An airman is a member of the air component of a nation’s armed service. In the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force (in which airwoman is also seen), it can also refer to a specific enlisted rank. More informally, it can refer to any member of an air force, or to any pilot, aviator, or aircrewman, military or civilian, male or female.
In civilian aviation usage, the term airman is analogous to the term sailor in nautical usage. (U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard members are almost all sailors, even on naval and Coast Guard shore bases, but the subset of these who actually serve at sea in ships and boats are also “seamen”. Further, people in these services who are involved in flying are also “airmen”.) In the American Federal Aviation Administration usage, an airman is any holder of an airman’s certificate, male or female. This certificate is issued to those who qualify for it by the Federal Aviation Administration Airmen Certification Branch.