Air Traffic Organization Policy

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

Section 3. Operations


a. SIGMETs and CWAs:

1. The CWSU meteorologist is the focal point for the review of SIGMETs to determine application to the ARTCC area of responsibility and may issue a CWA to modify or redefine the SIGMET information.

2. The CWSU meteorologist may also issue a CWA in advance of a SIGMET when the observed or the expected weather conditions meet SIGMET criteria or when conditions do not meet SIGMET criteria but are considered significant.

3. The weather coordinator (WC) has the primary responsibility for the inter/intrafacility dissemination of SIGMETs and CWAs and must ensure that sufficient information is disseminated to facilitate the required alert broadcasts.

4. Terminal ATC facilities must relay the SIGMET and the CWA information to towers under their jurisdiction.

b. PIREPs:

1. The WC is the focal point for handling PIREP requests and for the dissemination of Urgent PIREPs within the ARTCC and to the terminal ATC facilities without LSAS which are or may be affected.

2. The CWSU meteorologist solicits PIREPs through the weather coordinator or directly from the controllers when required. Both solicited and unsolicited PIREPs that meet the Urgent PIREP criteria will be distributed immediately via the Leased Service A System (LSAS).

c. PIREP classification: Categorize PIREPs as follows:

1. URGENT: Weather phenomena reported by a pilot which represents a hazard or a potential hazard to flight operations. Disseminate reports of the following conditions as URGENT PIREPs:

(a) Tornadoes, funnel clouds, or waterspouts.

(b) Severe or extreme turbulence (including clear air turbulence).

(c) Severe icing.

(d) Hail.

(e) Low level wind shear.

Defined as wind shear within 2,000 feet of the surface.

(f) Volcanic eruptions and volcanic ash clouds.

(g) Detection of sulfur gases (SO2 or H2S), associated with volcanic activity, in the cabin.

The smell of sulfur gases in the cockpit may indicate volcanic activity that has not yet been detected or reported and/or possible entry into an ash­bearing cloud. SO2 is identifiable as the sharp, acrid odor of a freshly struck match. H2S has the odor of rotten eggs.

(h) Any other weather phenomena reported which are considered by the specialist as being hazardous or potentially hazardous to flight operations.

2. ROUTINE: Classify as ROUTINE all PIREPs received except those listed above.


ARTCC air traffic managers must coordinate with other air traffic facilities in their area to ensure that adequate procedures are established for the receipt and distribution of NOTAMs.


Although magnetic radials are used in planning airways/routes, conversion to true radials is required for designation. The final magnetic radials are not determined until the airspace action is charted. As a result, differences from planned magnetic radials may occur in the conversion of true to magnetic radials. Differences may also occur later due to changes in the magnetic variation, which is recomputed every 5 years. These differences could contribute to the misapplication of the VFR altitude hemispheric rule. Therefore, ARTCC air traffic managers must conduct a continuing review of the airway and jet route structures and proposed new airspace cases and bring any differences to the attention of the En Route and Oceanic Operations Service Area Office.


ARTCC air traffic managers must furnish personnel assigned Flight Data duties a copy of FAAO JO 7110.10, Flight Service, and ensure they are familiar with it.


a. ARTCCs must use the procedures as outlined in FAAO JO 7110.10, Flight Services, para 6-5-1 for forwarding these schedules or changes via Service B.

Facilities may develop procedures for forwarding these scheduled MTR/MOA via the GI message provided the “all” option is not utilized and there is no adverse impact on computer processing.

b. The message(s) containing these schedules must be forwarded not more than 24 hours in advance of confirmation of the planned activity.

c. The message must only contain the following and be formatted as per FAAO JO 7110.10, Flight Services, para 6-5-1:

1. The name of the MTR or MOA.

2. The scheduled use times.
(MOA-only if different from published periods).

3. The planned altitudes.
(MOA-only if different from published altitudes).

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