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Airport Advisory Area

Introduction:

  • Airport advisory services are provided at airports without an operating control tower that have certified automated weather reporting via voice capability
    • When there is no control tower in operation and a pilot appears unaware of this fact, inform him/her (NO CONTROL TOWER IN OPERATION)
  • Participation with any advisory service is not mandatory but is highly encouraged to improve safety for everyone operating around busy General Aviation airports
  • When requested, pilots will be provided observed information ("Landing gear appears to be down and in place")
  • There are 3 types depending upon the location of the FSS and communication capabilities:

Communications

  • If a pilot asks for airport advisory services at an airport where the requested service is not available but one of the services is available, pilots will be informed about what service is available, and the appropriate service will be provided
    • "[Airport name] Airport Advisory is not available, [Service] available"
  • At airports with commissioned automated weather with continuous automated voice capability, instruct the pilot to monitor the automated broadcast and advise intentions:
    • "Monitor [Location] automated weather [Frequency]. Advise intentions"
      • When the pilot indicates receipt of automated weather, provide the appropriate non-weather elements
      • If the pilot reports the automated weather is out of service, provide the last reported weather available and the appropriate non-weather elements
  • Advise the pilot that the requested airport advisory/RAIS service is not available. Provide CTAF frequency and/or the automated weather frequency, when available. When not available, issue the last known surface condition and altimeter
    • "[Airport Name] AIRPORT ADVISORY or AIRPORT INFORMATION NOT AVAILABLE. CONTACT [Airport Name] CTAF [Frequency]"
  • During initial contact, if the pilot indicates receipt of automated weather, provide only the appropriate non-weather elements. Do not provide weather information unless specifically requested by the pilot or a special report is transmitted
    • RAIS: Pilot: "Green Bay radio, Cessna 12RG, ten northeast, landing Eau Claire, request airport information, I have the automated weather"
    • FSS: "Cessna 12RG, Eau Claire airport information, your traffic is a Cessna 172 entering downwind and a Convair 660 reported on final, both one minute ago. There is an airport maintenance vehicle"
  • If additional pilots initiate contact a short time after airport advisory services were provided, determine if the new pilot(s) copied the information when it was provided.
    • If the new pilot responds in the affirmative, do not repeat the information
    • If the new pilot acknowledges the airport advisory information and then requests specific information, provide only the information requested so as to reduce frequency clutter while insuring that the pilots are aware of the situation as it changes
  • Final Guard is a service provided in conjunction with airport advisory only during periods of significant and fast changing weather conditions that may affect landing and takeoff operations.
  • Where AFIS is available, confirm receipt of the current AFIS information if the pilot does not initially state the appropriate AFIS code. Issue the current AFIS information to pilots who are unable to receive the AFIS or pilots that do not have the information
    • "Verify you have information ALFA"
  • If the pilot requests special VFR clearance, provide the appropriate elements and follow the procedures in Chapter 4, Section 5, Special VFR Operations

Airport Advisory/RAIS ELEMENTS AND PHRASEOLOGY

  • State the airport name and the type of service being provided: airport advisory or airport information
  • EXAMPLE-(Airport name), AIRPORT ADVISORY . . .
  • Or
  • (Airport name), AIRPORT INFORMATION . . .
  • NOTE-At FSS facilities with AFIS equipment, if an aircraft has acknowledged receipt of the AFIS message, traffic advisories and additional information need not be preceded by the phrase (Airport name) AIRPORT ADVISORY
  • Provide the following information as needed to best serve the current traffic situation. Do not approve or disapprove simulated instrument approaches
    1. Wind direction and speed
    2. Favored or designated runway
    3. Altimeter setting
    4. Traffic
    5. NOTAM information/braking action/runway friction
    6. Weather
    7. Density Altitude
    8. Wake turbulence
    9. Final Guard
  • Provide the following information as needed to best serve the current traffic situation. Do not approve or disapprove simulated instrument approaches
    1. Wind direction and speed
      • Favored or designated runway is a service provided in conjunction with an airport advisory. The specialist must check the current wind data and provide the favored or designated runway information as follows:
        • For takeoff and landing operations state the runway most nearly aligned into the wind
        • Inform the pilot when the current wind direction is varying enough that the selection of the favored runway may be affected, when there is more than 10 knots between peaks and lulls, or the pilot has requested the information
        • If there is no wind, state the runway currently in use, the runway favored by a shorter taxiway, or other local consideration
        • When airport management has designated a runway to be used under certain wind or other conditions (and has informed the FSS in writing) issue runway information accordingly
        • If the majority of the traffic has been using a runway other than the favored or designated runway, advise the pilot
        • EXAMPLE-Landing airport has runways 27 (longer) and 32 with most pilots utilizing the shorter runway WIND VARIABLE BETWEEN TWO EIGHT ZERO AND THREE FOUR ZERO AT ONE FIVE GUSTS TWO EIGHT, FAVORED RUNWAY THREE TWO
        • When a pilot advises he/she will use a runway other than the favored or the designated runway, inform all known concerned traffic
        • PHRASEOLOGY-ATTENTION ALL AIRCRAFT. (Aircraft type) DEPARTING/LANDING RUNWAY (number)
        • If a pilot requests the distance between an intersection and the runway end, furnish measured data from the local airport intersection takeoff diagram or other appropriate sources
        • The favored or designated runway is never provided with RAIS
    2. Altimeter Setting:
      • Airport Advisory: Apply special procedures when the altimeter setting is more than 31.00 inches Hg. Stations with the capability of reading altimeter settings above 31.00 inches Hg must issue altimeter settings
      • PHRASEOLOGY-ALTIMETER IN EXCESS OF THREE ONE ZERO ZERO. HIGH PRESSURE ALTIMETER SETTING PROCEDURES ARE IN EFFECT. RECOMMEND YOU SET ALTIMETER TO THREE ONE ZERO ZERO EN ROUTE
      • RAIS: Do not provide the altimeter unless specifically requested. Then, provide the altimeter from the last official weather report
    3. Traffic:
      • Information about observed or reported traffic, which may constitute a collision hazard, including positions of aircraft inflight and/or aircraft and vehicles operating on the airport, are reported
      • FSS "Traffic [Aircraft Type], [Position], [Minutes] AGO"
    4. Braking action/NOTAM:
      • Braking action reports are furnished as received from pilots or airport management to all aircraft
      • Braking action is described using the terms fair, poor, or nil
      • If the pilot or airport management reports braking action in other than the foregoing terms, the pilot will be queried to categorize braking action in those terms
      • When known, include the type of aircraft or vehicle from which the report is received
        • FSS "Braking action poor, reported by a Cessna Four Oh One"
      • If the braking action report affects only a portion of a runway, obtain enough information from the pilot or airport management to describe braking action in terms easily understood by the pilot
        • FSS "Braking action poor first half of Runway Six, reported by a Gulfstream Two"
    5. NOTAM:
      • NOTAMs concerning local NAVAIDs and local field conditions/airspace conditions pertinent to flight, for example, local NAVAIDs, TFRs, etc., are reported
      • EXAMPLE: All runways covered by packed snow 6 inches deep
    6. Weather. When the pilot does not have the weather conditions, issue the last reported or known weather information as follows:
      • Airport Advisory/RAIS:
        • Wind direction and speed
        • Altimeter (except RAIS)
        • Ceiling and visibility to VFR aircraft when less than basic VFR conditions exist
        • Visibility to VFR aircraft when it is less than three miles in any quadrant
        • Touchdown runway visual range (RVR)/runway visibility value (RVV) for the runway in use where RVR/RVV readout equipment is located at the workstation providing the service
        • To IFR aircraft executing an instrument approach or departure and to the appropriate control facility when visibility is less than 3 miles or when the ceiling is less than 1,000 feet or below the highest circling minimum, whichever is greater
    7. Weather advisory alert. Provide in accordance with subpara 4-3-5a
      • PHRASEOLOGY: (Advisory description) IS CURRENT FOR (condition) OVER (area)
    8. Density Altitude:
      • Facilities at airports with field elevations of 2,000 feet MSL or higher, transmit a density altitude advisory to departing general aviation aircraft whenever the temperature reaches the criteria contained in TBL 2-2-1
        • FSS: "Check density altitude"
      • This advisory will be omitted if pilot states the computation has been done or if the specialist is aware that a density altitude computation for that aircraft was included in the preflight briefing
    9. Wake Turbulence:
      • Cautionary information is issued to any aircraft if it is believed wake turbulence may have an adverse effect on the flight
      • FSS: "Caution, wake turbulence [traffic information]"
      • Note that because wake turbulence is unpredictable, air traffic personnel are not responsible for anticipating its existence or effect
    10. Final Guard is a wind and altimeter monitoring service provided in conjunction with airport advisory during periods of significant and/or fast changing weather conditions that may affect landing and takeoff operations. The specialist must monitor the remote display of the current wind and altimeter. Provide Final Guard as follows:
      • When the pilot reports On final or Taking the active runway, the specialist must provide the current wind direction, speed, and altimeter
      • If during the landing or takeoff operation conditions change and, in the specialist's opinion, the changing information might be useful to the pilot, the specialist must broadcast the new wind and/or altimeter information in the blind
      • Pilots will not be required or expected to acknowledge the broadcast
        • EXAMPLE: N12RG, Wind (direction) at (speed)
        • NOTE: Final Guard is never provided with RAIS
    11. Runway Friction:
      • Runway friction measurement readings/values are furnished as received from airport management to aircraft
        • FSS: "[Runway], [MU Number for Each Runway Zone], [Zulu Time], [Friction Problem]"
        • Example: "Runway two seven, MU thirty nine, thirty eight, twenty-eight at one zero one eight ZULU, ice"
      • Runway surface condition and/or the runway condition reading (RCR), if available, are provided to all U.S. Air Force (USAF) and Air National Guard (ANG) aircraft and issued to other aircraft upon request
        • FSS: "[Runway Condition], [RCR], [Friction Problem]"
        • Example: "Ice on runway, RCR zero five, patchy"
      • The USAF has established RCR procedures for determining the average deceleration readings of runways under conditions of water, slush, ice, or snow
      • The use of RCR code is dependent upon the pilot's having a stopping capability chart specifically applicable to his/her aircraft. USAF offices furnish RCR information at airports serving USAF and ANG aircraft

Local Airport Advisory (LAA):

  • Operated within 10 statute miles of an airport where a control tower is not operating but where a FSS is located on the airport
  • At these locations FSS provides LAA service to arriving and departing aircraft
    • Ground-to-air communication on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF)
    • Automated weather reporting with voice broadcasting
    • A continuous automated weather data display
    • Other continuous direct reading instruments, or manual observations available to the specialist
  • Final guard (explained below) will automatically be provided during periods of fast changing weather
  • Authorized Frequencies:
    • Airport advisory service is provided on the appropriate discrete frequency at non-towered locations
    • Airport advisory service is provided on the tower local control frequency at an airport with a part time tower when that facility is not operating
    • If a pilot calls on another frequency, advisories are issued on the frequency to which the pilot is listening, in addition to the appropriate Airport Advisory frequency
    • Pilots are encouraged to guard the airport advisory frequency or tower local control frequency within a 10 mile radius of the airport
    • FSS: "For further advisory service at [Airport Name], monitor [Frequency] within one zero miles"

Remote Airport Advisory (RAA):

  • Remote airport advisory (RAA) is a remote service which may be provided by facilities that are not located on the landing airport
  • Operated within 10 SM of an airport with no operating tower and high activity
  • Check Airport Facility Directory (A/FD) for details
    • Ground-to-air communication on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF)
    • Automated weather reporting with voice broadcasting
    • A continuous automated weather data display
    • Other continuous direct reading instruments, or manual observations available to the specialist
  • Final guard will automatically be provided during periods of fast changing weather
  • Authorized Frequencies:

    • Airport advisory service is provided on the appropriate discrete frequency at non-towered locations
    • Airport advisory service is provided on the tower local control frequency at an airport with a part time tower when that facility is not operating
    • If a pilot calls on another frequency, advisories are issued on the frequency to which the pilot is listening, in addition to the appropriate Airport Advisory frequency
    • Pilots are encouraged to guard the airport advisory frequency or tower local control frequency within a 10 mile radius of the airport
    • FSS: "For further advisory service at [Airport Name], monitor [Frequency] within one zero miles"
  • Authorized Frequencies:

    • Provide RAIS on the existing discrete frequency located at the remote airport
    • If a pilot calls and appears to be unaware that RAIS is available, offer the service
    • If a pilot calls on another frequency, issue advisories on the frequency the pilot is listening, in addition to the appropriate airport advisory frequency
    • If RAIS is requested when it is not offered, inform the pilot that the service is not available and follow para 4-4-2c
    • NOTE-This service is only provided at remote airports that have an existing discrete communications capability between the airport and the flight service station serving the airport and a NOTAM D announcing the availability of the service is in effect

Remote Airport Information Service (RAIS):

  • Provides short term support for fly-ins and special events by facilities which are not located on the landing airport but have:
    • Communication capability
    • Automated weather reporting available to the pilot at the landing airport
  • FAA policy requires pilots to access the current automated weather prior to requesting any remote ATC services at non-towered airports
  • It is the pilot's responsibility to comply with the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) if landing clearance is required
  • Advertised by NOTAM(D) only
  • The FSS will not have access to a continuous readout of the current winds and altimeter; therefore, RAIS does not include weather and/or Final Guard service
    • However, known traffic, special event instructions, and all other services are provided
  • Airport authority and/or managers should request RAIS support on official letterhead directly with the manager of the FSS that will provide the service at least 60 days in advance
  • Approval authority rests with the FSS manager and is based on workload and resource availability
  • For more information see Aeronautical Information Manual (4-1-9) Traffic Advisory Practices at Airports Without Operating Control Towers

Final Guard:

  • Begins when the aircraft reports "on final" or "taking the active runway" until the airport reports "on the ground" or "airborne"
  • It is crucial to inform FSS when you are airborne/on deck
  • Wind and altimeters will be given however ATIS must still be monitored
  • Provided for LAA/RAA
NOTE:
Current policy, when requesting remote ATC services, requires that a pilot monitor the automated weather broadcast at the landing airport prior to requesting ATC services. The FSS automatically provides Final Guard, when appropriate, during LAA/Remote Airport Advisory (RAA) operations. Final Guard is a value added wind/altimeter monitoring service, which provides an automatic wind and altimeter check during active weather situations when the pilot reports on-final or taking the active runway. During the landing or take-off operation when the winds or altimeter are actively changing the FSS will blind broadcast significant changes when the specialist believes the change might affect the operation. Pilots should acknowledge the first wind/altimeter check but due to cockpit activity no acknowledgement is expected for the blind broadcasts. It is prudent for a pilot to report on-the-ground or airborne to end the service

Conclusion:

  • It is not mandatory that pilots participate in the Airport Advisory programs
  • Participation enhances safety for everyone operating around busy GA airports; therefore, everyone is encouraged to participate and provide feedback that will help improve the program
  • Airport advisory service personnel maintains charts depicting runways, local taxi routes, intersection takeoff information, airport traffic patterns, and instrument approach procedures for the location(s) served
  • Any published service hours published in the A/FD may be changed by NOTAM D

References: