Air Traffic Organization Policy

JO 7110.65T
Effective Date:
February 11, 2010
Subject:  Air Traffic Control

Includes: Change 1 dated 8/26/2010, Change 2 and Errata dated 3/10/2011, and Change 3 dated 8/25/2011



Section 9. Automatic Terminal Information Service Procedures


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

a. 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 shall 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.

FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 10-4-1, Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS).

b. The ATIS recording shall be reviewed for completeness, accuracy, speech rate, and proper enunciation before being transmitted.

c. 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.

a. 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/HIWAS update, etc.

b. 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:

“Latest ceiling/visibility/altimeter/wind/(other conditions) will be issued by approach control/tower.”

c. Broadcast on all appropriate frequencies to advise aircraft of a change in the ATIS code/message.

d. Controllers shall ensure that pilots receive the most current pertinent information. Ask the pilot to confirm receipt of the current ATIS information if the pilot does not initially state the appropriate ATIS code. Controllers shall ensure that changes to pertinent operational information is provided after the initial confirmation of ATIS information is established. Issue the current weather, runway in use, approach information, and pertinent NOTAMs to pilots who are unable to receive the ATIS.

“Verify you have information ALPHA.”

“Information BRAVO now current, visibility three miles.”

“Information CHARLIE now current, Ceiling 1500 Broken.”

“Information CHARLIE now current, advise when you have CHARLIE.”

2-9-3. CONTENT

Include the following in ATIS broadcast as appropriate:

a. Airport/facility name, phonetic letter code, time of weather sequence (UTC). Weather information consisting of wind direction and velocity, visibility, obstructions to vision, present weather, sky condition, temperature, dew point, altimeter, a density altitude advisory when appropriate and other pertinent remarks included in the official weather observation. Wind direction, velocity, and altimeter shall be reported from certified direct reading instruments. Temperature and dew point should be reported from certified direct reading sensors when available. 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.

b. 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.

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.”

FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 10-2-13, MANPADS Alert.
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 2-1-9, Handling MANPADS Incidents.

c. Terminal facilities shall 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).


FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 10-2-14, Unauthorized Laser Illumination of Aircraft.
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 2-1-27, Reporting Unauthorized Laser Illumination of Aircraft.

d. 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.

A remark may be made, “The weather is better than five thousand and five.”

e. Instrument/visual approach/s in use. Specify landing runway/s unless the runway is that to which the instrument approach is made.

f. Departure runway/s (to be given only if different from landing runway/s or in the instance of a “departure only” ATIS).

g. 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.

FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 2-1-22, Bird Activity Information.

h. Runway braking action or friction reports when provided. Include the time of the report and a word describing the cause of the runway friction problem.

RUNWAY (number) MU (first value, second value, third value) AT (time), (cause).

“Runway Two Seven, MU forty-two, forty-one, twenty-eight at one zero one eight Zulu, ice.”

FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 3-3-5, Braking Action Advisories.

i. 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 con-ducted, or other perishable items that may appear only for a matter of hours or a few days on the ATIS message.

j. Low level wind shear/microburst when reported by pilots or is detected on a wind shear detection system.

FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 3-1-8, Low Level Wind Shear/Microburst Advisories.

k. 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.

l. Instructions for the pilot to acknowledge receipt of the ATIS message by informing the controller on initial contact.

“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 HIWAS, Flight Watch, or Flight Service Frequencies. Advise on initial contact you have Delta.”


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