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Encyclopedia > Automatic Terminal Information Service

Automatic Terminal Information Service, or ATIS, is a continuous broadcast of recorded noncontrol information in busier terminal (i.e. airport) areas. ATIS broadcasts contain essential information, such as weather information, which runways are active, available approaches, and any other information required by the pilots, such as important NOTAMs. Pilots usually listen to an available ATIS broadcast before contacting the local control tower, in order to reduce the controllers' workload and relieve frequency congestion. An airport terminal is a building at an airport where passengers transfer from ground transportation to the facilities that allow them to board airplanes. ... METAR is a format for reporting weather information. ... NOTAM or NoTAM is the quasi-acronym for a Notice To Airmen. NOTAMs are created and transmitted by government agencies under guidelines specified by Annex 15: Aeronautical Information Services of the International Convention on Civil Aviation. ...

The recording is updated when there is a significant change in the information, like a change in the active runway. It is given a letter designation (e.g. bravo), from the Phonetic Alphabet. The letter progresses down the alphabet and starts at Alpha each day. When contacting the control tower or ground station, a pilot will indicate he/she has "information" and the ATIS identification letter to let the controller know that the pilot is up to date with all current information. FAA radiotelephony phonetic alphabet and Morse code chart. ...


Sample message - audio

A sample message (from Amsterdam Schiphol) may be heard here. Schiphol (IATA: AMS, ICAO: EHAM) (municipality Haarlemmermeer) is the Netherlands main airport. ...

Message Explanation
This is Schiphol arrival information Kilo Indicates the broadcast is for aircraft inbound to Schiphol, and the letter code.
Main landing runway 18 Right Main runway used for landing is 18R
Transition level 50 Lowest usable flight level is 50. See Transition altitude.
200 degrees, 11 knots Wind direction 200 (south-southwest), average 11 knots
Visibility 10 kilometres General visibility 10 kilometers or more
Few 1300 feet, scattered 1800 feet, broken 2200 feet Cloud layers at the indicated altitude above the airport
Temperature 15, dewpoint 13 Temperature and dewpoint in degrees Celsius.
QNH 995 hectopascal QNH 995 hectopascal.
No significant change No significant change in weather expected.
Contact Approach and Arrival callsign only When instructed to contact the Approach and Arrival controller, check in with callsign only (for the sake of brevity)
End of information Kilo End of bulletin and the identifier again.

See METAR for a more in-depth explanation of aviation weather messages and terminology. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Transition altitude is a term used in aviation. ... A knot is a unit of speed abbreviated kt or kn. ... QNH is a Q code. ... The pascal (symbol Pa) is the SI unit of pressure. ... METAR is a format for reporting weather information. ...

Sample message - text

On tuning to an ATIS frequency, a pilot might hear:

Vancouver International information Bravo, weather at one three five five Zulu. Wind three zero zero at eight, visibility five. Five hundred scattered, one thousand two hundred few, ceiling three thousand overcast, temperature one five, dew-point eight. Altimeter two niner eight seven. IFR approach is ILS or visual, runway two six left and runway two six right. Simultaneous parallel ILS approaches in use. Departures, runway two six left. GPS approaches available. VFR aircraft say direction of flight. All aircraft read back all hold short instructions. Advise controller on initial contact that you have Bravo.

This translates to: Visual flight rules (VFR) are a set of aviation regulations under which a pilot may operate an aircraft in weather conditions sufficient to allow the pilot, by visual reference to the environment outside the cockpit, to control the aircrafts attitude, navigate, and maintain safe separation from obstacles such as...

Vancouver International Airport, the information Bravo is issued at 13:55 UTC. The winds are from 300 (~northwest) at 8 Knots. Five statute miles visibility. At 500 feet there are scattered clouds, at 1,200 there are few clouds, at 3,000 feet there is an overcast flight ceiling. The temperature is 15°C (some airports don't include this due to variability). The dew point is 8°C. The altimeter setting is 29.87 inches of mercury (however this could also be expressed in millibars or hectopascals.) Visual and simultaneous ILS landings available using runways 26L and 26R, while departures may use runway 26L. You can conduct an approach via a GPS system. When you first contact air traffic control, inform them your direction of flight if you are using Visual Flight Rules, and that you have information Bravo. Any "hold short" instructions the controller gives you need to be read back to the controller to confirm you have received them properly.

Vancouver International Airport (IATA: YVR, ICAO: CYVR) is located on Sea Island in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, about 15 kilometres from downtown Vancouver. ... ... A knot is a unit of speed abbreviated kt or kn. ... A flight ceiling is the upper altitudinal limit of which any aircraft may fly given its mechanical abilities. ... Dew on a spider web The dew point or dewpoint of a given parcel of air is the temperature to which the parcel must be cooled, at constant barometric pressure, for the water vapor component to condense into water, called dew. ... Diagram showing the face of a three-pointer sensitive aircraft altimeter displaying altitude in feet. ... Pressure is the application of force to a surface, and the concentration of that force in a given area. ... A millibar (mb) is 1/1000th of a bar, a unit for measurement of pressure. ... The pascal (symbol Pa) is the SI unit of pressure. ... The Localizer station at Hanover/Langenhagen International Airport in Hanover, Germany. ... Over fifty GPS satellites such as this NAVSTAR have been launched since 1978. ...

System operation

In its simplest form, the ATIS is a continuously playing recording of a person reading the message aloud. Because the message needs to be re-recorded at every update (which is several times per hour at least), this is quite cumbersome. Most airports use a more automated system using a speech synthesizer nowadays, where a computer voice speaks the message. Most systems use a female voice, because female voices are often easier to understand when radio reception is less than optimal. Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech. ...

Some airports have separate ATIS broadcasts for arriving and departing aircraft, each on its own frequency. This keeps the message brief.

Many high-capacity airports employ the use of Digital ATIS (or dATIS). dATIS is a transcribed, digitally transmitted version of the ATIS audio broadcast, usually accessed from a digital display such as an EFB or an FMS. Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) is a general purpose computing platform intended to reduce, or replace, paper-based reference material often found in the Pilots carry-on Flight Bag (e. ... A Flight Managment System is a little computer onboard almost every aircraft that will guide the aircraft to it designated destination. ...

See also

METAR is a format for reporting weather information. ... Air Traffic Control Towers (ATCTs) at Amsterdams Schiphol Airport Air traffic control (ATC) is a service provided by ground-based controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and in the air. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Airport - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4358 words)
The area where aircraft park next to a terminal to load passengers and baggage is known as a ramp (or, to the media and uninitiated, "the tarmac").
In 1922, the first permanent airport and commercial terminal solely for commercial aviation was built at Königsberg, Germany.
One such example of this is the movie The Terminal, a film about a man who becomes permanently grounded in an airport terminal and must survive only on the food and shelter provided by the airport.
Airport - Facts, Information, and Encyclopedia Reference article (2971 words)
A military airport is known as an airbase in North American terminology (other countries may use the term airfield or air station in current parlance or aerodrome in 1930s parlance).
The area where aircraft park next to a terminal to load passengers and baggage is known as a ramp.
These services usually provide the passengers food and drinks before they get on to their flight.
  More results at FactBites »



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