please tell me if there is already a duplicate, I could't find one.

Why is like everything in aviation written in abbreviations?

ACARS Message:


Why don't they just write:

Wind: 275 at 57 Knots. Light Turbulences. Not cloudy, No ice.

And also in the cockpit


Of course, I know, its shorter and faster to read, but wouldn't it make such a bug difference if you write "Heading" instead of HDG?

Thanks, Noah

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "its shorter and faster to read" you answered your own question. This information is aimed at people who understand it and it is unambiguous. There is no need for it to be easier for people who do not understand it to read. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 14:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Actually the question is good. At first sight, there is no need to change, hence it will continue in the future. But there are so many abbreviations that were used when Morse and telex were the communication standards that have been discontinued, like the Q code in military and aeronautical activities... who still use QBH or QRX? $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 16:04
  • $\begingroup$ It might be possible to answer this, but only for very specific sets of abbreviations. The METAR topic has already been answered, but your question about abbreviations in cockpit displays (at least, I think that's what you mean) might belong in ux.SE rather than here. And of course, you could ask the general question "why so many abbreviations?" about almost any industry or technical activity. As Simon said in his comment, professionals in any area value concision and precision, both for efficiency and to avoid misunderstandings. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


For the weather, those come from ye olde days of teletypes when it took a significant amount time to transmit characters. Yes, they should go away.


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