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6/17/21 

Pilot/Controller Glossary 

MAA

 

(See MAXIMUM AUTHORIZED ALTITUDE.) 

MACH NUMBER

 The ratio of true airspeed to the 

speed of sound; e.g., MACH .82, MACH 1.6. 

(See AIRSPEED.) 

MACH TECHNIQUE [ICAO]

 Describes a control 

technique used by air traffic control whereby turbojet 
aircraft operating successively along suitable routes 
are cleared to maintain appropriate MACH numbers 
for a relevant portion of the en route phase of flight. 
The principle objective is to achieve improved 
utilization of the airspace and to ensure that 
separation between successive aircraft does not 
decrease below the established minima. 

MAHWP

 Missed Approach Holding Waypoint 

MAINTAIN

 

a. 

Concerning altitude/flight level, the term 

means to remain at the altitude/flight level specified. 
The phrase “climb and” or “descend and” normally 
precedes “maintain” and the altitude assignment; 
e.g., “descend and maintain 5,000.” 

b. 

Concerning other ATC instructions, the term is 

used in its literal sense; e.g., maintain VFR. 

MAINTENANCE PLANNING FRICTION 
LEVEL

  The friction level specified in 

AC 150/5320­12, Measurement, Construction, and 
Maintenance of Skid Resistant Airport Pavement 
Surfaces, which represents the friction value below 
which the runway pavement surface remains 
acceptable for any category or class of aircraft 
operations but which is beginning to show signs of 
deterioration. This value will vary depending on the 
particular friction measurement equipment used. 

MAKE SHORT APPROACH

 Used by ATC to 

inform a pilot to alter his/her traffic pattern so as to 
make a short final approach. 

(See TRAFFIC PATTERN.) 

MAN PORTABLE AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS 
(MANPADS)

 MANPADS are lightweight, 

shoulder

launched, missile systems used to bring 

down aircraft and create mass casualties. The 
potential for MANPADS use against airborne aircraft 

is real and requires familiarity with the subject. 
Terrorists choose MANPADS because the weapons 
are low cost, highly mobile, require minimal set

up 

time, and are easy to use and maintain. Although the 
weapons have limited range, and their accuracy is 
affected by poor visibility and adverse weather, they 
can be fired from anywhere on land or from boats 
where there is unrestricted visibility to the target. 

MANDATORY ALTITUDE

 An altitude depicted 

on an instrument Approach Procedure Chart 
requiring the aircraft to maintain altitude at the 
depicted value. 

MANPADS

 

(See MAN PORTABLE AIR DEFENSE 

SYSTEMS.) 

MAP

 

(See MISSED APPROACH POINT.) 

MARKER BEACON

 An electronic navigation 

facility transmitting a 75 MHz vertical fan or 
boneshaped radiation pattern. Marker beacons are 
identified by their modulation frequency and keying 
code, and when received by compatible airborne 
equipment, indicate to the pilot, both aurally and 
visually, that he/she is passing over the facility. 

(See INNER MARKER.) 
(See MIDDLE MARKER.) 
(See OUTER MARKER.) 
(Refer to AIM.) 

MARSA

 

(See MILITARY AUTHORITY ASSUMES 

RESPONSIBILITY FOR SEPARATION OF 
AIRCRAFT.) 

MAWP

 Missed Approach Waypoint 

MAXIMUM AUTHORIZED ALTITUDE

 A pub­

lished altitude representing the maximum usable 
altitude or flight level for an airspace structure or 
route segment. It is the highest altitude on a Federal 
airway, jet route, area navigation low or high route, 
or other direct route for which an MEA is designated 
in 14 CFR Part 95 at which adequate reception of 
navigation aid signals is assured. 

MAYDAY

 The international radiotelephony distress 

signal. When repeated three times, it indicates 

PCG M