Skyguide Glossary

Technical terms and abbreviations used on skyguide's website.

AAIB (Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau)

Reports on accidents or incidents involving Swiss aviation are investigated by this body.


ACAS (Airborne Collision Avoidance System)

Anti-collision system on board aircraft. It is activated when two aircraft fail to respect separation minima. (–> RA, TA, TCAS)

ACC (Area Control Center)

Responsible for the safe flow of traffic along airways (–> En-route) and in certain portions of terminal control areas (–> APP). Significant horizontal and vertical growth in the areas to be controlled requires subdivision into various sectors of activity, either geographically or according to altitude, depending on traffic density.

ADDC (Air Defence and Direction Center, EZ or “Einsatzzentrale” in German)

Skyguide’s military ATCOs based in the ADDC in Dübendorf are responsible for a variety of tasks: determining the general situation of airspace, airspace security, training formation flights for air forces (air defence) and providing ATC for all civil and military aircraft entrusted to it outside of the control area of military aerodromes. From an organisational standpoint, the fact that military ATC services are provided by a civil enterprise is unique in the West. (–> Integration)

ADS (Automatic Dependent Surveillance)

An aircraft-mounted location system currently undergoing trials for use in European airspace. Each aircraft continually transmits its own position to ground stations via satellite in order to provide an overall picture of current airspace use.

Aerodrome Control (ADC)

From the control tower (–> TWR) with its extended field of vision, the ADC issues clearance to start engines, to take off or to land, etc. It directs taxiing aircraft and manages airborne traffic in the immediate vicinity of the airport.

AIC (Aeronautical Information Circular)

Used to provide administrative information which does not involve restrictions on aviation, for example, verification data for the awarding of a pilot’s licence, etc.

AIG (Aéroport International de Genève or Geneva International Airport)

Air traffic control there is handled by skyguide. (www.gva.ch) (–> Geneva Cointrin)

AIM (Aeronautical Information Management)

In accordance with Eurocontrol recommendations, AIM handles the ever-increasing aviation information flow. As an enlarged redefinition of AIS (–> AIS/AIM), AIM allows for the provision of homogeneous, standardised and efficient digital information during all flight phases and for all European services involved. (aim(at)skyguide.ch)

AIP (Aeronautical Information Publication)

Basic document for pilots, ATCOs, airlines, airports, etc. used to prepare and ensure safe flight operations. It contains the most important statistical data and aeronautical charts for aviation. The Swiss AIP is published by skyguide.


Publication requests:
AIP Coordination Center for AIP amendements can be reached via e-mail at datacoordination(at)skyguide.ch or by phone +41 22 417 44 28.
Open during office hours.


AIP Helpdesk:
AIP Services
P.O. Box 23
CH-8620 Wangen bei Dübendorf
E-mail aip(at)skyguide.ch
Phone +41 43 931 61 68
Fax +41 43 931 61 59
Open during office hours.

AIRPROX (Aircraft Proximity)

A situation in which the separation minima required between in-flight aircraft for safe operations are not respected. (–> ATIR)


A three-dimensional space criss-crossed by airways. In keeping with ICAO rules, worldwide airspace is subdivided into various classes. The provision of air traffic control is defined for each class, together with the applicable flight rules (–> DELTA, UAC). A distinction is made between civil and military airspace; each of these is primarily reserved for one user group. Since integration, skyguide manages all of Swiss and some foreign delegated airspace, and in so doing improves both flexibility of use and capacity.

Airspace management

A system of management which takes into account user needs and optimises the use of airspace by improving its structure and by designating airways and specifying the ATM procedures to be followed.

Air Traffic Control (ATC)

A collective term for all the services provided to ensure the safe, orderly and cost-effective flow of air traffic through controlled airspace and to make sure that the separation minima between aircraft are respected. It is subdivided into aerodrome control (–> TWR), approach or terminal control (–> APP) and area control (–> ACC).

Air Traffic Controller (ATCO)

Manages and monitors, from the airport of take-off to that of landing, all of the aircraft present in the portion of airspace for which he or she is responsible. Skyguide employs about 450 civil ATCOs and 90 military ATCOs. The profession of ATCO is open to both men and women. (–> STC)

Air Traffic Management (ATM)

Service unit of ATC operations, the goal of which is to organise air traffic safely, smoothly and cost-effectively. Handles Airspace Management and ATC procedures.

Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel



The airways in which controlled flights fly are internationally agreed and represented by geographic coordinates. These coordinates are entered into the FMS and help pilots to find their way. (–> Waypoint, Reporting point)

AIS/AIM (Aeronautical Information Service/Aeronautical Information Management)

Central office providing information and advice to flight crews, airlines and general aviation. Receives data (–> Dynamic data, Static data) necessary to ensure the safe and orderly flow of traffic, and processes and transmits such data. Examples include airspace restrictions, weather information, NOTAMs, overflight or approach clearance, etc. Advises the flight crew or airline before the flight and assists both air traffic control and pertinent ground services. Skyguide operates an AIS and an ARO at Wangen bei Dübendorf


AIS/AIM Services Switzerland
P.O. Box 23
CH-8602 Wangen bei Dübendorf
E-mail aim.helpdesk(at)skyguide.ch
German/English: tel +41 43 931 6161, fax +41 43 931 6219
French/English: tel +41 43 931 6203, fax +41 43 931 6219
Hours of operation: 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Alerting Service (ALRS)

Skyguide-operated alert system which informs all the relevant services if an aircraft is in distress (–> Search and Rescue). ALRS is guaranteed by skyguide for all flights (–> IFR, VFR) which have filed a flight plan, or any other flights of which ATC services are apprised.


Military airfield, centre of competence and main basis for military helicopters in Switzerland.


6055 Alpnach-Dorf
Phone +41 41 672 55 11
Fax +41 41 670 13 77

AMIE (AIS MET Information Environment)

A selfbriefing facility in the form of an interactive computer terminal for general aviation flight crews which is located at aerodromes and is developed and maintained by skyguide. Pilots may file their flight plan at any time (–> ARO) and receive weather and ATC information.

ANSE (Air Navigation Services Employee)

There are two kinds of ANSE. The ANSEs at the ACC provide assistance to air traffic controllers in tactical and pre-tactical control operations. They receive, process and transmit notification of planned flights, update flight plan data and print them on flight progress strips ; they are also responsible for determining time-slots (–> Slot). The ANSEs at the AIS issue and evaluate data necessary for flight operations.

ANSP (Air Navigation Service Provider)

Fournisseur de services de la navigation aérienne. Skyguide est le seul ANSP de Suisse.

APP (Approach control)

Directs flights arriving at and departing from an airport in a specific area of the control zone (–> CTR) and of the terminal control area, which is usually within a 50 km radius of the airport

Approach and departure procedures

There are standardised take-off and landing procedures (–> SID, STAR) at airports and aerodromes equipped to authorise IFR  traffic. These procedures have been developed jointly by skyguide and the airport operator to ensure maximum safety and improved traffic flow, as well as to reduce noise pollution. The procedures are verified and approved by FOCA.

Apron control

Coordinates traffic on the tarmac (parking strips and taxiways) and assigns parking stands to aircraft. This is the responsibility of the airport operator.

Area Control Center

–> ACC

ARN (Air Route Network)

European network of air routes defined by Eurocontrol through its members.

ARO (Air Traffic Services Reporting Office)

Skyguide counter where pilots can file flight plans and fligh plan associated messages. The ARO is an important information platform for safety-related data. It functions in a similar manner to the AIS .


ARO Zurich
P.O. Box 23
8602 Wangen bei Dübendorf
E-mail aim.helpdesk(at)skyguide.ch
Phone +41 43 913 61 61 
Fax +41 43 931 62 19
Hours of operation: 24 hours a day, seven days a week

ARTAS (ATM Surveillance Tracker and Server)

System for processing radar data developed by Eurocontrol. It calculates an overall radar image on the basis of position references provided by several radar inputs. ARTAS enables the radar displays used by skyguide’s air traffic controllers to be renewed every 4 seconds.

ASC (AIM Service Centre)

Skyguide’s Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) is the central source of information and advice for flight crews, air transport operators and other airspace users. The AIM Service Center or ASC is responsible for procuring, processing and disseminating the static and dynamic data – airspace restrictions, meteorological conditions, notices to airmen (NOTAMs), overflight and landing clearances and so on – that are so essential to ensuring safe, smooth and orderly air traffic flows. To its customers, skyguide serves as a single point of contact for these services, providing state-of-the-art call- centre facilities 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The ASC is also responsible for correctly transmitting and distributing flight plan data to all the relevant services along a flight’s intended route, especially those beyond European airspace; and it further provides optimum customer support through its help desk functions and by offering individual assistance and advice. (–> AIM, AIS)

ASMGCS (Advanced Surface Movement and Ground Control System)

Traffic surveillance and guidance system on taxiways. Especially important at airports in the event of low visibility. ATC  Air Traffic Control

ATFCM (Air Traffic Flow and Capacity Management)

Management of traffic flow and of capacity are two key operational processes. Traffic flow must be adapted to available capacity in order to increase the safety and cost-effectiveness of air traffic. (–> CFMU, Slot)

ATIR (Air Traffic Incident Report)

A report drawn up by the air traffic controller and/or the pilot after two aircraft do not respect separation minima (–> AIRPROX). All ATIRs are collected and analysed in minute detail both by skyguide and by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (–> AAIB).

ATSEP (Air Traffic Safety Electronics Personnel)

Technician / engineer who looks after the maintenance and development of the many technical systems used in air navigation services. (ATSEP webpage)


Skyguide reports continued traffic growth and even higher punctuality for the first half of 2016, along with tangible progress in LP24 implementation


Skyguide celebrates the completion of the round the world trip of its partner Solar Impulse. Air Navigation Services key for mission success.


Round-the-clock air policing: skyguide is supporting the authorities and Air


OBA St. Gallen


Berufsinfoveranstaltung, skyguide Zürich


BAM Bern