation down to minima of 200 ft decision height (DH) and runway visual range (RVR) 2600 ft. (When RVR is not available, 0.5 SM ground visibility is substituted.)

Note: Rotorcraft visibility limits may be half those published for aeroplanes.

Fr: approche de précision CAT I

precision approach CAT II

Operation down to minima below 200 ft decision height (DH) and runway visual range (RVR) 2600 ft, to as low as 100 ft DH and RVR 1200 ft.

Note: Rotorcraft visibility limits may be lower than those published for aeroplanes.

Fr: approche de précision CAT II

precision approach CAT III

Operation down to minima prescribed in the carrier’s operating specifications in the operator’s operations manual or in the Canada Air Pilot (CAP).

Fr: approche de précision CAT III

precision approach path indicator

An approach path indicator system consisting of four light units situated on the left side of the runway (on both sides of the runway, in the case of the military) in the form of a wing bar. The aircraft is on slope if the two units nearest the runway show red and the two units furthest from the runway show white, too high if all units show white, and too low if all units show red. A PAPI can be situated so as to provide three types of eye-to-wheel height (EWH): P1 (10 ft), P2 (25 ft) and P3 (45 ft).

Fr: indicateur de trajectoire d’approche de précision

precision approach procedure

An instrument approach procedure (IAP) using azimuth and glide path (GP) information provided by an instrument landing system (ILS), a microwave landing system (MLS) or a precision approach radar (PAR). There are three types of precision approaches:

(a) precision approach CAT I;

(b) precision approach CAT II; and

(c) precision approach CAT III.

Fr: procédure d’approche de précision

precision approach radar

A high-definition, short-range radar used as an approach aid. This system provides the controller with altitude, azimuth and range information of high accuracy for the purpose of assisting the pilot in executing an approach and landing. This form of navigation assistance is termed a “precision radar approach.”

  • abbreviation: PAR

Fr: radar d’approche de précision

precision controller

A duty controller assigned to a precision radar approach control position.

Fr: contrôleur de précision

precision radar approach

An instrument approach procedure (IAP) in which the final approach is conducted in accordance with directions issued by a controller referring to a precision approach radar (PAR) display.

Fr: approche au radar de précision

precision runway

A runway served by visual aids and non-visual NAVAIDs that provide lateral and vertical guidance to the operating minima as specified in precision runway CAT I, precision runway CAT II and precision runway CAT III.

Fr: piste de précision

precision runway CAT I

A runway adequate for instrument approach down to a decision height (DH) lower than 250 ft, but not lower than 200 ft, above height above aerodrome (HAA) or height above touchdown (HAT) and in operating visibility not less than 0.5 SM or runway visual range (RVR) 2600 ft.

Fr: piste de précision CAT I

precision runway CAT II

A runway adequate for instrument approach down to a decision height (DH) lower than 200 ft, but not lower than 100 ft, above height above aerodrome (HAA) or height above touchdown (HAT) and in operating visibility not less than runway visual range (RVR)
1200 ft.

Fr: piste de précision CAT II

precision runway CAT III

There are three types of precision runway CAT III:

(a) CAT III A: Operations are conducted or intended to be conducted down to a runway visual range (RVR) not less than 600 ft (no decision height [DH] being applicable).

(b) CAT III B: Operations are conducted or intended to be conducted down to an RVR not less than 300 ft (no DH being applicable).

(c) CAT III C: Operations are conducted or intended to be conducted with no DH and no RVR limitations.

Fr: piste de précision CAT III

pre-departure clearance

The electronic delivery of initial IFR clearances via air-ground data link (AGDL) to airline companies with an on-site computer capable of interfacing with ATC and the data link service provider.

  • abbreviation: PDC

Fr: autorisation pré-départ

preferential arrival route

A specific arrival route from an appropriate en route point to an airport or terminal area. It may be included in a standard terminal arrival (STAR) or a preferred IFR route.

Fr: route d’arrivée préférentielle

preferential departure route

A specific departure route from an airport or terminal area to an en route point where there is no further need for flow control. It may be included in a standard instrument departure (SID) or a preferred IFR route.

Fr: route de départ préférentielle

preferential runway

One or more runways designated and published by the airport operator whose selection directs aircraft away from noise-sensitive areas during the initial departure and final approach phases of flight. Designation of preferential runways may be governed by time restrictions, weather, runway conditions, airport layout, aircraft routings or capacity maximization.

preferred IFR route

A route established between busier airports to increase system efficiency and capacity. IFR clearances are issued on the basis of such routes except when severe weather avoidance procedures or other factors dictate otherwise. Preferred IFR routes are correlated with standard instrument departures (SID) and standard terminal arrivals (STAR) and may be defined by airways, high level airways, or direct routes between NAVAIDs or waypoints, radials or distance measuring equipment (DME) fixes, or any combination thereof.

Fr: route IFR préférentielle

preferred runway

At an uncontrolled aerodrome, the most suitable operational runway, taking into consideration wind direction and speed, noise abatement restrictions, runway conditions, ground traffic, and any other relevant factor or restriction.

Fr: piste préférée

pre-flight pilot briefing

Other expression for: pilot briefing

present position symbol

The display of a target after processing by a radar data processing system.

  • abbreviation: PPS
  • see also: target

Fr: symbole de position actuelle

prevailing visibility

The maximum visibility value common to sectors comprising one half or more of the horizon circle.

Fr: visibilité dominante

primary frequency

The radiotelephony frequency assigned to an aircraft as a first choice for air-ground communication in a radiotelephony network.

Fr: fréquence principale

primary means of communication

The means of communication that must normally be adopted by aircraft and ground stations as a first choice where alternative means of communication exist.

Fr: moyen principal de communication

primary radar

Other expression for: primary surveillance radar (PSR)

primary surveillance radar

A radar system that detects objects by means of reflected radio signals.

  • abbreviation: PSR
  • also called: primary radar
  • see also: radar

Fr: radar primaire de surveillance

prior permission required

An expression used to indicate that permission from the appropriate authority must be obtained before certain aeronautical activities can be carried out.

  • abbreviation: PPR

Fr: autorisation préalable requise

private advisory station

Private facilities established at controlled aerodromes for use in connection with company business such as the servicing of aircraft, availability of fuel, lodging, etc. The use of private advisory services at controlled aerodromes shall not include information relating to ATC, weather reports, the condition of landing strips, or any other communication normally provided by ATC units.

  • abbreviation: PAS

Fr: station de service consultatif privé

procedure turn

A manoeuvre in which a turn is made away from a designated track and followed by a turn in the opposite direction to permit the aircraft to intercept and proceed along the reciprocal of the designated track.

  • abbreviation: PT

Fr: virage conventionnel

procedure turn inbound

The point of a procedure turn manoeuvre where course reversal has been completed and an aircraft is established inbound on the intermediate approach or final approach course. A report of “procedure turn inbound” is normally used by ATC as a position report for separation purposes.

Fr: virage conventionnel en rapprochement

progress report

Other expression for: position report

progressive taxi

Precise taxi instructions given to a pilot unfamiliar with the aerodrome or issued in stages as the aircraft proceeds along the taxi route.

Fr: circulation au sol progressive

prohibited area

ICAO: An airspace of defined dimensions, above the land areas or territorial waters of a State, within which the flight of aircraft is prohibited.

Fr: zone interdite


Abbreviation for: primary surveillance radar



Abbreviation for: procedure turn

Fr: PT


ICAO: Abbreviation for: procedure turn


“Pull up and go around”

An instruction given to the pilot by ATC when, in the controller’s judgment, the aircraft landing procedure cannot safely be continued to touchdown.

Fr: « Remontez et faites un circuit »


An expression used to indicate the rearward movement of an aircraft under tow.

Fr: refoulement

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