Section 3. Letters of Agreement (LOA)
4-3-1. LETTERS OF
traffic managers must negotiate a LOA when operational/procedural needs
require the cooperation and concurrence of other persons/
facilities/organizations. A LOA must be prepared when it is necessary to:
established operational/procedural instructions.
responsibilities and coordination requirements.
or standardize operating methods.
special operating conditions or specific air traffic control procedures.
responsibility for ATC service; e.g., approach control service, control
boundary jurisdiction, and procedures for coordinating and controlling
aircraft where two or more airports have conflicting traffic patterns or
overlapping conflicting traffic patterns.
braking action reports with the airport management. As a minimum,
procedures must provide for the prompt exchange of reports which indicate
runway braking conditions have deteriorated to “fair,” “poor,” or “nil” or
have improved to “good.”
operating limitations and hazards.
procedures that supplement those contained in FAAO JO 7110.65, Air Traffic
Control, or FAAO JO 7110.10, Flight Services, to satisfy a requirement of
a military service.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 1-1-10, Constraints Governing Supplements and
stereotyped flight plans used for special operations, such as training
flights or flight test activities.
airspace areas required to segregate special operations.
aircraft radiotelephony call signs to be used by the tower and the local
the responsibilities of the tower and the airport management or other
authority for movement and nonmovement areas by precisely delineating the
loading ramps and parking areas under the jurisdiction of the airport
management or other appropriate authority. Facility air traffic managers
may, at their discretion, exclude from the movement area those portions of
the airport surface normally designated movement areas that are not
visible from the tower. Consideration must be given to the impact this may
have on the movement of ground traffic. The agreement may include the
management or other appropriate authority must require, by agreement or
regulation, all ground vehicles and equipment operators and personnel to
obtain tower approval prior to entry onto the airport movement area and
comply with control instructions issued to them while on that area. This
includes those vehicles used to conduct pushback operations and must
require approval prior to moving aircraft/vehicles out of the loading
ramps or parking areas onto the movement area.
management or other appropriate authority may also require those aircraft
which will not infringe upon the movement area but will impede ingress and
egress to the parking area to contact the tower for advisories prior to
conducting pushback operations. State that information related to aircraft
movement on the loading ramps or parking areas is advisory in nature and
does not imply control responsibility.
3. At those
airports where vehicles not equipped with two-way radio are permitted by
the airport management or other appropriate authority to enter or cross
the defined movement area at specific locations without approval from the
tower, enter into an LOA with the airport management, or other appropriate
authority, specifying the conditions for such operations and include the
clause as follows: “The airport owner/operator covenants and expressly
agrees that with regard to any liability which may arise from the
operation within (area/areas), that party must be solely and exclusively
liable for the negligence of its own agents, servants, and/or employees,
in accordance with applicable law, and that neither party looks to the
other to save or hold it harmless for the consequences of any negligence
on the part of one of its own agents, servants, and/or employees.”
4-3-2. APPROPRIATE SUBJECTS
subjects of LOAs are:
of responsibility for IFR control jurisdiction.
1. Tower en
route control service.
Flight Service Stations: Procedures for maintaining master flight plan
an ARTCC and an ATCT:
en route control service.
e. Between an ARTCC and an
FSS: Define areas of security responsibility. (See para 2-7-5, Facility
an ATCT and an FSS: Operation of airport lighting.
an ARTCC or an approach control facility and a nonapproach control tower,
an FSS, an airport manager, or a local operator: Special VFR Operations.
(See FIG 4-3-1.)
an ARTCC or an approach control facility and a nonapproach control tower:
for separation services.
3. Opposite direction
FAAO 7210.3, Para 2-1-30, Opposite Direction Operations.
an ARTCC and another government agency:
coordination for control of ADC aircraft.
of responsibility for approach control services.
j. Between a
tower and another government agency:
of helicopter SVFR flights.
of aircraft-arresting barriers.
k. Between a
tower and/or FSS and an airport manager/aircraft operator at airports upon
which the tower and/or FSS is located:
of airport lighting.
airport conditions, to include how all PIREP braking action reports of
“nil” and “poor” are to be immediately transmitted to the airport
operator, and an agreement on actions by air traffic personnel for the
immediate cessation of operations on runways subject to “nil” braking
Advisory Circular AC 150/5200-30C, Airport Winter Safety and Operations.
of vehicular traffic on airport movement areas.
The intent of these LOAs is to use them where airports have standard
routes that traverse movement areas on a long term basis. These LOAs are
not intended to allow short term operations, single situations, or “open-
under an exemption from Part 91, Appendix D, Section 3, the surface area
of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace within which Special VFR
weather minimums are not authorized.
Advisory Circular AC 150/5210-7C, Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting
l. Between a
tower and/or FSS and an airport manager/aircraft operator at airports upon
which the tower is located but the FSS is not: Reporting airport runway
managers must take the following action when developing a LOA: (See
FIG 4-3-1 and FIG 4-3-2.)
through coordination, which FAA facility is principally responsible for
processing the LOA.
b. Confine the material in each agreement to a single subject or
the responsibilities and procedures applicable to each facility and
responsibility for control of IFR aircraft, where necessary, by taking the
the area within which responsibility is delegated. The area may be
depicted in chart form.
the conditions governing use of the area. These include altitudes, routing
configuration, and limitations or exceptions to the use of the applicable
the details of control procedures to be used. These include clearance
limits, reporting points, handoff points, and release points.
clearance limits designated as Instrument Approach Fixes when they are to
be used for holding aircraft.
communications and coordination procedures.
with other FAA facilities and military or civil organizations as
charts or other visual presentations, when appropriate, to depict the
conditions of the LOA.
with the Regional Flight Standards Division, All Weather Operations
Program Manager if aircraft operations or pilot procedures will be
h. Prepare a
single supplement, if necessary, to augment the letter at a facility and
attach it to the basic LOA. Do not repeat material from the basic LOA.
coordination, send two copies of the proposed LOA, including supplements,
to the service area office for approval if required.
4-3-4. REVIEW BY
SERVICE AREA OFFICE
Service Area office must review the proposed LOA, ensure coordination with
other interested offices and affected user groups, as necessary, and
approve the LOA if satisfactory.
Service Area office may, in writing, delegate to air traffic managers, air
traffic managers designees, ATREPs, or Region Air Defense Liaison Officer
(RADLOs) the authority to develop, coordinate, approve, and implement LOAs
which prescribe procedures or minima contrary to those contained in FAAO
JO 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, unless appropriate military authority has
authorized application of reduced separation between military aircraft; or
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 1-1-9, Procedural Letters of Agreement.
between an IFR facility and a tower to authorize the separation services
prescribed in para 2-1-15, Authorization for Separation Services by
Towers, and para 10-5-3, Functional Use of Certified Tower Radar Displays.
Upon receipt of
Service Area office approval, the air traffic manager must:
the LOA in final form incorporating the Service Area office guidance.
an effective date, acceptable to all parties involved, that permits
sufficient time for distribution and for participating facilities and user
groups to familiarize personnel, revise directives, flight charts, etc.,
and complete other actions.
c. Sign the
LOA and obtain signatures of other authorities as required.
copies of the signed LOA to each participating facility or organization,
the Service Area office, and other interested offices. Distribution of
supplements outside the facility is not required.
that current, new, or revised LOA, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP),
and FAA Facility Orders (FO) are posted in the Facility Directives
Repository (FDR) before the effective date of the document.
EXCEPTION. LOAs containing
contingency plan information must not be posted to the FDR. LOAs with
such information must be posted to the National OCP database.
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 2-2-14, Facility Directives Repository (FDR).
LOAs annually and update as necessary. Examine current LOAs for practices
and/or procedures that are no longer required. Reviewing includes both
content and relevance that achieve full operational efficiency and
b. Process revisions to LOAs and attachments or supplements thereto
as page replacements. Mark the revisions as follows:
1. Place an
asterisk or vertical line to the left of each new or revised paragraph or
section to signify new material.
page revisions by the “REV” number, e.g., “REV 1,” and the effective date
in the lower right hand corner of each revised page.
revisions to a LOA in the same manner and degree as for the original LOA.
coordination with LOA signatories and the Service Area, cancel any
agreement which is no longer applicable. Ensure that the FDR is updated.
Format for a Control Facility/FSS Letter of Agreement
(Name) Center/Approach Control and (Name) FSS
LETTER OF AGREEMENT
SUBJECT: Special VFR Operations within (Name) Airport
1.PURPOSE: To provide
operating procedures for Special VFR flight handling in the (name)
surface area without individual coordination.
2.SCOPE: The procedures
outlined herein are for use in the conduct of Special VFR operations
within the (name) Airport surface area at or below _____ feet. These
procedures are applicable only to aircraft equipped with functioning
2-way radio in order to effect a recall when required by traffic or
request by the (name) FSS, the Center/Approach Control Facility may
authorize Special VFR operations in the (name) Airport surface area
for specific periods of time. The Center/Approach Control Facility
must retain the authority to withdraw the provisions of this agreement
at any time.
a. Local Special VFR operations. The (name) FSS must
not authorize more than one aircraft to operate simultaneously in the
surface area unless pilots agree that they will maintain visual
separation with other aircraft operating in the surface area.
b. IFR Arrivals and Departures. Special VFR operations
must be controlled by the (name) Center/Approach Control during the
(1) From 10 minutes prior to the estimated time of
arrival of an IFR aircraft over the approach fix until it is on the
ground (IFR arrivals must not be cleared for an approach until the FSS
confirms that there are no Special VFR operations in progress.)
(2) From 10 minutes prior to the estimated time of
departure of an IFR aircraft until it departs the surface area.
c. Special VFR Arrivals and Departures:
(1) The (name) FSS may authorize aircraft to enter,
depart, or fly through the surface area when no Special VFR operations
are in progress. Authorization must be granted as outlined in 4a.
(2) Aircraft desiring to enter the surface area during
times Special VFR operations are in progress must be instructed to
maintain VFR conditions outside the surface area pending recall and
landing of aircraft operating in the surface area.
d. Predesigned clearance phraseologies. To authorize
Special VFR operations or to issue instructions or other messages
pertinent thereto, the (name) FSS must use the following phraseology:
(1) To authorize operations:
A-T-C CLEARS (identification) TO ENTER/OUT OF/THROUGH (name) SURFACE
AREA. MAINTAIN SPECIAL VFR CONDITIONS AT OR BELOW (altitude). REPORT
LANDING COMPLETED/LEAVING SURFACE AREA,
A-T-C CLEARS (identification) TO OPERATE WITHIN (name) SURFACE AREA.
MAINTAIN SPECIAL VFR CONDITIONS AT OR BELOW (altitude).
(2) To deny operations when visibility is less than
VISIBILITY (value). A-T-C UNABLE TO ISSUE DEPARTURE/ENTRY CLEARANCE.
(3) To suspend operations:
SPECIAL VFR AUTHORIZATION DISCONTINUED. RETURN TO AIRPORT OR DEPART
SURFACE AREA. ADVISE INTENTIONS ............ (after response), REPORT
LANDING COMPLETED/LEAVING SURFACE AREA.
(4) To advise an aircraft to remain outside the
A-T-C ADVISES (identification) TO MAINTAIN VFR OUTSIDE THE (name)
SURFACE AREA PENDING ARRIVAL/RECALL/DEPARTURE OF SPECIAL VFR AIRCRAFT.
Air Traffic Manager, (Name) FSS
Air Traffic Manager, (Name) ARTCC/Approach Control
Format for an ARTCC/Air Division Letter of Agreement
(Name) Air Route Traffic Control Center and (Name) Air Division
LETTER OF AGREEMENT
SUBJECT: Inter-Facility Coordination for the Control
of Aerospace Defense Command Interceptor Aircraft
responsibility and describe necessary coordination.)
3.SCOPE: (Specify area,
names, and types of facilities involved.)
a. ATC Assigned Airspace. (List procedures to be
followed for requesting and authorizing airspace, handling aircraft to
and from the airspace, and notifying when no longer required.)
b. Transfer of Control. (Specify transfer procedures.)
c. Departure. (Specify required advanced time for
filing flight plans. Outline additional items required in the flight
plan; e.g., type of departure, CONAD control facility, and IND
d. En Route. (including information that ATC is
responsible for effecting separation in assigned airspace whenever
nonparticipating aircraft are cleared to operate within such
e. Arrivals. (Outline handoff procedures and special
f. General. (Self-explanatory.)
6.ATTACHMENTS (List, as
required, items such as chart of ATC-assigned airspace areas, common
reference/handoff points, etc.)
Air Traffic Manager, (Name) ARTCC
Commander, (Name) Air Division
(Title of other appropriate authority)
INFORMATION TRANSFER (AIT)
identification, altitude, and en route fourth line control information
approval may be transferred via full data blocks without using point-out
procedures or verbal coordination. Air traffic managers wishing to
authorize the use of the AIT process must establish AIT procedures adapted
to local traffic situations and use the process only within the context of
those specific procedures. These precoordinated procedures and the
controller responsibilities must be specifically defined in facility
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 5-4-11, En Route Fourth Line Data Block Usage.
controller who first transfers radar identification will also transfer
aircraft communications. Either the transferring or the receiving
controller, whoever is specified in a facility AIT directive, may issue
the altitude change, if any. Additionally, facility AIT directives must
require that any deviation from the specified procedure invalidates the
procedure for that situation and requires that verbal coordination be
completed as per FAAO JO 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, para 2-1-14,
Coordinate Use of Airspace, para 2-1-15, Control Transfer, para 5-4-5,
Transferring Controller Handoff, para 5-4-6, Receiving Controller Handoff,
or para 5-4-7, Point Out. The following are general examples of the AIT
of radar identification only:
Controller A initiates a transfer of radar identification to controller B
before the aircraft enters controller B's airspace. Controller B accepts
the transfer of radar identification before the aircraft enters his/her
airspace. Controller B, traffic permitting, then initiates a transfer of
radar identification to controller C before the aircraft enters controller
C's airspace. Controller A transfers aircraft communications to controller
C before the aircraft enters controller C's airspace and after observing
that controller C has accepted the transfer of radar identification.
2. Transfer of radar identification and altitude control:
1. Controller A initiates a transfer of radar identification
to controller B; controller B accepts the transfer. Controller B amends
either the interim or assigned altitude in the data block to an altitude
within his/her altitude stratum as prescribed in a facility directive.
Controller B initiates a transfer of radar identification to controller C
before the aircraft enters controller C's airspace. Controller A, after
observing controller B initiate a transfer of radar identification to
controller C, clears the aircraft to the altitude displayed in the data
block by controller B. Controller A, after observing that controller C has
accepted the transfer of radar identification, transfers aircraft
communication to controller C before the aircraft enters controller C's
C may clear the aircraft to the altitude displayed by controller B if so
established in a facility AIT directive.
following is an example of a precoordinated AIT procedure which might be
written in a facility directive:
The following procedure is established for implementation under the (AIT)
process and is agreed to by the South and East areas. Aircraft departing
ELP via J26 to ROW requesting FL 280 or above must be handled as follows:
(a) Sector 20 must clear the aircraft to FL 270 within its
airspace and then initiate a transfer of radar identification to sector
(b) Sector 63 must accept the transfer of radar
identification then display either an assigned or interim altitude in the
(c) Sector 63 must then initiate a transfer of radar
identification to sector 23 before the aircraft enters sector 23's
(d) Sector 20, after observing the assigned/interim
altitude displayed in the data block and that a transfer of radar
identification has been initiated to sector 23, must then clear the
aircraft to the appropriate altitude.
(e) Sector 20 must transfer communications of the aircraft
to sector 23 before the aircraft enters sector 23's airspace and after
observing sector 23's acceptance of the transfer or radar identification.
c. Due to
system design, the transfer of data stored in the fourth line of the DSR
FDB will not be displayed to the controller when operating on the backup
system in either DARC/Host or DARC only modes.
switching from the primary system to either mode of the backup system,
ensure that the interfacility DSR fourth line data transfer is disabled.
notified that an adjacent facility has transitioned from their primary
system to either mode of the backup system, ensure that the interfacility
DSR fourth line data transfer to that facility is disabled.
successfully completing the transition back to the primary system,
coordinate a time to enable interfacility DSR fourth line data transfer.
4. The air
traffic manager must ensure that these procedures are incorporated into a
Standard Operating Procedure.