In order to reduce random errors of the lidar signal inversion, a low-pass parabolic fast Fourier transform filter (PFFTF) was introduced for noise elimination. A compact airborne Raman lidar system was studied, which applied PFFTF to process lidar signals. Mathematics and simulations of PFFTF along with low pass filters, sliding mean filter (SMF), median filter (MF), empirical mode decomposition (EMD) and wavelet transform (WT) were studied, and the practical engineering value of PFFTF for lidar signal processing has been verified. The method has been tested on real lidar signal from Wyoming Cloud Lidar (WCL). Results show that PFFTF has advantages over the other methods. It keeps the high frequency components well and reduces much of the random noise simultaneously for lidar signal processing.