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Frequently Used Terms

C2 Link

The data link between the remotely piloted aircraft and the remote pilot station for the purposes of managing the flight.


Detect and avoid

The capability to see, sense or detect conflicting traffic or other hazards and take the appropriate action.



The act of passing piloting control from one remote pilot station to another.



A person, organization or enterprise engaged in or offering to engage in an aircraft operation.

Note. — In the context of remotely piloted aircraft, an aircraft operation includes the remotely piloted aircraft system.


Remote pilot.  A person charged by the operator with duties essential to the operation of a remotely piloted aircraft and who manipulates the flight controls, as appropriate, during flight time.


Remote pilot-in-command

The remote pilot designated by the operator as being in command and charged with the safe conduct of a flight.


Remote pilot station (RPS)

The component of the remotely piloted aircraft system containing the equipment used to pilot the remotely piloted aircraft.


Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). An unmanned aircraft which is piloted from a remote pilot station.


Remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS). A remotely piloted aircraft, its associated remote pilot station(s), the required C2 Link(s) and any other components as specified in the type design.


Risk mitigation. The process of incorporating defenses or preventive controls to lower the severity and/or likelihood of a hazard’s projected consequence.


Unmanned aircraft (UA). Any aircraft intended to be flown without a pilot on board is an unmanned aircraft. They can be remotely and fully controlled from another place (ground, another aircraft, space) or pre-programmed to conduct its flight without intervention.


Unmanned aircraft system (UAS). An aircraft and its associated elements which are operated with no pilot on board.


Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) operation. An operation in which the remote pilot or RPA observer maintains direct unaided visual contact with the remotely piloted aircraft.


Visual meteorological conditions (VMC). Meteorological conditions expressed in terms of visibility, distance from cloud, and ceiling, equal to or better than specified minima.

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