AUTOMATIC TERMINAL INFORMATION SERVICE (ATIS)

a. ATIS is the continuous broadcast of recorded non-control information in selected high activity terminal areas. Its purpose is to improve controller effectiveness and to relieve frequency congestion by automating the repetitive transmission of essential but routine information. The information is continuously broadcast over a discrete VHF radio frequency or the voice portion of a local NAVAID. ATIS transmissions on a discrete VHF radio frequency are engineered to be receivable to a maximum of 60 NM from the ATIS site and a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet AGL. At most locations, ATIS signals may be received on the surface of the airport, but local conditions may limit the maximum ATIS reception distance and/or altitude. Pilots are urged to cooperate in the ATIS program as it relieves frequency congestion on approach control, ground control, and local control frequencies. The A/FD indicates airports for which ATIS is provided.

b. ATIS information includes the time of the latest weather sequence, ceiling, visibility, obstructions to visibility, temperature, dew point (if available), wind direction (magnetic), and velocity, altimeter, other pertinent remarks, instrument approach and runway in use. The ceiling/sky condition, visibility, and obstructions to vision may be omitted from the ATIS broadcast if the ceiling is above 5,000 feet and the visibility is more than 5 miles. The departure runway will only be given if different from the landing runway except at locations having a separate ATIS for departure. The broadcast may include the appropriate frequency and instructions for VFR arrivals to make initial contact with approach control. Pilots of aircraft arriving or departing the terminal area can receive the continuous ATIS broadcast at times when cockpit duties are least pressing and listen to as many repeats as desired. ATIS broadcast shall be updated upon the receipt of any official hourly and special weather. A new recording will also be made when there is a change in other pertinent data such as runway change, instrument approach in use, etc.

EXAMPLE-
Dulles International information Sierra. 1300 Zulu weather. Measured ceiling three thousand overcast. Visibility three, smoke. Temperature six eight. Wind three five zero at eight. Altimeter two niner niner two. ILS runway one right approach in use. Landing runway one right and left. Departure runway three zero. Armel VORTAC out of service. Advise you have Sierra.

c. Pilots should listen to ATIS broadcasts whenever ATIS is in operation.

d. Pilots should notify controllers on initial contact that they have received the ATIS broadcast by repeating the alphabetical code word appended to the broadcast.

EXAMPLE-
"Information Sierra received."

e. When a pilot acknowledges receipt of the ATIS broadcast, controllers may omit those items contained in the broadcast if they are current. Rapidly changing conditions will be issued by ATC and the ATIS will contain words as follows:

EXAMPLE-
"Latest ceiling/visibility/altimeter/wind/(other conditions) will be issued by approach control/tower."

NOTE-
The absence of a sky condition or ceiling and/or visibility on ATIS indicates a sky condition or ceiling of 5,000 feet or above and visibility of 5 miles or more. A remark may be made on the broadcast, "the weather is better than 5000 and 5," or the existing weather may be broadcast.

f. Controllers will issue pertinent information to pilots who do not acknowledge receipt of a broadcast or who acknowledge receipt of a broadcast which is not current.

g. To serve frequency limited aircraft, FSS's are equipped to transmit on the omnirange frequency at most en route VOR's used as ATIS voice outlets. Such communication interrupts the ATIS broadcast. Pilots of aircraft equipped to receive on other FSS frequencies are encouraged to do so in order that these override transmissions may be kept to an absolute minimum.

h. While it is a good operating practice for pilots to make use of the ATIS broadcast where it is available, some pilots use the phrase "have numbers" in communications with the control tower. Use of this phrase means that the pilot has received wind, runway, and altimeter information ONLY and the tower does not have to repeat this information. It does not indicate receipt of the ATIS broadcast and should never be used for this purpose.

 

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