Q codes are three-letter codes starting with the letter Q used in radio communication They provide a succinct and accurate to communicate, initially by way of morse code but have continued their use even in the era of voice transmissions. The codes QAA–QNZ are assigned by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); QOA–QQZ by the Maritime Mobile Service and QRA–QUZ by the International Telecommunications Union (Radio-communication Sector).

Aviation Q Codes

PANS-OPS Doc 8400 is the document containing the pertinent Q-codes.

  • QDM - Magnetic heading
  • QDR - Magnetic bearing
  • QFE - Atmospheric pressure at aerodrome elevation (or at runway threshold)
  • QFU - Magnetic orientation of runway
  • QNH - Altimeter sub-scale setting to obtain elevation when on ground
  • QTE - True bearing

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