Section 3. Communications Procedures
3-3-1. SERVICE “F”
traffic managers must establish procedures to provide interim
communications in the event that local or long-line standard Service “F”
fail. These must include the use of telephone conference circuits and the
use of airline or other facilities.
public access telephones by stating the facility's name and type. The
employee may state his/her name at his/her discretion. If, for any
reason, a caller specifically requests identification, the employee
should provide his/her assigned operating initials in lieu of the actual
name. Contract facilities must answer public access lines by stating the
name of the service provider and type.
ARTCC: (The facility's name) Center; for example, “Washington Center.”
FSS: (The facility's name) Flight Service; for example, “Juneau Flight
Service” or “(Service Provider Name) Flight Service.”
ATCT: (The facility's name) Tower; for example, “Atlanta Tower.”
Approach Control: (The facility's name) Approach Control; for example,
“Dulles Approach Control.”
local airport, private exchange (PX), or interdepartmental system type
telephones as outlined above, except omit the location name; e.g., Center,
Tower, Flight Service, etc.
c. Where the
public access telephone is recorded, a beeper tone is not required. In
place of the “beep” tone, the FCC has substituted a mandatory requirement
that persons to be recorded must be given notice that they are to be
recorded and give consent. This notice is given to the public through an
entry in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). Consent to the record
is assumed by the individual when placing the call to an operational
equipment capabilities exist, every effort should be made to conduct
conversations with flight-crews or other appropriate persons regarding any
aircraft accident, incident, and/or ATC services on a recorded line.
allocated to a facility must be continuously monitored except:
need not monitor 121.5 and 243.0 MHz if other ATC facilities monitor those
frequencies in a given area.
equipped with ICSS equipment may reconfigure the ICSS to allow the
temporary selection, muting, or rerouting of 121.5 and 243.0 MHz during
the period of an interfering signal; e.g., continuous emergency locator
transmitter (ELT), stuck mike, etc.
must establish procedures to ensure that frequencies used on a shared
basis; e.g., single frequency approach operations, are continuously
monitored by one of the positions of operation.
FREQUENCIES 121.5 AND 243.0 MHz
traffic facilities must have transmit and receive capability on emergency
frequencies 121.5 and 243.0 MHz as necessary to meet emergency frequency
ARTCC emergency frequency capability must be limited to the
transmitter/receiver site nearest the ARTCC.
locations having more than one type of facility, such as a FSS and a
tower, or a FSS, a tower, and an ARTCC, a common transmitter and receiver
may be shared where practicable. Where this is done, the transmitter must
be equipped with a lockout device to avoid inadvertent interference
facilities are in proximity and no derogation of services will result,
transmit/receive capability should not be provided for each facility. The
following requirements must be maintained:
area coverage must not be derogated.
facilities must have transmit/receive capability on 121.5 MHz.
without emergency frequency capability must have appropriate landlines for
rapid relay of emergency information.
e. The two
emergency channels must not be terminated on the same key in the
transmitter-receiver selector panels. Neither emergency frequency must be
terminated with any other frequency.
f. To preclude inadvertent use of these frequencies, a mechanical
or other appropriate device must be provided which will require deliberate
removal or bypass before any emergency frequency transmit key can be moved
to the locked-operate position.
emergency frequency 243.0 MHz is installed in military aircraft using an
override arrangement. As a result, transmissions on this frequency are
received by all military aircraft within the transmitter's area of
coverage. Unnecessary emissions on this frequency derogate communications
on ATC frequencies and may interfere with valid emergency communications.
Reduce transmissions on 243.0 MHz to the absolute minimum consistent with
h. As a
minimum, conduct two-way, ground-to-air checks during low activity
1. Once a
Technical Operations maintenance checks.
facilities should limit broadcasts on 243.0 MHz to the facility in the
area of desired coverage and must ensure that broadcasts are not continued
3-3-5. BATTERY-POWERED TRANSCEIVERS
with battery-powered transceivers must ensure that they are maintained in
a state of readiness. Transceivers must be checked at least once a week.
traffic managers must notify System Operations and Safety by message,
attention Manager of System Safety and Procedures, with an information
copy to the appropriate Service Area office, of changes in the operational
status of communication facilities not covered by FAAO 7900.2, Reporting
of Electronic Navigation Aids and Communication Facilities Data to the
NFDC. The following data must be reported (include the RIS AT 7230-12 in
a. The date
and time FAA assumes operation of or decommissions an operations center,
message center, data switching center, domestic or international
aeronautical fixed telecommunication network (AFTN) “data communication
circuit”, or international voice circuit.
b. Change in
the hours of operation of any of the above and the effective date.
required in weather schedule publications and communications systems
EMERGENCY LOCATOR TRANSMITTERS
frequencies 121.6, 121.65, 121.7, 121.75, 121.8, 121.85, and 121.9 MHz are
authorized to ELT test stations and for use in ELT exercises by the Air
Force, Coast Guard, and other search and rescue organizations.
Coordination with regional frequency management offices must be effected
prior to activating the transmitter. Non-Federal assignments must be
obtained through the FCC.
ELT tests must not be authorized.
operational testing of an ELT is authorized on 121.5 MHz and 243.0 MHz as
should be no longer than three audio sweeps.
2. If the
antenna is removable, a dummy load should be substituted during test
must only be conducted the first 5 minutes of any hour.
there will be no interference on 121.5 MHz or 243.0 MHz as testing will be
conducted in a screened or shielded room or test enclosure that will hold
the self-contained ELT unit with the antenna fully extended. If
interference is noted, it must be brought to the attention of the repair
station operator for corrective action. If the repair station operator
does not correct the fault and the interference continues, make a verbal
report to the appropriate FSDO.
each “Radar Associate” position the identical frequencies as the “Radar”
position except where precluded by system hardware/software limitations or
b. If the conditions of paragraph a cannot be met, the frequencies
needed to control each sector must be available at another position. This
level of redundancy assures all A/G frequencies can readily be covered in
the case of VCE outage.
traffic VSCS positions listed as “released to maintenance” must not be
reconfigured unless prior approval has been received from Technical
approval has been obtained and the reconfiguration action has been
completed, return the previously released position to Technical Operations
and continue to list the position as “released to maintenance,” or as
directed by Technical Operations.
During the period that the VSCS position is listed as “released to
maintenance,” this procedure must be utilized whenever a reconfiguration
to the position is required.
3-3-10. VTABS (VSCS
TRAINING AND BACKUP SYSTEM)
air traffic managers must ensure that local procedures are developed which
will accommodate switching from VSCS to a VTABS operation. These
procedures must include, but not be limited to:
must, in the event that VSCS air/ground communications capabilities are
lost, notify the operational supervisor and attempt to access all
air/ground resources through the VSCS via Main, Standby, and BUEC.
operational supervisor must notify the operations manager-in-charge (OMIC)
and consider combining sectors within the area before going to a VTABS
operation. The VTABS system is designed wherein the entire facility must
be switched over to VTABS. Consider all alternatives before making the
transition to VTABS. If these resources are unsuccessful, the OMIC must
coordinate with the NOM to transition to VTABS.
supervisors must ensure the VTABS sector map configurations are
appropriate for the operation.
must verify the appropriate VTABS frequency mode; i.e., main, standby, or
BUEC, for their operating position, since the VTABS frequency selection
will be in the same mode as when it was last used.
b. When a
catastrophic loss of VSCS occurs and transfer to a VTABS configuration
becomes necessary, the OMIC must assure that the procedures established in
para 2-1-7, Air Traffic Service (ATS) Continuity, are adhered to.