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    Occasionally the military is required to operate in a nonstandard cell formation and controllers should be knowledgeable of the various tactics employed and the procedures used.

    • FAA Order JO 7610.4, Chapter 12, Section 11, Formation Flight.
    1. Formation leaders are responsible for obtaining ATC approval to conduct nonstandard formation/cell operations.
    2. When nonstandard formation/cell operations have been approved, controllers must assign sufficient altitudes to allow intra-cell vertical spacing of 500 feet between each aircraft in the formation.
    3. Control nonstandard formation/cell operations on the basis that MARSA is applicable between the participating aircraft until they establish approved separation which is acknowledged by ATC.
    4. Apply approved separation criteria between the approved nonstandard formation/cell envelope and nonparticipating aircraft.
    5. Clear aircraft operating in a nonstandard formation/cell to the breakup fix as the clearance limit. Forward data pertaining to route or altitude beyond the breakup point to the center concerned as a part of the routine flight plan information.
    6. EN ROUTE. If the breakup occurs in your area, issue appropriate clearances to authorize transition from formation to individual routes or altitudes. If a breakup cannot be approved, issue an appropriate clearance for the flight to continue as a formation.
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