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6/17/21 

Pilot/Controller Glossary 

SPEED ADJUSTMENT

 An ATC procedure used to 

request pilots to adjust aircraft speed to a specific 
value for the purpose of providing desired spacing. 
Pilots are expected to maintain a speed of plus or 
minus 10 knots or 0.02 Mach number of the specified 
speed. Examples of speed adjustments are: 

a. 

“Increase/reduce speed to Mach point 

(number).” 

b. 

“Increase/reduce speed to (speed in knots)” or 

“Increase/reduce speed (number of knots) knots.” 

SPEED BRAKES

 Moveable aerodynamic devices 

on aircraft that reduce airspeed during descent and 
landing. 

SPEED SEGMENTS

 Portions of the arrival route 

between the transition point and the vertex along the 
optimum flight path for which speeds and altitudes 
are specified. There is one set of arrival speed 
segments adapted from each transition point to each 
vertex. Each set may contain up to six segments. 

SPOOFING

 Denotes emissions of GNSS

like 

signals that may be acquired and tracked in 
combination with or instead of the intended signals 
by civil receivers. The onset of spoofing effects can 
be instantaneous or delayed, and effects can persist 
after the spoofing has ended.  Spoofing can result in 
false and potentially confusing, or hazardously 
misleading, position, navigation, and/or date/time 
information in addition to loss of GNSS use. 

SQUAWK (Mode, Code, Function)

 Used by ATC 

to instruct a pilot to activate the aircraft transponder 
and ADS

B Out with altitude reporting enabled, or 

(military) to activate only specific modes, codes, or 
functions. Examples: “Squawk five seven zero 
seven;” “Squawk three/alpha, two one zero five.” 

(See TRANSPONDER.) 

STA

 

(See SCHEDULED TIME OF ARRIVAL.) 

STAGING/QUEUING

 The placement, integration, 

and segregation of departure aircraft in designated 
movement areas of an airport by departure fix, EDCT, 
and/or restriction. 

STAND BY

 Means the controller or pilot must 

pause for a few seconds, usually to attend to other 
duties of a higher priority. Also means to wait as in 
“stand by for clearance.” The caller should 
reestablish contact if a delay is lengthy. “Stand by” is 
not an approval or denial. 

STANDARD INSTRUMENT APPROACH PRO-
CEDURE (SIAP)

 

(See INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURE.) 

STANDARD INSTRUMENT DEPARTURE (SID)

 

A preplanned instrument flight rule (IFR) air traffic 
control (ATC) departure procedure printed for 
pilot/controller use in graphic form to provide 
obstacle clearance and a transition from the terminal 
area to the appropriate en route structure. SIDs are 
primarily designed for system enhancement to 
expedite traffic flow and to reduce pilot/controller 
workload. ATC clearance must always be received 
prior to flying a SID. 

(See IFR TAKEOFF MINIMUMS AND 

DEPARTURE PROCEDURES.) 

(See OBSTACLE DEPARTURE PROCEDURE.) 
(Refer to AIM.) 

STANDARD RATE TURN

 A turn of three degrees 

per second. 

STANDARD TERMINAL ARRIVAL (STAR)

 A 

preplanned instrument flight rule (IFR) air traffic 
control arrival procedure published for pilot use in 
graphic and/or textual form. STARs provide 
transition from the en route structure to an outer fix 
or an instrument approach fix/arrival waypoint in the 
terminal area. 

STANDARD TERMINAL ARRIVAL CHARTS

 

(See AERONAUTICAL CHART.) 

STANDARD TERMINAL AUTOMATION RE-
PLACEMENT SYSTEM (STARS)

 

(See DTAS.) 

STAR

 

(See STANDARD TERMINAL ARRIVAL.) 

STATE AIRCRAFT

  Aircraft used in military, 

customs and police service, in the exclusive service 
of any government or of any political subdivision 
thereof, including the government of any state, 
territory, or possession of the United States or the 
District of Columbia, but not including any 
government-owned aircraft engaged in carrying 
persons or property for commercial purposes. 

STATIC RESTRICTIONS

 Those restrictions that 

are usually not subject to change, fixed, in place, 
and/or published. 

STATIONARY ALTITUDE RESERVATION 
(STATIONARY ALTRV)– An altitude reservation 
which encompasses activities in a fixed area. 

PCG S