U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
Air Traffic Organization Policy

ORDER
JO 7210.3X
Effective Date:
February 9, 2012
 
     
Subject:  Facility Operation and Administration
       Includes:  Errata effective 2/9/12, Change 1 effective 7/26/12, Change 2 effective 3/7/13, and Change 3 effective 8/22/13
 

Chapter 5. Special Flight Handling

Section 1. Presidential Aircraft

5-1-1. ADVANCE COORDINATION

NOTE-
Presidential aircraft and entourage, referred to herein, include aircraft and entourage of the President, the Vice President, or other public figures designated by the White House.

a. An advance survey group comprised of representatives of the Office of the Military Assistant to the President, the U.S. Secret Service, the White House Staff, and a Presidential Advance Agent may visit each location which the Presidential aircraft will transit. The visit is normally made several days in advance of the trip to determine security aspects and the availability of supporting services. On this visit the group may meet with the airport operator, the ATCT manager, and other interested parties. Based on the evaluation by this group, a decision is made on the use of the airport, and further coordination is planned for an advance group.

b. The advance group, comprised of representatives of the same organizations stated in subpara a, will meet with the same airport elements to complete security measures and supporting services and determine the necessary restrictions to air traffic operations before the arrival and the departure of the Presidential aircraft and while the Presidential entourage is on the airport. The security provisions may include stationing a guard in the tower cab or at the tower entrance and maintaining two-way communications between the control tower and agents on the ground. This meeting will be held several days in advance of the planned arrival of the Presidential aircraft. The advance group has been requested to have all elements of the group coordinate with the FAA simultaneously.

1. The air traffic manager must appoint an air traffic supervisor to serve as coordinator who will be responsible for attending all meetings and briefing all affected personnel. Additionally, the coordinator must brief the ATCSCC and the appropriate ARTCC of any traffic delays or restrictions.

2. All advance coordination must be documented, with special attention given to routes, radio frequencies, and assigned transponder codes. This documentation must be made available to the personnel on duty who will be handling the Presidential movement.

3. The meeting must be attended by the ATCT manager, the coordinator, and, if available, the supervisory specialist(s) who will be on duty and directly involved in the control of airport traffic during the arrival and departure, and while the Presidential entourage is on the airport.

4. The air traffic manager must take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the Presidential flight, airplanes, helicopters, and entourage are given priority. Restrictions will be placed upon normal air traffic operations to provide priority unless directed otherwise by the Presidential advance agent (USAF) or the Secret Service representative; the latter when the Presidential advance agent (USAF) is not directly involved. ATCT personnel must be guided by the determinations of the advance group and must cooperate to the maximum extent possible. The air traffic manager must consider the following alternatives:

(a) Employing air traffic control techniques to temporarily adjust or suspend the movement of traffic to accommodate the arrival and the departure of the Presidential aircraft and while the Presidential entourage is on the airport.

(b) Requesting traffic, by NOTAM, to voluntarily conform to restrictions in the vicinity of an airport. The NOTAM must give details of the restrictions and should be cleared by the advance group. It must avoid any reference to Presidential activities and must be issued at least 8 hours in advance.

EXAMPLE-
ALL TRAFFIC CAN EXPECT DELAYS FROM (date/time) TO (date/time) AND FROM (date/time) TO (date/time).

(c) The time will normally be 15 minutes before to 15 minutes after the arrival and the departure time.

c. If the advance group determines that mandatory airspace restrictions are required, the Washington headquarters office of the U.S. Government agency responsible for the protection of the personage concerned will contact FAA Headquarters in accordance with established procedures and request the necessary regulatory action. The air traffic manager must advise the Service Area office of the regulatory proposal. (See 14 CFR Section 91.141 and FAAO JO 7610.4, Special Operations.)

NOTE-
The actions established herein do not affect the provisions of 14 CFR Section 91.113(b); i.e., an aircraft in distress has the right-of-way over all other air traffic.

REFERENCE-
FAAO 7930.2, Para 7-1-1, FDC NOTAM Categories.

d. To ensure radio communications and radar service, the following should be coordinated with the advance group:

1. All aircraft in the flight should be assigned a discrete transponder code. As a minimum, the lead aircraft and the aircraft containing the President should turn their transponders on when flying in formation. In the event of a formation breakup, all aircraft should squawk their assigned code to facilitate auto-acquire.

2. Normal frequencies are preferred over discrete frequencies.

NOTE-
Secret Service personnel will transmit progress reports on the Presidential entourage to the affected tower as soon as possible.

e. Prior to the actual operation, action must be taken to ensure that all air traffic specialists who will be on duty during the arrival and departure of the Presidential aircraft are thoroughly briefed concerning the arrangements pertaining to the operation, including movements of the Presidential entourage while on the airport.

f. At military airports, the base commander will determine the restriction or delay of flight operations into that airport and the need to issue a NOTAM. He/she should coordinate his/her actions with the appropriate FAA facilities if air traffic will be affected.

5-1-2. THE PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENT, AND EXEC1F AIRCRAFT MONITORING

a. Advance scheduled movement information of the President, Vice President, and Executive One Foxtrot (EXEC1F) aircraft received from the White House must be distributed to the air traffic manager of each facility through which these aircraft will transit.

b. The ATM will be notified of the scheduled movement of the President, Vice President, or EXEC1F aircraft by the appropriate service center office or, when time critical, by national headquarters through the ATCSCC or the DEN.

c. The President, Vice President, and EXEC1F aircraft must be aurally and visually monitored by a supervisory specialist/controller-in-charge (CIC) from departure to arrival as follows:

1. The ATM of each facility through which the President transits must ensure that a supervisory specialist/CIC aurally and visually monitors the aircraft while in the facility's airspace.

2. The ATM of each facility through which the Vice President and EXEC1F aircraft transits must ensure that a supervisory specialist/CIC aurally and visually monitors the aircraft while in the facility's airspace where sufficient on-duty staffing allows.

d. The supervisory specialist/CIC must:

1. Be present at each sector/position providing ATC service to the President, Vice President, and EXEC1F aircraft from the flight's entry in the facility's airspace until the flight exits the facility's airspace.

2. Aurally and visually monitor these flights to ensure that separation, control, and coordination are accomplished.

NOTE-
Supervisors and managers at FAA Contract Towers (FCT) are qualified to perform the duties required in para 5-1-2.

5-1-3. USE OF FAA COMMUNICATIONS CIRCUITS

Operations personnel must expedite the movement of Presidential aircraft and related control messages when traffic conditions and communications facilities permit. Honor any request of the pilot concerning movement of the aircraft if the request can be fulfilled in accordance with existing control procedures. Also, honor any request of the pilot, Office of the Vice President, Secret Service, or White House Staff for the relay, via FAA communications circuits, of information regarding the movement or proposed movement of the aircraft.

5-1-4. SECURITY OF INFORMATION

FAA personnel must not release any information concerning Presidential flights to anyone outside the FAA except properly identified White House staff members, Secret Service personnel, or appropriate military authorities. Any inquiries from the press or others for information regarding the movement of these aircraft must be referred to the White House, the Secret Service, the Air Force, or their representatives at either the point of departure or arrival. These security measures also apply to information regarding the movement of Presidential or Vice Presidential family aircraft.

5-1-5. MOVEMENT INFORMATION

Honor any request of the pilot concerning movement of the Presidential aircraft if it can be fulfilled in accordance with existing control procedures. Also, honor any request of the pilot, Secret Service, White House Staff, or Office of the Vice President for the relay, via FAA communications circuits or Defense Switching Network (DSN), of information regarding the movement or the proposed movement of these aircraft.

5-1-6. COORDINATION

ARTCCs must call CARF direct for ALTRV approval on any Presidential aircraft international flight plan received less than 4 hours before departure.

5-1-7. RESCUE SUPPORT AIRCRAFT

When rescue support aircraft are used, the aircraft will depart from various bases and will file flight plans which will place the aircraft on tracks in proximity of the Presidential aircraft for contingency purposes. Orbits may also be used by the rescue support aircraft. These aircraft will be identified in the remarks section of the flight plan as “Rescue” for purposes of radio and interphone communications.

REFERENCE-
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 2-4-20, Aircraft Identification.

Return to Air Traffic Publications Library Return to Order Home Page Return to Table of Contents