21/05/2024
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Conquer Time Zones: Your Guide to UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) or ZULU Time

Ever feel lost navigating time zones in aviation? Fear not! Understanding UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) or Zulu time is your key to conquering the skies. Buckle up, as we unveil the secrets of this global timekeeper:

What is UTC?

Think of UTC as the world’s single source of truth for time. Unlike local time zones that dance with Daylight Saving Time, UTC remains constant, based on the Greenwich Meridian (think Prime Meridian).

Why ZULU Time?

“ZULU” comes from the “Z” in the phonetic alphabet, used by pilots and air traffic controllers for clarity. So, UTC and ZULU time are the same!

zulu time

Why is UTC Important in Aviation?

Imagine a plane taking off in Tokyo and landing in London: different time zones, but one universal language – UTC. It ensures smooth handovers, avoids confusion, and guarantees safety across borders.

Ready to Take Off?

Mastering UTC unlocks seamless global navigation. Remember, it’s the constant companion for pilots, air traffic controllers, and anyone who wants to conquer time zones like a pro.

In UTC format Midnight shall be designated as 2400 for the end of the day and 0000 for the beginning of the day.

World Time zone
Coordinated Universal Time Chart on World Map

In the table below, you can find some countries’ calculations for UTC time zones. For example: 1530 UTC time is equal to UTC + 1 in paris, ie 1630 Local time.

London (UK)UTC+0Wellington(New Zealand)UTC+12
Paris (France)UTC+1Nuku’olofa(Tonga)UTC+13
Ankara(Turkey)UTC+2Pago Pago(Samoa)UTC-11
Manama(Bahrain)UTC+3Tahiti(French Polynesia)UTC-10
Teheran(Iran)UTC+3:30Anchorage(USA)UTC-9
Moscow(Russia)UTC+4San Francisco(USA)UTC-8
Karachi(Pakistan)UTC+5El Paso(USA)UTC-7
Delhi(India)UTC+5:30Chicago(USA)UTC-6
Yekaterinburg(Russia)UTC+6New York(USA)UTC-5
Phnom Penh(Cambodia)UTC+7Caracas(Venezuela)UTC-4
Canton(China)UTC+8Halifax(Canada)UTC-4
Tokyo(Japan)UTC+9Rio de Janeiro(Brazil)UTC-3
Canberra(Australia)UTC+10Fernando de Noronha(Brazil)UTC-2
Nouméa(New Caledonia)UTC+11  

Table source: INTERNATIONAL VIRTUAL AVIATION ORGANIZATION




References and Further Reading for UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) or ZULU Time: