Section 9. Automatic Terminal Information Service Procedures

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  • Section 9. Automatic Terminal Information Service Procedures

    2-9-1. APPLICATION

    Use the ATIS, where available, to provide advance noncontrol airport/terminal area and meteorological information to aircraft.

    1. Identify each ATIS message by a phonetic letter code word at both the beginning and the end of the message. Automated systems will have the phonetic letter code automatically appended. Exceptions may be made where omissions are required because of special programs or equipment.
      1. Each alphabet letter phonetic word must be used sequentially, except as authorized in subpara a2, beginning with “Alpha,” ending with “Zulu,” and repeated without regard to the beginning of a new day. Identify the first resumed broadcast message with “Alpha” or the first assigned alphabet letter word in the event of a broadcast interruption of more than 12 hours.
      2. Specific sequential portions of the alphabet may be assigned between facilities or an arrival and departure ATIS when designated by a letter of agreement or facility directive.
        • REFERENCE
        • FAA Order JO 7210.3, Para 10-4-1, Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS).
    2. The ATIS recording must be reviewed for completeness, accuracy, speech rate, and proper enunciation before being transmitted.
    3. Arrival and departure messages, when broadcast separately, need only contain information appropriate for that operation.


    Maintain an ATIS message that reflects the most current arrival and departure information.

    1. Make a new recording when any of the following occur:
      1. Upon receipt of any new official weather regardless of whether there is or is not a change in values.
      2. When runway braking action reports are received that indicate runway braking is worse than that which is included in the current ATIS broadcast.
      3. When there is a change in any other pertinent data, such as runway change, instrument approach in use, new or canceled NOTAMs/PIREPs update, etc.
    2. When a pilot acknowledges that he/she has received the ATIS broadcast, controllers may omit those items contained in the broadcasts if they are current. Rapidly changing conditions will be issued by ATC, and the ATIS will contain the following:
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Latest ceiling/visibility/altimeter/wind/(other conditions) will be issued by approach control/tower.”
    3. Controllers must ensure that pilots receive the most current pertinent information by taking the following actions, as applicable:
      1. When a pilot does not state the appropriate ATIS code on initial contact, ask the pilot to confirm receipt of the current ATIS information.
        • EXAMPLE
        • “Verify you have information CHARLIE.”
        • “Information CHARLIE current. Advise when you have CHARLIE.”
      2. When a pilot is unable to receive the ATIS, issue the current weather, runway in use, approach/departure information, pertinent NOTAMs, and airport conditions.
        • EXAMPLE
        • “Wind two five zero at one zero. Visibility one zero. Ceiling four thousand five hundred broken. Temperature three four. Dew point two eight. Altimeter three zero one zero. ILS-DME Runway Two Seven Approach in use. Departing Runway Two Two Right. Hazardous Weather Information for (geographical area) available on Flight Service Frequencies. Braking Action advisories are in effect.”
    4. Advise aircraft of changes to the ATIS code by broadcasting the change on all appropriate frequencies. The broadcast must include changes to pertinent operational information, when known, that necessitated the ATIS change.
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Attention all aircraft, information ALPHA current.”
      • “Attention all aircraft, information BRAVO current. MICROBURST advisories in effect.”
      • “Attention all aircraft, information CHARLIE current. Numerous flocks of ducks in the immediate vicinity of (name) airport, altitude unknown.”
      • NOTE:
      • 1. No additional acknowledgement is required when a controller broadcasts information subsequent to the pilot's initial acknowledgement of the ATIS. Requiring each aircraft to acknowledge receipt of pertinent changes (broadcast) after initial confirmation of the ATIS could significantly impact workload.
      • 2. Pertinent conditions are those that have a clear decisive relevance to the safety of air traffic. As noted in Paragraph 2-1-2, Duty Priority, there are many variables involved that make it virtually impossible to develop a standard list of changes that are classified as relevant to every conceivable situation. Each set of circumstances must be evaluated on its own merit, and when more than one action is required, controllers must exercise their best judgment based on the facts and circumstances known to them.

    2-9-3. CONTENT

    1. Include the following in ATIS broadcast as appropriate:
      1. Airport/facility name.
      2. Phonetic letter code.
      3. Time of the latest weather sequence (UTC).
      4. Weather information consisting of:
        1. (a) Wind direction and velocity.
        2. (b) Visibility.
        3. (c) Obstructions to vision.
        4. (d) Present weather consisting of: sky condition, temperature, dew point, altimeter, a density altitude advisory when appropriate, and other pertinent remarks included in the official weather observation. Always include weather observation remarks of lightning, cumulonimbus, and towering cumulus clouds.

        ASOS/AWOS is to be considered the primary source of wind direction, velocity, and altimeter data for weather observation purposes at those locations that are so equipped. The ASOS Operator Interface Device (OID) displays the magnetic wind as “MAG WND” in the auxiliary data location in the lower left-hand portion of the screen. Other OID displayed winds are true and are not to be used for operational purposes.

        • REFERENCE
        • FAA Order JO 7900.5, Surface Weather Observing Table 3-2.
        • FAA Order JO 7210.3, Para 10-2-1, Position Duties and Responsibilities.
      5. Instrument approach and runway in use.
    2. Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) alert and advisory. Specify the nature and location of threat or incident, whether reported or observed and by whom, time (if known), and notification to pilots to advise ATC if they need to divert.
      • EXAMPLE
      • 1. “MANPADS alert. Exercise extreme caution. MANPADS threat reported by TSA, Chicago area.” “Advise on initial contact if you want to divert.”
      • 2. “MANPADS alert. Exercise extreme caution. MANPADS attack observed by tower one-half mile northwest of airfield at one-two-five-zero Zulu.” “Advise on initial contact if you want to divert.”
    3. Terminal facilities must include reported unauthorized laser illumination events on the ATIS broadcast for one hour following the last report. Include the time, location, altitude, color, and direction of the laser as reported by the pilot.
      • UNAUTHORIZED LASER ILLUMINATION EVENT, (UTC time), (location), (altitude), (color), (direction).
      • EXAMPLE
    4. The ceiling/sky condition, visibility, and obstructions to vision may be omitted if the ceiling is above 5,000 feet and the visibility is more than 5 miles.
      • EXAMPLE
      • A remark may be made, “The weather is better than five thousand and five.”
    5. Instrument/visual approach/es in use. Specify landing runway/s unless the runway is that to which the instrument approach is made. Before advertising non-precision approaches, priority should be given to available precision, then APV approaches.
    6. Departure runway/s (to be given only if different from landing runway/s or in the instance of a “departure only” ATIS).
    7. Taxiway closures which affect the entrance or exit of active runways, other closures which impact airport operations, other NOTAMs and PIREPs pertinent to operations in the terminal area. Inform pilots of where hazardous weather is occurring and how the information may be obtained. Include available information of known bird activity.
    8. When a runway length has been temporarily or permanently shortened, ensure that the word “WARNING” prefaces the runway number, and that the word “shortened” is also included in the text of the message.
      1. Available runway length, as stated in the NOTAM, must be included in the ATIS broadcast. This information must be broadcast for the duration of the construction project.
      2. For permanently shortened runways, facilities must continue to broadcast this information for a minimum of 30 days or until the Chart Supplement U.S. has been updated, whichever is longer.
      • WARNING, RUNWAY (number) HAS BEEN SHORTENED, (length in feet) FEET AVAILABLE.
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Warning, Runway One-Zero has been shortened, niner-thousand eight hundred and fifty feet available.”
    9. Runway Condition Codes (RwyCC) when provided. Include the time of the report.
      • RUNWAY (number) condition codes (first value, second value, third value) AT (time).
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Runway Two Seven, condition codes two, two, one at one zero one eight Zulu.”
    10. Runway Condition Codes “3/3/3” and the statement “Slippery When Wet.”
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Runway (number) condition codes three, three, three, Slippery When Wet at one two five five Zulu.”

      NOTE: A Slippery When Wet FICON NOTAM indicates a runway has failed a friction survey, for example, due to excessive rubber build-up. Airport Operators will notify ATCT operational personnel of this concern and issue a FICON NOTAM prior to the expected arrival of rain. The FICON NOTAM will be cancelled when the rain has ended and the runway environment is determined to be dry by the Airport Operator.

    11. Runway Condition codes “X/X/X.” When a FICON NOTAM indicates these values, the statement “Runway Condition Codes Missing” must be included on the ATIS broadcast.
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Runway (number) condition codes missing at one three four seven Zulu.”

      NOTE: A FICON NOTAM may be generated with “X/X/X” instead of Runway Condition Codes. This will occur when the NOTAM user interface is not functioning correctly; however, a FICON NOTAM is still present.

    12. Other optional information as local conditions dictate in coordination with ATC. This may include such items as VFR arrival frequencies, temporary airport conditions, LAHSO operations being conducted, or other perishable items that may appear only for a matter of hours or a few days on the ATIS message.
    13. When all 3 runway segments (touchdown, midpoint, and rollout) are reporting a code of 6, the Airport Operator will notify ATC that runway condition codes are no longer reportable.
    14. Low level wind shear/microburst when reported by pilots or is detected on a wind shear detection system.
    15. A statement which advises the pilot to read back instructions to hold short of a runway. The air traffic manager may elect to remove this requirement 60 days after implementation provided that removing the statement from the ATIS does not result in increased requests from aircraft for read back of hold short instructions.
    16. Instructions for the pilot to acknowledge receipt of the ATIS message by informing the controller on initial contact.
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Boston Tower Information Delta. One four zero zero Zulu. Wind two five zero at one zero. Visibility one zero. Ceiling four thousand five hundred broken. Temperature three four. Dew point two eight. Altimeter three zero one zero. ILS-DME Runway Two Seven Approach in use. Departing Runway Two Two Right. Hazardous Weather Information for (geographical area) available on Flight Service Frequencies. Advise on initial contact you have Delta.”
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