Chapter 1. General

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  • Chapter 1. General

    Section 1. Introduction


    This order prescribes air traffic control procedures and phraseology for use by persons providing air traffic control services. Controllers are required to be familiar with the provisions of this order that pertain to their operational responsibilities and to exercise their best judgment if they encounter situations that are not covered by it.

    1-1-2. AUDIENCE

    This order applies to all ATO personnel and anyone using ATO directives.


    This order is available on the FAA Web site at


    FAA Order JO 7110.65Z, Air Traffic Control, dated June 17, 2021, and all changes to it are canceled.


    The significant changes to this order are identified in the Explanation of Changes page(s). It is advisable to retain the page(s) throughout the duration of the basic order.


    1. This order and its changes are scheduled to be published to coincide with AIRAC dates. (See TBL 1-1-1.)
    2. The “Cutoff Date for Completion” in the table below refers to the deadline for a proposed change to be fully coordinated and signed. Change initiators must submit their proposed changes well in advance of this cutoff date to meet the publication effective date. The process to review and coordinate changes often takes several months after the change is initially submitted.
    TBL 1-1-1 Publication Schedule
    Basic or Change Cutoff Date for Completion Effective Date of Publication
    JO 7110.65AA 11/3/22 4/20/23
    Change 1 4/20/23 10/5/23
    Change 2 10/5/23 3/21/24
    Change 3 3/21/24 9/5/24
    JO 7110.65BB 9/5/24 2/20/25
    Change 1 2/20/25 8/7/25
    Change 2 8/7/25 1/22/26
    Change 3 1/22/26 7/29/26


    1. If an FAA facility has not received the order/changes at least 30 days before the above effective dates, the facility must notify its service area office distribution officer.
    2. If a military facility has not received the order/changes at least 30 days before the above effective dates, the facility must notify its appropriate military headquarters. (See TBL 1-1-2.)
    TBL 1-1-2 Military Distribution Contacts
    Military Headquarters DSN Commercial
    U.S. Army USAASA 656-4868 (703) 806-4868
    U.S. Air Force HQ AFFSA 884-5509 (405) 734-5509
    U.S. Navy CNO (N980A) 224-2638 (703) 614-2638


    The office of primary responsibility (OPR) for this order is:

    • FAA Headquarters, Mission Support Services
    • Policy (AJV-P)
    • 600 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20597
    1. Personnel should submit recommended changes in procedures to facility management.
    2. Recommendations from other sources should be submitted through appropriate FAA, military, or industry/user channels.
    3. Proposed changes must be submitted electronically to [email protected]. The submission should include a description of the recommended change, and the proposed language to be used in the order.

      NOTE: For details on the submission process as well as additional AJV-P processing responsibilities, please see FAA Order JO 7000.5 Procedures for Submitting Changes to Air Traffic Control Publications.

    4. Procedural changes will not be made to this order until the operational system software has been adapted to accomplish the revised procedures


    1. Interpretation requests from field air traffic personnel must be submitted as follows:
      1. The request must be submitted,in writing,by an Air Traffic Facility/General manager to their Service Area Director.
      2. The Service Area Director must review the request and determine if more than one interpretation on the intent of the language can be inferred.
      3. If it is determined that an interpretation is required, the Service Area Director must submit the request, in writing, to the Policy Directorate, for a response.
    2. If a request does not require an interpretation but further clarification is needed it must be forwarded to the Service Center Operations Support Group for a response.
      1. The Service Center Operations Support Group may consult with the Policy Directorate when preparing their response.
      2. The Service Center Operations Support Group must provide a written response to the requestor and forward the response to the Policy Directorate.
    3. Interpretation requests from all other sources must be submitted to the Policy Directorate at [email protected]

    NOTE: Interpretations can be accessed through the Air Traffic Control Interpretation link at the following website:


    Procedures/minima which are applied jointly or otherwise require the cooperation or concurrence of more than one facility/organization must be documented in a letter of agreement. Letters of agreement only supplement this order. Any minima they specify must not be less than that specified herein unless appropriate military authority has authorized application of reduced separation between military aircraft.


    1. Exceptional or unusual requirements may dictate procedural deviations or supplementary procedures to this order. Prior to implementing supplemental or any procedural deviation that alters the level, quality, or degree of service, obtain prior approval from the Vice President, Mission Support Services.
    2. If military operations or facilities are involved, prior approval by the following appropriate headquarters is required for subsequent interface with FAA. (See TBL 1-1-3.)
    TBL 1-1-3 Military Operations Interface Offices
    Branch Address
    U.S. Navy
    • Department of the Navy
    • Chief of Naval Operations
    • N980A, NAATSEA
    • 2000 Navy Pentagon (5D453)
    • Washington, D.C. 20350-2000
    U.S. Air Force
    • HQ AFFSA
    • 5316 S. Douglas Blvd
    • Bldg 8400, Room 232
    • Oklahoma City, OK 73150
    U.S. Army
    • Director
    • 9325 Gunston Road, Suite N319
    • Ft. Belvoir, VA 22060-5582

    NOTE: Terminal: Headquarters Air Force Flight Standards Agency is the approval authority for any USAF procedures or minima that differ from those specified herein and that involve military aircraft only.


    Every employee is responsible to ensure the safety of equipment and procedures used in the provision of services within the National Airspace System (NAS). Risk assessment techniques and mitigations, as appropriate, are intended for implementation of any planned safety significant changes within the NAS, as directed by FAA Order 1100.161, Air Traffic Safety Oversight. Direction regarding the SMS and its application can be found in the FAA Safety Management System Manual and FAA Order 1100.161. The SMS will be implemented through a period of transitional activities. (Additional information pertaining to these requirements and processes can be obtained by contacting the service area offices.)


    When references are made to regional office organizations that are not part of the Air Traffic Organization (i.e., Communications Center, Flight Standards, Airport offices, etc.), the facility should contact the FAA region where the facility is physically located - not the region where the facility's service area office is located.

    1-1-14. DISTRIBUTION

    This order is distributed to selected offices in Washington headquarters, regional offices, service area offices, the William J. Hughes Technical Center, and the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. Also, copies are sent to all air traffic field facilities and international aviation field offices; and to interested aviation public.

    Section 2. Terms of Reference

    1-2-1. WORD MEANINGS

    As used in this order:

    1. “Shall” or “must” means a procedure is mandatory.
    2. “Shall not” or “must not” means a procedure is prohibited.
    3. “Should” means a procedure is recommended.
    4. “May” or “need not” means a procedure is optional.
    5. “Will” means futurity, not a requirement for the application of a procedure.
    6. Singular words include the plural.
    7. Plural words include the singular.
    8. “Aircraft” means the airframe, crew members, or both.
    9. “Approved separation” means separation in accordance with the applicable minima in this order.
    10. “Altitude” means indicated altitude mean sea level (MSL), flight level (FL), or both.
    11. “Miles” means nautical miles unless otherwise specified, and means statute miles in conjunction with visibility.
    12. “Course,” “bearing,” “azimuth,” “heading,” and “wind direction” information must always be magnetic unless specifically stated otherwise.
    13. “Time” when used for ATC operational activities, is the hour and the minute in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Change to the next minute is made at the minute plus 30 seconds, except time checks are given to the nearest quarter minute.
    14. “Runway” means the runway used by aircraft and, unless otherwise specified, does not include helipads and/or their accompanying takeoff/landing courses. (See Pilot/Controller Glossary terms - Runway and Helipad.)
    15. Flight operations in accordance with the options of “due regard” or “operational” have the following requirements:
      1. Obligates the authorized state aircraft commander to:
        1. (a) Separate his/her aircraft from all other air traffic; and
        2. (b) Assure that an appropriate monitoring agency assumes responsibility for search and rescue actions; and
        3. (c) Operate under at least one of the following conditions:
          1. (1) In visual meteorological conditions (VMC); or
          2. (2) Within an area that is covered by an ATC surveillance source and in communications with ATC, or within surveillance source service volume and radio communications range of a facility, Department of Homeland Security or DoD unit capable of providing the pilot assistance to operate with due regard to other aircraft; or
          3. (3) Be equipped with airborne radar that is sufficient to provide separation between his/her aircraft and any other aircraft he/she may be controlling and other aircraft; or
          4. (4) Operate within Class G airspace.
      2. An understanding between the pilot and controller regarding the intent of the pilot and the status of the flight should be reached before the aircraft leaves ATC frequency.
      • NOTE:
      • 1. A pilot's use of the phrase “Going Tactical” does not indicate “Due Regard.”
      • 2. The above conditions provide for a level of safety equivalent to that normally given by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) ATC agencies and fulfills U.S. Government obligations under Article 3, paragraph d, of the Chicago Convention of 1944, which stipulates there must be “due regard for the safety of navigation of civil aircraft” when flight is not being conducted under ICAO flight procedures.
        • REFERENCE
        • DoD Instruction (DODI) 4540.1, Enclosure 3, Para 3c(1)(c). DoD Flight Information Publication (FLIP), Section 8-6c(1)
    16. “CFR” means Code of Federal Regulations.


    The following definitions must be used in the application of the separation criteria in this order.

    NOTE: The term “protected airspace,” as used in this paragraph, is the airspace equal to one half the required applicable lateral separation on either side of an aircraft along its projected flight path. If the protected airspace of two aircraft does not overlap, applicable lateral separation is ensured.

    1. SAME COURSES are courses whose protected airspaces are coincident, overlap, or intersect and whose angular difference is less than 45 degrees. (See FIG 1-2-1.)
    2. CROSSING COURSES are intersecting courses whose angular difference is 45 through 135 degrees inclusive. (See FIG 1-2-1.)
    3. OPPOSITE/RECIPROCAL COURSES are courses whose protected airspaces are coincident, overlap, or intersect and whose angular difference is greater than 135 degrees through 180 degrees inclusive. (See FIG 1-2-1.)
    FIG 1-2-1 Divergence

    1-2-3. NOTES

    Statements of fact, or of a prefatory or explanatory nature relating to directive material, are set forth as notes.

    1-2-4. REFERENCES

    As used in this order, references direct attention to an additional or supporting source of information such as FAA, NWS, and other agencies' orders, directives, notices, CFRs, and Advisory Circulars (ACs).

    1-2-5. ANNOTATIONS

    Revised, reprinted, or new pages are marked as follows:

    1. The change number and the effective date are printed on each revised or additional page.
    2. A page that does not require a change is reprinted in its original form.
    3. Bold vertical lines in the margin of changed pages indicate the location of substantive revisions to the order. Bold vertical lines adjacent to the title of a chapter, section, or paragraph means that extensive changes have been made to that chapter, section, or paragraph.
    4. Paragraphs/sections annotated with EN ROUTE, OCEANIC, or TERMINAL are only to be applied by the designated type facility. When they are not so designated, the paragraphs/sections apply to all types of facilities (en route, oceanic, and terminal).
    5. The annotation, USAF for the U.S. Air Force, USN for the U.S. Navy, and USA for the U.S. Army denotes that the procedure immediately following the annotation applies only to the designated service.
    6. WAKE TURBULENCE APPLICATION inserted within a paragraph means that the remaining information in the paragraph requires the application of wake turbulence procedures.
    7. The annotation PHRASEOLOGY denotes the prescribed words and/or phrases to be used in communications.

      NOTE: Controllers may, after first using the prescribed phraseology for a specific procedure, rephrase the message to ensure the content is understood. Good judgment must be exercised when using nonstandard phraseology.

    8. The annotation EXAMPLE provides a sample of the way the prescribed phraseology associated with the preceding paragraph(s) will be used. If the preceding paragraph(s) does (do) not include specific prescribed phraseology, the EXAMPLE merely denotes suggested words and/or phrases that may be used in communications.

      NOTE: The use of the exact text contained in an example not preceded with specific prescribed phraseology is not mandatory. However, the words and/or phrases are expected, to the extent practical, to approximate those used in the example.


    As used in this order, the abbreviations listed below have the following meanings indicated. (See TBL 1-2-1.)

    TBL 1-2-1 Abbreviations
    Abbreviation Meaning
    AAR Adapted arrival route
    AAR Airport acceptance rate
    AC Advisory Circular
    ACC Area Control Center
    ACE-IDS ASOS Controller Equipment- Information Display System
    ACL Aircraft list
    ACLS Automatic Carrier Landing System
    ADAR Adapted departure arrival route
    ADC Aerospace Defense Command
    ADIZ Air Defense Identification Zone (to be pronounced “AY DIZ”)
    ADR Adapted departure route
    ADS Automatic Dependent Surveillance
    ADS-B Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast
    ADS-C Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract
    AFP Airspace flow program
    AERT Automation Embedded Route Text
    AFP Airspace Flow Program
    AIDC ATS Interfacility Data Communications
    AIM Aeronautical Information Manual
    AIRMET Airmen's meteorological information
    ALDARS Automated Lightning Detection and Reporting System
    ALERFA Alert phase code (Alerting Service)
    ALNOT Alert notice
    ALS Approach Light System
    ALTRV Altitude reservation
    AM Ambiguity- A disparity greater than a locally adapted distance exists between the position declared for a target by MEARTS and another facility's computer declared position during interfacility handoff
    AMASS Airport Movement Area Safety System
    AMB Ambiguity- A disparity greater than a locally adapted distance exists between the position declared for a target by MEARTS and another facility's computer declared position during interfacility handoff
    AMVER Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System
    ANG Air National Guard
    APR ATC preferred route
    APREQ Approval Request
    ARAC Army Radar Approach Control Facility (US Army)
    ARINC Aeronautical Radio Incorporated
    ARIP Air refueling initial point
    ARSR Air route surveillance radar
    ARTCC Air Route Traffic Control Center
    ASD Aircraft Situation Display
    ASDE Airport Surface Detection Equipment
    ASDE-X Airport Surface Detection Equipment System - Model X
    ASF Airport Stream Filters
    ASOS Automated Surface Observing System
    ASR Airport surveillance radar
    ATC Air traffic control
    ATCAA ATC assigned airspace
    ATCSCC David J. Hurley Air Traffic Control System Command Center
    ATD Along-Track Distance
    ATIS Automatic Terminal Information Service
    ATO Air Traffic Organization
    ATO COO Air Traffic Organization Chief Operating Officer
    ATOP Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures
    ATS Air Traffic Service
    AWOS Automated Weather Observing System
    BASE Cloud base
    CA Conflict Alert
    CARCAH Chief, Aerial Reconnaissance Coordination, All Hurricanes
    CARF Central Altitude Reservation Function
    CAT Clear air turbulence
    CDT Controlled departure time
    CEP Central East Pacific
    CERAP Combined Center/RAPCON
    CFR Code of Federal Regulations
    CFR Call for Release
    CIC Controller-in-Charge
    CNS Continuous
    CPDLC Controller Pilot Data Link Communications
    CPME Calibration Performance Monitor Equipment
    CTA Control Area
    CTRD Certified Tower Radar Display
    CVFP Charted Visual Flight Procedure
    CWA Center Weather Advisory
    DETRESFA Distress Phase code (Alerting Service)
    DH Decision height
    DL Departure List
    DME Distance measuring equipment compatible with TACAN
    DOE Department of Energy
    DP Instrument Departure Procedure
    DR Dead reckoning
    DRT Diversion recovery tool
    DSR Display System Replacement
    DTAS Digital Terminal Automation Systems
    DTM Digital Terrain Map
    DVFR Defense Visual Flight Rules
    DVRSN Diversion
    EA Electronic Attack
    EAS En Route Automation System
    EDCT Expect Departure Clearance Time
    EDST En Route Decision Support Tool
    EFC Expect further clearance
    EFVS Enhanced Flight Vision System
    ELDB Enhanced Limited Data Block
    ELP Emergency Landing Pattern
    ELT Emergency locator transmitter
    EoR Established on RNP
    EOS End Service
    EOVM Emergency obstruction video map
    ERAM En Route Automation Modernization
    ERIDS En Route Information Display System
    ERT Embedded route text
    ETA Estimated time of arrival
    FAA Federal Aviation Administration
    FAA Order FAA Order
    FANS Future Air Navigation System
    FDIO Flight Data Input/Output
    FDP Flight data processing
    FICON Field Condition
    FIR Flight Information Region
    FL Flight level
    FLIP Flight Information Publication
    FLY Fly or flying
    FMS Flight Management System
    FMSP Flight Management System Procedure
    FSM Flight Schedule Monitor
    FSS Flight Service Station
    GCA Ground controlled approach
    GNSS Global Navigation Satellite System
    GPD Graphics Plan Display
    GPS Global Positioning System
    GS Ground stop
    HF/RO High Frequency/Radio Operator
    HIRL High intensity runway lights
    IAFDOF Inappropriate Altitude for Direction of Flight
    ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization
    IDENT Aircraft identification
    IDS Information Display System
    IFR Instrument flight rules
    IFSS International Flight Service Station
    ILS Instrument Landing System
    INCERFA Uncertainty Phase code (Alerting Service)
    INREQ Information request
    INS Inertial Navigation System
    IR IFR military training route
    IRU Inertial Reference Unit
    ISR Increased Separation Required
    ITWS Integrated Terminal Weather System
    JATO Jet assisted takeoff
    LAHSO Land and Hold Short Operations
    LOA Letter of Agreement
    LLWAS Low Level Wind Shear Alert System
    LLWAS NE Low Level Wind Shear Alert System Network Expansion
    LLWAS-RS Low Level Wind Shear Alert System Relocation/Sustainment
    LLWS Low Level Wind Shear
    L/MF Low/medium frequency
    LORAN Long Range Navigation System
    Mach Mach number
    MALS Medium Intensity Approach Light System
    MALSR Medium Approach Light System with runway alignment indicator lights
    MAP Missed approach point
    MARSA Military authority assumes responsibility for separation of aircraft
    MCA Minimum crossing altitude
    MCI Mode C Intruder
    MDA Minimum descent altitude
    MDM Main display monitor
    MEA Minimum en route (IFR) altitude
    MEARTS Micro En Route Automated Radar Tracking System
    METAR Aviation Routine Weather Report
    MIA Minimum IFR altitude
    MIAWS Medium Intensity Airport Weather System
    MIRL Medium intensity runway lights
    MNPS Minimum Navigation Performance Specification
    MNT Mach Number Technique
    MOA Military operations area
    MOCA Minimum obstruction clearance altitude
    MRA Minimum reception altitude
    MSAW Minimum Safe Altitude Warning
    MSL Mean sea level
    MTI Moving target indicator
    MTR Military training route
    MVA Minimum vectoring altitude
    NADIN National Airspace Data Interchange Network
    NAR National Automation Request
    NAS National Airspace System
    NAT ICAO North Atlantic Region
    NAT HLA North Atlantic High Level Airspace
    NBCAP National Beacon Code Allocation Plan
    NDB Nondirectional radio beacon
    NHOP National Hurricane Operations Plan
    NM Nautical mile
    NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    NOPAC North Pacific
    NORAD North American Aerospace Defense Command
    NOS National Ocean Service
    NOTAM Notice to Air Missions
    NOWGT No weight. The weight class or wake category has not been determined
    NRP North American Route Program
    NRR Nonrestrictive Route
    NRS Navigation Reference System
    NTZ No transgression zone
    NWS National Weather Service
    NWSOP National Winter Storm Operations Plan
    ODALS Omnidirectional Approach Lighting System
    ODP Obstacle Departure Procedure
    OID Operator Interface Device
    OS Operations Supervisor
    OTR Oceanic transition route
    PAPI Precision Approach Path Indicators
    PAR Precision approach radar
    PBCT Proposed boundary crossing time
    P/CG Pilot/Controller Glossary
    PDC Pre-Departure Clearance
    PIREP Pilot Weather Report
    PPI Plan position indicator
    PTP Point-to-point
    PVD Plan view display
    RA Radar Associate
    RAIL Runway alignment indicator lights
    RAPCON Radar Approach Control Facility (USAF, USN, and USMC)
    RATCF Radar Air Traffic Control Facility (USN and USMC)
    RBS Radar bomb scoring
    RCC Rescue Coordination Center
    RCLS Runway Centerline System
    RCR Runway condition reading
    RE Recent (used to qualify weather phenomena such as rain, e.g. recent rain = RERA)
    REIL Runway end identifier lights
    RF Radius-to-Fix
    RNAV Area navigation
    RNP Required Navigation Performance
    RTQC Real-Time Quality Control
    RVR Runway visual range
    RVSM Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum
    RwyCC Runway Condition Codes
    RwyCR Runway Condition Report
    SAA Special Activity Airspace
    SAR Search and rescue
    SATCOM Satellite Communication
    SDP Surveillance Data Processing
    SELCAL Selective Calling System
    SFA Single frequency approach
    SFO Simulated flameout
    SID Standard Instrument Departure
    SIGMET Significant meteorological information
    SPA Special Posting Area
    SPECI Nonroutine (Special) Aviation Weather Report
    STAR Standard terminal arrival
    STARS Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System
    STMC Supervisory Traffic Management Coordinator
    STMCIC Supervisory Traffic Management Coordinator-in-charge
    STOL Short takeoff and landing
    SURPIC Surface Picture
    SVFR Special Visual Flight Rules
    TAA Terminal arrival area
    TAS Terminal Automation Systems
    TACAN TACAN UHF navigational aid (omnidirectional course and distance information)
    TAWS Terrain Awareness Warning System
    TCAS Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System
    TCDD Tower cab digital display
    TDLS Terminal Data Link System
    TDW Tower display workstation
    TDWR Terminal Doppler Weather Radar
    TDZL Touchdown Zone Light System
    TF Track-to-Fix
    TFMS Traffic Flow Management System
    TMC Traffic Management Coordinator
    TMU Traffic Management Unit
    TRACON Terminal Radar Approach Control
    TRSA Terminal radar service area
    UFO Unidentified flying object
    UHF Ultra high frequency
    USA United States Army
    USAF United States Air Force
    USN United States Navy
    UTC Coordinated universal time
    UTM Unsuccessful transmission message
    UUA Urgent pilot weather report
    VCI Voice Communication Indicator
    VFR Visual flight rules
    VHF Very high frequency
    VMC Visual meteorological conditions
    VNAV Vertical Navigation
    VOR VHF navigational aid (omnidirectional course information)
    VOR/DME Collocated VOR and DME navigational aids (VHF course and UHF distance information)
    VORTAC Collocated VOR and TACAN navigation aids (VHF and UHF course and UHF distance information)
    VR VFR military training route
    VSCS Voice Switching and Control System
    WAAS Wide Area Augmentation System
    WARP Weather and Radar Processing
    WATRS West Atlantic Route System
    WRA Weather Reconnaissance Area
    WSO Weather Service Office
    WSP Weather System Processor
    WST Convective SIGMET
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