Section 2. Special Operations
9-2-1. AIRCRAFT CARRYING
a. Provide the following special handling to
military aircraft or military contracted aircraft
carrying dangerous materials when:
1. The words “dangerous cargo,” or “inert
devices,” or both are contained in the remarks section
of the filed flight plan, or
1. Certain types of military flights carrying dangerous
materials require strict adherence to military regulations
and flight planning along carefully selected routes. These
flights must avoid heavily populated areas.
2. “Inert devices” are devices containing no dangerous
materials but closely resembling nuclear or explosive items
that are classified as dangerous and could be easily
mistaken for their dangerous counterparts.
2. The pilot uses these words in radio
b. If it becomes necessary to issue a clearance to
amend the route/altitude, advise the pilot:
1. Of the proposed change, and
2. The amount of delay to expect if it is
necessary to maintain the present route/altitude.
c. When it becomes necessary for the pilot to
refuse a clearance amending his/her route/altitude,
he/she will advise if the traffic delay is acceptable or
if an alternate route/altitude is desired. In such cases,
offer all possible assistance.
d. When the aircraft is provided an en route
descent, do not vector the aircraft from the planned
route unless the pilot concurs.
e. Use special patterns and routings in areas where
they have been developed for these flights. If special
patterns and routings have not been developed,
employ normal procedures.
9-2-2. CELESTIAL NAVIGATION TRAINING
a. Approve flight plans specifying celestial
navigation only when it is requested for USAF or
An ATC clearance must be obtained by the pilot before
discontinuing conventional navigation to begin celestial
navigation training. The pilot will advise when discontinuing celestial navigation and resuming conventional
navigation. Celestial navigation training will be conducted
within 30 NM of the route centerline specified in the
en route clearance unless otherwise authorized by ATC.
During celestial navigation training, the pilot will advise
ATC before initiating any heading changes which exceed
b. Within conterminous U.S. airspace, limit
celestial navigation training to transponder-equipped
aircraft within areas of ARTCC radar coverage.
c. Prior to control transfer, ensure that the
receiving controller is informed of the nature of the
celestial navigation training leg.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para
2-2-6, IFR Flight Progress Data.
9-2-3. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE)
a. Provide notification of possible route or altitude
changes as far in advance as possible for “RAC”
flights. The pilot will indicate if the proposed change
is acceptable or if alternate routing or altitude will be
DOE contracts for civil pilots to operate public aircraft to
transport radioactive or high explosive materials within
the conterminous U.S. These flights operate on an IFR
flight plan but principally during daylight hours and VFR
conditions. These flights require flight along carefully
selected routes and, in some instances, pilots will refuse
clearances that require reroute or altitude changes that
would derogate their objective.
b. EN ROUTE. Approve pilot requests to leave
center frequency for operational purposes as traffic
c. Notify a supervisor in the event any of the
following occurs with “RAC” aircraft:
1. Loss of radio contact.
2. Loss of radar contact.
3. The flight is overdue at the destination.
d. If you receive information that a “RAC” aircraft
is involved in an accident, secure as much
information as possible, particularly with respect to
location, and immediately notify the ARTCC
supervisory traffic management coordinator-in-charge.
There is a possibility of an explosive or radiation hazard of
an “RAC” aircraft involved in an accident.
9-2-4. EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT
a. When notified that an experimental aircraft
requires special handling:
14 CFR Section 91.319(d)(3) requires that each person
operating an aircraft with an experimental certificate must
notify the control tower of the experimental nature of the
aircraft when operating into or out of airports with
operating control towers.
1. Clear the aircraft according to pilot requests
as traffic permits and if not contrary to ATC
2. Once approved, do not ask the pilot to deviate
from a planned action except to preclude an
b. At locations where volume or complexity of
experimental aircraft operations warrant, a letter of
agreement may be consummated between the facility
9-2-5. FAA RESEARCH AND
When coordinated in advance and traffic permits,
approve requests for special flight procedures from
aircraft participating in FAA research and development test activities. These special procedures must be
applied to participating aircraft/vehicles.
Special flight procedures for FAA research and development test activities must be approved by the facility air
traffic manager prior to their use.
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 5-2-4, Research and Development Flights.
Provide expeditious handling for U.S. Government,
civil or military aircraft using the code name
“FLYNET.” Relay the code name as an element in the
remarks position of the flight plan.
The code name “FLYNET” indicates that an aircraft is
transporting a nuclear emergency team or a disaster
control team to the location of a potential or actual nuclear
accident or an accident involving chemical agents or
hazardous materials. It is in the public interest that they
reach their destination as rapidly as possible.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para
2-1-4, Operational Priority.
FAAO JO 7610.4, Para 12-4-1, “FLYNET” Flights, Nuclear
9-2-7. IFR MILITARY TRAINING ROUTES
a. Except for aircraft operating in the same altitude
reservation, clear aircraft into an MTR provided
separation will be applied between successive aircraft
unless otherwise covered in a letter of agreement
between the military scheduling activity and the
concerned ATC facility.
CLEARED INTO IR (designator).
MAINTAIN IR (designator) ALTITUDE(S),
MAINTAIN AT OR BELOW (altitude),
and if required,
CROSS (fix) AT OR LATER THAN (time).
b. Unless otherwise covered in a letter of
agreement between the military scheduling activity
and the concerned FAA facility, clear aircraft to exit
CLEARED TO (destination/clearance limit) FROM IR
(designator/exit fix) VIA (route).
c. If the provisions of subpara a above cannot be
accomplished, MTRs may be designated for MARSA
operations. To preclude an inadvertent compromise
of MARSA standards by ATC, appropriate MARSA
application for such routes must be covered in a letter
of agreement with the military scheduling activity.
Establish separation between aircraft as soon as
practicable after operation on the designated
MARSA route is ended.
For designated MARSA routes, the military assumes
responsibility for separation for MTR aircraft that have
passed the primary/alternate entry fix until separation is
established by ATC after operations on the MARSA route
d. The lateral airspace to be protected along an
MTR is the designated width of the route.
e. Prior to an aircraft entering an MTR, request the
pilot's estimate for the route's exit/alternate exit fix,
the pilot's requested altitude after exiting and, if
applicable, the number of reentries on a Strategic
Training Range (STR).
(Call sign) VERIFY YOUR EXIT FIX ESTIMATE AND
REQUESTED ALTITUDE AFTER EXIT,
and if applicable,
THE NUMBER OF REENTRIES.
f. Forward estimates for exit/alternate exit fixes,
requested altitude after exit, and, if applicable, the
number of reentries on the STR.
g. Apply the procedures of para
Nonreceipt of Position Report, based upon the pilot's
estimate for the route exit fix.
h. Clearance may be issued to amend or restrict
operations on a route for ATC considerations. Where
a route has been designated MARSA in accordance
with subpara c, ATC must not amend or restrict
operations in such a manner as to compromise
When MARSA is provided through route scheduling and
circumstances prevent the pilot from entering the route
within established time limits, it must be the responsibility
of the pilot to inform the ATC facility and advise his/her
i. If an aircraft on an IR experiences a two-way
radio communications failure and you are unable to
determine if the aircraft is proceeding VFR in
accordance with 14 CFR Section 91.185(b) or the
aircraft has not been positively radar identified:
1. Provide separation to the destination airport
based on the aircraft complying with the following:
(a) Maintain to the exit/alternate exit fix the
higher of the following altitudes:
(1) The minimum IFR altitude for each of
the remaining route segment(s) remaining on the
(2) The highest altitude assigned in the last
(b) Depart the exit/alternate exit fix at the
appropriate altitude specified in subpara (a) above,
then climb/descend to the altitude filed in the flight
plan for the remainder of the flight, or
In the event of a two-way communications failure, ATC will
be based on the following anticipated pilot action at the exit
fix. Unless otherwise covered in a letter of agreement, and
if the pilot is unable to comply with the VFR provisions of
14 CFR Section 91.185/FLIP IFR Supplement, the pilot
will exercise his/her emergency authority, squawk
transponder Code 7700, depart the exit/alternate exit fix
and climb/descend (continuing to squawk 7700) to the
altitude filed in the flight plan. Subsequent transponder
operations will be in accordance with para
10-4-4, Communications Failure. Air traffic
controller action from the exit fix is as prescribed in
para 10-1-1, Emergency Determinations.
(c) Proceed in accordance with the lost
communication procedure contained in letters of
2. Continue to monitor the last ATC assigned
Pilots who experience a two-way radio failure will adjust
their transponder to Code 7700 during climb/descent to
altitude filed for the next leg of the flight plan; then change
to Code 7600 for a period of 15 minutes. At the end of each
15-minute period, he/she will squawk 7700 for a period of
1 minute; all other times he/she will squawk 7600.
j. Impose delays, if needed, to eliminate conflict
with nonparticipating IFR aircraft when necessary to
preclude denial of IR usage. Advise the pilot of the
expected length and reason for delay.
9-2-8. INTERCEPTOR OPERATIONS
Provide maximum assistance to expedite the
movement of interceptor aircraft on active air defense
(scrambles) missions until the unknown aircraft is
identified in accordance with the policies and
procedures published in FAAO JO 7610.4, Special
The FAA and the military have mutually agreed to the
implementation of policies and procedures for control of
air defense interceptor operations. Effective coordination
and cooperation between FAA and the military at all levels
are essential if policy objectives are to be met.
a. The ADCF initiating the SCRAMBLE must
identify the mission as an active air defense mission.
b. ATC services must be used for active air defense
missions insofar as the circumstances and situation
c. Upon request, the ATC facility must expedite
transfer of the control jurisdiction of the interceptors
to the requesting ADCF.
9-2-9. SPECIAL INTEREST SITES
a. Immediately relay any reports or information
regarding unusual aircraft activities in the vicinity of
special interest sites such as nuclear power plants,
power plants, dams, refineries, etc., to supervisory/CIC personnel.
Air traffic controllers have no responsibilities to monitor or
observe aircraft in the vicinity of special interest sites
unless directed by supervisory/CIC personnel.
9-2-10. WASHINGTON, DC, SPECIAL
FLIGHT RULES AREA (DC SFRA)/ATC
Provide ATC security services at locations where
procedures are required for tracking aircraft in
security services airspace. ATC security services are
designed to support the national security mission of
the FAA and other agencies. Two-way radio
communications, flight planning, and an operational
transponder on an assigned code are required for
operations in the designated area.
a. When the assigned code is observed, advise the
aircraft to proceed on course/as requested but to
remain outside of Class B, C, and/or D airspace as
(ACID) TRANSPONDER OBSERVED PROCEED ON
COURSE/AS REQUESTED; REMAIN OUTSIDE (class)
1. Maintain continuous security tracking of
VFR aircraft operating in the designated area to assist
security forces in situational awareness. Immediately
report all instances of loss of radio communication or
the inability to conduct security tracking of an aircraft
to the front line manager (FLM)/CIC and wait for
2. Basic separation services to aircraft, for
example, IFR, SVFR, Class B, Class C, TRSA, do not
apply to ATC security tracking.
3. Aircraft with operating transponders, but
without operating Mode C (altitude), require specific
authorization from ATC to operate in the SFRA. ATC
must coordinate with the Domestic Events Network
(DEN) before approval.
4. Aircraft flying too low for radar coverage
must be instructed to report landing or exiting the
SFRA. Keep flight progress strips on these aircraft
until pilot reports landing or exiting the SFRA. If a
flight progress strip does not exist for the aircraft,
record the call sign, transponder code, entry point (for
example, north, northeast, east), and time of entry
into the SFRA.
(Call sign), REPORT LANDING OR LEAVING THE
5. United States military, law enforcement, and
aeromedical flights are exempt from filing flight
b. Establishing two-way Communications.
1. Pilots must establish two-way radio
communications with ATC prior to entering the
security service area. Responding to a radio call with,
“(a/c call sign) standby,” establishes radio
communications and the pilot may enter the area,
provided all other security requirements have been
2. Aircraft requesting security services should
not normally be held. However, if holding is
necessary or workload/traffic conditions prevent
immediate provision of ATC security services,
inform the pilot to remain outside the designated area
until conditions permit the provision of ATC security
services. Inform the pilot of the expected length of
(A/C call sign) REMAIN OUTSIDE OF THE (location)
AND STANDBY. EXPECT (time) MINUTES DELAY.
c. Termination of Service.
1. If the aircraft is not landing within the
designated area, provide security services until the
aircraft exits the area and then advise the aircraft to
squawk VFR and that frequency change is approved.
SQUAWK VFR, FREQUENCY CHANGE APPROVED.
CONTACT (facility identification).
2. When an aircraft is landing at an airport inside
the area, instruct the pilot to remain on the assigned
transponder code until after landing.
(ACID) REMAIN ON YOUR ASSIGNED TRANSPONDER
CODE UNTIL YOU LAND, FREQUENCY CHANGE
3. Using approved handoff functionality, transfer the data blocks of all security tracked aircraft that
will enter another sector/position for coordination of
aircraft information/location. Upon acceptance of the
transferred information, instruct the pilot to contact
the next sector/positions' frequency.
9-2-11. SECURITY NOTICE (SECNOT)
Upon receiving notification of a SECNOT, the
controller must forward all information on the subject
aircraft to the FLM/CIC. If information is not known,
broadcast call sign on all frequencies and advise the
FLM/CIC of the response.
P/CG Term - Security Notice.
FAAO JO 7210.3, Chapter 19, Section 9, Security Notice (SECNOT).
9-2-12. LAW ENFORCEMENT
OPERATIONS BY CIVIL AND MILITARY
a. Law enforcement alerts.
1. Aircraft lookouts must not be distributed
outside the FAA.
FAAO 1600.29, Law Enforcement Alert Message System.
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 2-7-7, Cooperation With Law Enforcement
2. Stolen aircraft alerts, including stolen aircraft
summaries, may be distributed outside the FAA to:
airport offices, air carriers, fixed base operators, and
law enforcement agencies.
3. Upon receipt of knowledge concerning an
aircraft for which a current law enforcement alert
message is held, do the following:
(a) Forward any information on the aircraft to
El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) and the requester
when specified in the message.
(b) Immediately notify the cognizant
Transportation Security Administration office by the
most rapid means.
(c) DO NOT TAKE ANY OTHER ACTION
AFFECTING THE AIRCRAFT, CARGO, CREW,
OR PASSENGERS NOT NORMALLY RELATED
TO JOB RESPONSIBILITIES.
b. Special law enforcement operations.
1. Special law enforcement operations include
inflight identification, surveillance, interdiction and
pursuit activities performed in accordance with
official civil and/or military mission responsibilities.
2. To facilitate accomplishment of these special
missions, exemptions from specified parts of Title 14
of the Code of Federal Regulations have been granted
to designated departments and agencies. However, it
is each organization's responsibility to apprise ATC
of their intent to operate under an authorized
exemption before initiating actual operations.
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 18-3-1, Authorizations and Exemptions from
Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR).
3. Additionally, some departments and agencies
that perform special missions have been assigned
coded identifiers to permit them to apprise ATC of
ongoing mission activities and solicit special air
FAAO 7110.67, Special Aircraft Operations by Law
As specified in para
2-1-4, Operational Priority,
priority of handling for aircraft operating with coded
identifiers will be the same as that afforded to SAR aircraft
performing a SAR mission.
c. Assistance to law enforcement aircraft operations.
1. Provide the maximum assistance possible to
law enforcement aircraft, when requested, in helping
them locate suspect aircraft.
2. Communicate with law enforcement aircraft,
when possible and if requested, on a frequency not
paired with your normal communications frequencies.
3. Do not allow assistance to law enforcement
aircraft to violate any required separation minima.
4. Do not assist VFR law enforcement aircraft in
any way that will create a situation which, in your
judgment, places the aircraft in unsafe proximity to
terrain or other aircraft.
9-2-13. MILITARY AERIAL REFUELING
Authorize aircraft to conduct aerial refueling along
published or special tracks at their flight plan altitude,
unless otherwise requested.
CLEARED TO CONDUCT REFUELING ALONG
FROM (fix) TO (fix),
MAINTAIN REFUELING LEVEL (altitude),
COMMENCING AT (altitude), DESCENDING TO
1. During aerial refueling, tanker aircraft are responsible
for receiver aircraft communication with ATC and for their
navigation along the track.
2. Aerial refueling airspace is not sterilized airspace and
other aircraft may transit this airspace provided vertical or
lateral separation is provided from refueling aircraft.
3. MARSA begins between the tanker and receiver when
the tanker and receiver(s) have entered the air refueling
airspace and the tanker advises ATC that he/she is
4. MARSA ends between the tanker and receiver when the
tanker advises ATC that the tanker and receiver aircraft are
vertically positioned within the air refueling airspace and
ATC advises MARSA is terminated.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para
2-1-11, Use of MARSA.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 5-5-8, Additional Separation for
FAAO JO 7610.4, Chapter 10, Aerial Refueling.
a. Provide radar assistance to the rendezvous for
1. When requested, and
2. By providing vertical separation prior to
b. Do not request receiver aircraft that have been
cleared to conduct air refueling and have departed the
1. Make code changes when less than 5 miles
from the tanker.
2. Squawk standby when less than 1 mile or
more than 3 miles from the tanker.
Requests for receiver aircraft to make code changes during
air refueling diverts the receiver pilot's attention during a
critical phase of flight.
c. When issuing an initial air refueling clearance,
you may request a receiver to squawk standby when
the receiver reaches a point 3 miles from the tanker.
1. Receiver aircraft will squawk normal when separation
from the tanker is greater than 3 miles.
2. Once rendezvous is completed, heading and altitude
assignments may be made with the tanker concurrence with
MARSA remaining in effect.
3. Upon rendezvous completion, the tanker must keep
receiver aircraft within 3 miles of the tanker until MARSA
d. After MARSA has been declared, you should
avoid issuing course or altitude changes prior to
Altitude or course changes issued will automatically void
e. Do not use the altitude vacated during the
refueling operation until the refueling aircraft has
reported reaching the next IFR altitude.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para
f. Approve requests by the tanker pilot for vectors
or alternative routes or altitudes as follows:
1. Furnish vectors or alternative altitudes at any
2. Furnish nonradar routes only after the
refueling aircraft have passed the ARCP.
1. To meet a training requirement that aerial refueling be
accomplished in a nonradar environment, the military has
requested that vectors be furnished only upon request.
2. The tanker commander is responsible for coordinating
all inflight requests with other aircraft in the refueling
mission before submission of such requests to the center.
3. Normally, aircraft conducting aerial refueling operations will utilize at least three consecutive altitudes.
g. Unless a vector or alternative route has been
furnished, clear the aircraft to depart the refueling
track at a navigational reference point or egress fix.
h. Request an aircraft to report the ARIP, ARCP, or
egress fix as necessary.
i. Expect the following procedures in addition to
those required by the appropriate parts of Title 14 of
the Code of Federal Regulations in the event of
two-way communications failure:
1. The tanker will depart the track from the
highest altitude in the block.
2. The receiver will depart the track from the
lowest altitude in the block.
3. Aircraft will squawk 7600 for at least
2 minutes prior to departing the track.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 9-2-14, Military Operations Above FL 600.
9-2-14. MILITARY OPERATIONS ABOVE
Control aircraft operating above FL 600 using the
a. Flight plans involving supersonic flight are
required 16 hours in advance of proposed departure
times for processing and approval by the ARTCCs
concerned. The originating ARTCC, where the flight
plan is first filed, may waive the 16-hour advance
b. The route of flight must be defined by at least
one high altitude fix within each ARTCC area
without regard to the distance between fixes.
Additionally, the entry and exit points of turns of
90 degrees or more will be designated.
c. Elapsed times from takeoff to the first fix in each
ARTCC area must be included in the route of flight.
d. The ARTCC which originates the flight plan
must forward departure times to all ARTCCs
responsible for processing the flight plan.
e. Approval of the flight plan indicates approval of
both route and flight levels (if stated) including
operations below FL 600 (aerial refueling).
CLEARED AS FILED VIA ROUTE AND FLIGHT
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 9-2-13, Military Aerial Refueling.
f. Separation. Use the following as minima in lieu
of the corresponding type of separation prescribed in:
The primary method described to provide separation
between two supersonic aircraft is to descend the aircraft
at the lower FL and provide vertical separation since the
aircraft at the higher FL may not be able to climb rapidly
enough to establish the required separation. Another
aspect which should be considered is that supersonic
aircraft during turns, either programmed or as the result of
vectors, will lose a few thousand feet. Vectoring supersonic
aircraft seriously affects the range and mission objectives.
Radar separation is the preferred method of separating a
subsonic aircraft both from another subsonic aircraft or
from a supersonic aircraft.
4-5-1, Vertical Separation
Minima: 5,000 feet.
1. The security requirements of the military services
preclude the transmission of actual altitude information on
the air/ground or landline circuits. A classified document
detailing the plan for ascertaining altitude codes for the
day should be readily available to the controllers at their
positions of operation.
2. Pilots will report their altitude, using the coded plan,
and intended flight profile on initial contact with each
6-5-4, Minima Along Other
Than Established Airways or Routes: Protect the
airspace 25 miles either side of the route centerline.
For turns by supersonic aircraft, protect the airspace
75 miles on the overflown side and 25 miles on the
other side. For turns by subsonic aircraft, protect the
airspace 34 miles on the overflown side and 25 miles
on the other side.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para
4-3-3, Abbreviated Departure
9-2-15. MILITARY SPECIAL USE
a. Assign special use frequency to:
Special use frequencies are assigned to ARTCCs in such a
manner that adjacent ARTCCs will not have the same
frequency. They are to be used within the ARTCC area
jurisdiction from the established FL base of the high
altitude sectors and above. Each high altitude sector
should have the capability to use the special use frequency
on a shared basis.
1. USAF, U.S. Navy, and Air National Guard
(ANG) single-pilot jet aircraft formations operating
at night or in instrument weather conditions.
Formations of five or more USAF aircraft deploying
either to a continental U.S. staging base or nonstop to
an overseas location are authorized to use special use
frequencies at any time. Normally these deployments
will be conducted within an altitude reservation.
2. U-2 and B-57 (pressure suit flights) aircraft
at all altitudes/FLs except where terminal operations
require the assignment of other frequencies.
Aerial refueling operations may require that aircraft leave
the special use frequency for communications with the
tanker. This will occur when the receiver is approximately
200 miles from the ARCP. The tanker aircraft will remain
on the ARTCC assigned frequency and will relay
clearances to the receiver as required. An alternate means
of communications between the tanker and receiver is HF
3. All aircraft during supersonic flight.
Pilots are expected to request assignment of the special use
frequency in the remarks section of the flight plan or before
entering supersonic flight. B-57 aircraft engaged in
pressure suit operations will use the static call sign KITE
and flights will normally be conducted from Dover,
Eielson, Ellington, Hickman, Howard, Kirtland, and
McClellan Air Force Bases.
4. E-3A AWACS mission crews when operations are being conducted as an MRU in accordance
with appropriate letters of agreement.
b. The special use frequency may be assigned as
“backup” for the high-altitude sector when direct
communications are essential because of a potential
emergency control situation.
c. Do not assign the special use frequency to the
aircraft in subpara a1 above, when they will operate
in airspace assigned for special military operations.
9-2-16. AVOIDANCE OF AREAS OF
a. Advise pilots whenever their proposed flight
path will traverse a reported or forecasted area of
hazardous radiation and reroute the aircraft when
requested by the pilot.
FAAO JO 7610.4, Para 4-4-4, Avoidance of Hazardous Radiation
b. Inform pilots when an airfield of intended
landing lies within a reported or forecasted area of
hazardous radiation and request the pilot to advise
Provide special handling to U.S. Government and
military aircraft engaged in aerial sampling missions
(atmosphere sampling for nuclear, chemical, or
hazardous material contamination). Honor inflight
clearance requests for altitude and route changes to
the maximum extent possible. Other IFR aircraft may
be recleared so that requests by SAMPLER aircraft
are honored. Separation standards as outlined in this
order must be applied in all cases.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para
2-1-4, Operational Priority.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para
2-4-20, Aircraft Identification.
FAAO JO 7610.4, Para 4-4-4, Avoidance of Hazardous Radiation
9-2-18. AWACS/NORAD SPECIAL
Do not delay E-3 AWACS aircraft identified as
“AWACS/NORAD Special” flights. The following
control actions are acceptable while expediting these
aircraft to the destination orbit.
a. En route altitude changes +/– 2,000 feet from the
requested flight level.
b. Radar vectors or minor route changes that do
not impede progress towards the destination orbit.
NORAD has a requirement to position E-3 AWACS aircraft
at selected locations on a time-critical basis. To the extent
possible these flights will utilize routes to the destination
orbit that have been precoordinated with the impacted ATC
facilities. To identify these flights, the words “AWACS/NORAD SPECIAL” will be included as the first item in the
remarks section of the flight plan.
9-2-19. WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE
TEAL and NOAA mission aircraft fly reconnaissance flights to gather meteorological data on winter
storms, (NWSOP missions), hurricanes and tropical
cyclones (NHOP missions). The routes and timing of
these flights are determined by movement of the
storm areas and not by traffic flows.
a. When a dropsonde release time is received from
a TEAL or NOAA mission aircraft, workload and
priorities permitting, controllers must advise the
mission aircraft of any traffic estimated to pass
through the area of the drop at altitudes below that of
the mission aircraft. This traffic advisory must
2. Direction of flight.
3. ETA at the point closest to drop area (or at the
fix/intersection where drop will occur).
A dropsonde is a 14-inch long cardboard cylinder about
2.75 inches in diameter, that weighs approximately
14 ounces (400 grams), and has a parachute attached.
When released from the aircraft it will fall at a rate of
approximately 2,500 feet per minute. Controllers should
recognize that a dropsonde released at FL 310 will be a
factor for traffic at FL 210 four minutes later. It is the
aircraft commanders responsibility to delay release of
dropsondes if traffic is a factor. Aircraft commanders will
delay release of dropsondes based solely upon traffic as
issued by ATC.
b. When advised that an airborne TEAL or NOAA
aircraft is requesting a clearance via CARCAH, issue
the clearance in accordance with
Chapter 4, IFR,
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para
4-2-1, Clearance Items.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para
4-2-2, Clearance Prefix.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para
4-2-3, Delivery Instructions.
c. If a TEAL or NOAA mission aircraft must be
contacted but is out of VHF, UHF, and HF radio
range, advise the supervisory traffic management
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 5-3-6, Weather Reconnaissance Flights.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para
2-1-4, Operational Priority.
9-2-20. EVASIVE ACTION MANEUVER
Approve a pilot request to conduct an evasive action
maneuver only on the basis of a permissible traffic
situation. Specify the following items, as necessary,
when issuing approval:
The “evasive action” maneuver is performed by a
bomber/fighter bomber aircraft at or above FL 250 along
a 60 NM long segment of the flight plan route overlying a
RBS or other site and includes:
1. Flying a zigzag pattern on both the left and right side
of the flight plan route centerline. Altitude deviations are
made in conjunction with the lateral maneuvering.
2. Lateral deviations from the route centerline will not
normally exceed 12 miles. Altitude variations must not
exceed plus or minus 1,000 feet of the assigned flight level;
i.e., confined within a 2,000 foot block.
a. Specific route segment on which the maneuver
will take place.
b. Distance of maximum route deviation from the
centerline in miles.
CLEARED TO CONDUCT EVASIVE ACTION
MANEUVER FROM (fix) TO (fix),
(number of miles) EITHER SIDE OF CENTERLINE,
MAINTAIN (altitude) THROUGH (altitude),
COMPLETE MANEUVER AT (fix) AT (altitude).
9-2-21. NONSTANDARD FORMATION/CELL OPERATIONS
Occasionally the military is required to operate in a
nonstandard cell formation and controllers should be
knowledgeable of the various tactics employed and
the procedures used.
FAAO JO 7610.4, Chapter 12, Section 12, Formation Flight.
a. Formation leaders are responsible for obtaining
ATC approval to conduct nonstandard formation/cell
b. When nonstandard formation/cell operations
have been approved, controllers must assign
sufficient altitudes to allow intra-cell vertical spacing
of 500 feet between each aircraft in the formation.
c. Control nonstandard formation/cell operations
on the basis that MARSA is applicable between the
participating aircraft until they establish approved
separation which is acknowledged by ATC.
d. Apply standard separation criteria between the
approved nonstandard formation/cell envelope and
e. Clear aircraft operating in a nonstandard
formation/cell to the breakup fix as the clearance
limit. Forward data pertaining to route or altitude
beyond the breakup point to the center concerned as
a part of the routine flight plan information.
f. EN ROUTE. If the breakup occurs in your area,
issue appropriate clearances to authorize transition
from formation to individual routes or altitudes. If a
breakup cannot be approved, issue an appropriate
clearance for the flight to continue as a formation.
9-2-22. OPEN SKIES TREATY AIRCRAFT
a. OPEN SKIES aircraft will be identified by the
call sign “OSY” (OPEN SKIES) followed by the
flight number and a one-letter mission suffix.
*F = Observation Flights (Priority).
*D = Demonstration Flights (Priority).
*T = Transit Flights (Nonpriority).
1. Observation/Demonstration flights are conducted
under rigid guidelines outlined in the Treaty of OPEN
SKIES that govern sensor usage, maximum flight
distances, altitudes and priorities.
2. Transit flights are for the sole purpose of moving an
OPEN SKIES aircraft from airport to airport in
preparation for an actual OPEN SKIES “F” or “D”
b. Provide priority and special handling to
expedite the movement of an OPEN SKIES
observation or demonstration flight.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para
2-1-4, Operational Priority, subpara
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 5-3-7, OPEN SKIES Treaty Aircraft.
Treaty on OPEN SKIES, Treaty Document, 102-37.
OPEN SKIES (F and D) Treaty
maintaining compliance with ATC procedures, must
have priority over activities in special use airspace
(SUA) and must be allowed to transit such airspace as
filed after appropriate and timely coordination has
been accomplished between the using agency and
controlling agency. A letter of agreement is required
between the using agency and the controlling agency
for Open Skies F and D aircraft to transit active SUA.
When Open Skies F and D aircraft transit SUA, an
ATC facility must provide standard separation
services at all times.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 934 Transiting Active SUA/ATCAA
F and D Treaty flights transiting SUA will be handled in the following manner:
The ATC facility controlling the F and D Treaty flight must advise the
using/scheduling agency or appropriate ATC facility upon initial notification
and when the aircraft is 15 minutes from the SUA boundary; and
(1) For SUA that has an ATC facility
providing services to the area, provide standard
separation. If the ATC facility is unable to provide
standard separation from the activities in the SUA,
the using agency must confirm that all operations in
the SUA have ceased.
(2) For SUA not associated with an ATC
facility, the using/scheduling agency must return the
SUA to the controlling agency and confirm that all
operations in the SUA have ceased.
(b) If the
controlling facility/using agency is unable to confirm that all conflicting
activities in the SUA have ceased, the OPEN SKIES aircraft must not be permitted
access to the SUA.
2. Return SUA to the using agency,
if appropriate, within 15 minutes after the F and D Treaty aircraft clears the
d. Clear the aircraft according to the filed flight
1. Do not ask the pilot to deviate from the
planned action or route of flight except to preclude an
emergency situation or other higher priority aircraft.
2. Do not impose air traffic control delays
except to preclude emergency situations or other
higher priority aircraft.
If for reasons of flight safety the route or altitude must be
changed, return the aircraft to the filed flight plan route as
soon as practical.