Part 3. TERMINAL
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL FACILITIES
Chapter 10. Terminal Operations, Services, and Equipment
Section 1. General
10-1-1. OPERATING POSITION DESIGNATORS
a. The following designators may be used to identify
operating positions in a terminal. (See
Operating Position Designators
Arrival Data (Radar)
Arrival Control (Radar)
Departure Data (Radar)
Departure Control (Radar)
Precision Approach Radar
Supervisory Traffic Management Coordinator-in-Charge
b. Facility air traffic managers may use designators
other than those listed to accommodate local situations.
10-1-2. TOWER/RADAR TEAM CONCEPTS
a. There are no absolute divisions of
responsibilities regarding position operations. The tasks
to be completed remain the same whether one, two, or three
people are working positions within a tower
cab/facility/sector. The team, as a whole, has
responsibility for the safe and efficient operation of the
b. The intent of the team concept is not to hold the
team accountable for the action of individual members in
the event of an operational error/deviation.
10-1-3. MILITARY ATC BOARDS
a. Commanders at USAF bases with flight operations
have been directed by USAF to establish airfield
operations boards. Among other things, the boards develop
recommendations for improving ATC and airfield services
and attempt to resolve local air traffic problems.
b. The ATCT manager, his/her representative, or the
ATREP at these bases may be designated as a member of the
board. The FAA member must inform the board that his/her
participation does not commit the FAA to abide by the
board's recommendations even though they may be approved
or even suggested by him/her.
c. The FAA member should become familiar with Air
Force Regulation 55-48, Air Force Instructions 13-203, Air
Traffic Control, and 13-213, Airfield Management.
10-1-4. SECTIONAL AERONAUTICAL AND TERMINAL AREA CHARTS
a. Terminal Area Charts (TACs) provide detailed
information needed for flight within or in the vicinity of
Class B airspace. Visual checkpoints are depicted on TACs,
and at some locations, on Sectional Charts.
b. VFR Flyway Planning Charts are published on the
back of existing TACs. Facilities with a TAC desiring
publication of a VFR Flyway Planning Chart should submit
requests through the Terminal Operations Service Area
office to Terminal Safety and Operations Support.
Additional charts may be considered after all Class B
airspace locations have been completed. VFR Flyway
Planning Charts, which are intended to facilitate VFR
transition through high density areas, depict generalized
VFR routing clear of major controlled traffic flows which
may be used as alternatives to flight within Class B
airspace. Pictorial ground references and VFR checkpoints
are provided to aid visual navigation. These charts are
designed for information and planning purposes and are not
intended to discourage VFR operations within Class B
airspace. Pilot compliance with recommended flyways and
associated altitudes is strictly voluntary. Controllers
must not assign a charted VFR flyway to a pilot as part of
a clearance nor predicate separation of aircraft on any
expected pilot compliance with the depicted altitudes.
c. Facility air traffic managers
must review VFR checkpoints published on Sectionals, TACs,
and VFR Flyway Planning Charts for accuracy, completeness,
and reasonableness. Nearby ATCT that make use of the same
area depicted on the charts must agree upon the
checkpoints to be depicted.
d. Submit changes or revisions to VFR checkpoints to
System Operations Airspace and Aeronautical Information
Management at least 10 weeks prior to the scheduled
e. If required, a list of checkpoints may be developed
in association with local flight schools and fixed base
operators for local use. They may only be used with local
users who participated in developing the list. They may
not be charted or published.
10-1-5. AREAS OF NONVISIBILITY
traffic managers of towers located where portions of the
airport surface are normally designated movement areas
and/or where portions of the airport traffic pattern are
not visible from the tower must, after coordination with
the airport management, issue a letter to airmen
describing the condition. The recommended wording is:
a. “Due to obstructed vision, (facility
identification) tower is unable to provide airport traffic
control service in following areas: (describe the areas).”
b. “Due to the movement of uncontrolled ground
traffic, (facility identification) tower is unable to
provide airport traffic control service in the following
areas: (describe the areas).”
c. “Use caution, the following areas are not visible
from the (facility name) tower: (describe the areas,
traffic pattern, active runway).”
a. ATCT supervisor/CIC has primary responsibility for
determining which runways are to be designated as “active”
runways. Where optional configurations of multiple active
runways are used for operational flexibility,
responsibility for designating which of the optional
runways are active at any time may be further delegated. A
facility directive must be issued to define specific
coordination requirements. (See FAAO JO 7110.65, Air
Traffic Control, para 3-1-3 thru para 3-1-5, para 3-5-1,
para 3-5-2, etc.)
of the active runway/s requires consideration of all known
factors that may in any way affect the safety of
takeoff/landing operations including the initial departure
and the instrument approach phases of flight within
terminal area airspace. (See FAAO JO 7110.65, para 2-1-16,
para 2-1-18, para 2-6-1 thru para 2-6-5, para 3-1-8, para
3-3-1 thru para 3-5-3, etc.)
Example of items to be considered are: surface wind
direction and velocity, wind shear/microburst
alerts/reports, adjacent airport traffic flows, severe
weather activity, IFR departure restrictions,
environmental factors, etc.
10-1-7. USE OF ACTIVE RUNWAYS
a. Facility air traffic managers must issue a facility
directive containing procedures to ensure the efficient
use of runways, positive control and coordination of
aircraft/vehicles on or near active runways. Authorization
for aircraft/vehicles to taxi/proceed on or along an
active runway, for purposes other than crossing, must be
provided via direct communications on the appropriate
local control frequency. This authorization may be
provided on the ground control frequency after
coordination with local control is completed for those
operations specifically described in a facility directive.
In addition, a facility directive must include procedures
for the use of a memory aid for appropriate operational
positions. This memory aid must visually and/or aurally
indicate that an aircraft/vehicle/pedestrian is on or near
an active runway. Where memory aids for runway use have
been established, their use must be mandatory. Where
memory aids are not in place, utilize collaborative
effort, and develop and implement site-specific memory
aids and procedures outlining their use.
b. Facility air traffic managers
must include local procedures in the facility directive to
assist the local and ground controllers in maintaining
awareness of aircraft positions on the airport.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 3-1-4, Coordination Between Local
and Ground Controllers.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 3-1-7, Position Determination.
c. FAAO JO 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, contains
procedures for the control of aircraft/vehicle movements
on active runways. Exceptions may be authorized, upon
approval by the Terminal Operations Service Area Director,
to allow prearranged coordination where equivalent
procedural safeguards exist to preclude a loss of
separation. Exceptions must be limited to complex
locations with clearly demonstrated extraordinary
requirements that cannot be met through the application of
the standard procedures in FAAO JO 7110.65, Air Traffic
Control. The following are required:
1. A facility directive that clearly defines
ground/local/cab coordinator responsibilities and contains
safeguards to prevent inadvertent use of runways by
local/ground/cab coordinator at the same time and do not
rely solely on visual observation (look-and-go).
2. The use of the cab coordinator in runway crossing
procedures must have restraints to guard against
unanticipated actions by the local controller to prevent
traffic conflicts. Coordinators must not approve runway
crossings in front of aircraft on the runway awaiting
takeoff without first coordinating with the local
controller. Similar restraints should be included with
regard to landing aircraft; e.g., cutoff points that
ensure the runway is clear before landing aircraft arrive
over the threshold. Based on a direct knowledge of the
local controller's instant traffic situation, the cab
coordinator may authorize ground control to conduct an
operation across an active runway. The cab coordinator
must ensure the timeliness of all such operations and
initiate any necessary action to prevent runway crossing
incidents. When not absolutely certain of local control's
traffic, the cab coordinator may still effectively
function as a communications link between the local
controller and the ground controller.
3. A separate facility directive must explicitly
outline the responsibilities of the cab coordinator in
authorizing active runway crossings. This directive must
address and clearly answer the questions of the cab
coordinator's function, authority, and accountability in
these operations. The Terminal Operations Service Area
Director must review and approve this facility directive
prior to its implementation.
4. The Terminal Operations Service Area Director must
forward a copy of the approved facility directive to the
Director of System Operations Airspace and Aeronautical
d. Facility air traffic managers at instrumented
airports with operating control towers must, in addition
to the above, annually review local airport surface
diagrams to ensure that the runway centerline heading
information is current. This may be accomplished by
comparing the posted magnetic headings of the runways
shown on the airport obstruction chart, corrected to the
current magnetic variation for the facility, with the
heading shown on the airport surface diagram. The air
traffic manager must review local departure procedures to
ensure continued compatibility with the runway headings
posted on the airport surface diagram.
e. Air traffic managers must develop a facility
directive which specifically defines the responsibilities
of local and ground control to ensure that coordination is
accomplished to accommodate an aircraft exiting the runway
which must enter another taxiway/runway/ramp area, other
than the one used to exit the landing runway, in order to
taxi clear of the runway.
This directive is only required at facilities where an
aircraft exiting the runway must enter another
taxiway/runway/ramp area, other than the one used to exit
the landing runway, in order to taxi clear of the runway.
FOR OPENING AND CLOSING RUNWAYS
a. Must ensure that the authority, responsibility,
and procedures to be used when opening or closing a
runway are defined in an LOA with airport
management/military operations office. Items which
should be addressed, if relevant, are: the use of
barriers/visual aids (lighted or unlighted “X”,
barricades, etc.), portions of the closed runway
available for ground operations such as crossings,
and information for issuing NOTAMs. Other items
may be included, as appropriate.
Only the airport management/military operations office
can close or open a runway.
b. Must develop and provide a tailored checklist
to be used when opening and closing a runway. A
facility directive must designate the position
responsible for completing the checklist. Items which
should be included, if relevant, are:
(a) Airport management.
(d) Technical operations.
(e) Traffic management.
2. Memory aids.
3. Safety Logic System.
4. Status information area.
5. Airfield lighting.
8. Entry on the daily log.
c. May increase the number of items and/or the
level of detail of the opening and closing checklist as
they deem necessary.
d. Must ensure that a facility directive includes
procedures for the use of a memory aid that visually
and/or aurally indicates that the runway is closed.
Where a memory aid for a closed runway has been
established, its use must be mandatory. Where a
memory aid for a closed runway is not in place, utilize
collaborative efforts to develop and implement
sitespecific memory aid(s) and procedures outlining
When implementing these procedures, one should
consider shortterm versus longterm closures as well as
planned versus unplanned processes.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 331, Landing Area Condition
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 332, Closed/Unsafe Runway Information
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 4712, Airport Conditions
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 473, System Impact Reports
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 17513, Electronic System Impact Reports
10-1-9. FLIGHT PROGRESS STRIP
Air traffic managers at automated terminal radar
facilities may waive the requirement to use flight
progress strips provided:
a. Back-up systems such as multiple radar
sites/systems or single site radars with CENRAP are
b. Local procedures are documented in a facility
directive. These procedures should include but not be
1. Departure areas and/or procedures.
2. Arrival procedures.
3. Overflight handling procedures.
4. Transition from radar to nonradar.
5. Transition from ATTS to non-ATTS.
c. No misunderstanding will occur as a result of no
d. Unused flight progress strips, facility developed forms and/or blank notepads must be
provided for controller use.
e. Facilities must revert to flight progress strip
usage if back-up systems referred to in subpara a
above are not available.
10-1-10. LOW VISIBILITY OPERATIONS
a. Facility air traffic managers must participate
in developing a local SMGCS plan when the airport
is under the guidelines of the National SMGCS plan.
AC 120-57, Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (SMGCS).
b. Facility air traffic managers must ensure all
operational personnel are properly briefed prior to the
effective date of local SMGCS plan. All air traffic
procedures included in the SMGCS plan must be
contained in a facility directive.
10-1-11. MOBILE CONTROL TOWERS
a. Mobile control towers must be used at FAA
1. To provide services during a move from an
old tower structure into a new tower.
2. When repairs, rehabilitation, or installation
of new equipment make the tower structure
3. During periods of natural emergency; e.g.,
the tower structure has been damaged by fire,
accident, or wind.
4. During national emergencies as required by
the DOD at FAA and non-FAA locations.
b. Mobile control towers may be used at non-FAA
locations when requested by flying organizations,
cities, or other political entities to assist in the
operation of fly-ins, air races, etc., provided:
1. The Terminal Operations Area Office, after
careful consideration of a request to use FAA
personnel and/or equipment, determines that the
service is required and can be made available
(a) Jeopardizing FAA activities.
(b) Interfering with the gainful employment
of competent non-Federal personnel.
2. Non-Federal personnel selected to support
the event are properly certificated and rated in
accordance with 14 CFR Part 65 for the airport.
3. The requesting organization is apprised that
the mobile unit is subject to immediate recall should
an emergency arise.
10-1-12. PARTICIPATION IN LOCAL
AIRPORT DEICING PLAN (LADP)
a. Officials, at airports operating under 14 CFR
Part 107 and Part 139 subject to icing weather
conditions with control towers, should develop
LADPs in order to involve all interested parties in the
deicing/anti-icing process. Aircraft departing from
airports without a LADP are not exempt from any
traffic management initiative.
b. The operators of these airports have been
requested to host meetings involving airport users
and air traffic in a partnership effort to achieve
common solutions to local aircraft ground
deicing/anti-icing problems. The emphasis is on
developing local strategies that minimize the amount
of time an aircraft spends on the ground after being
Deicing is the process of removing existing frozen
precipitation, frost, or ice from aircraft surfaces.
Anti-icing is the process of preventing accumulation of
frozen contaminants on aircraft surfaces. Both processes
may involve the application of various fluids to the
c. Air traffic managers who receive requests from
airport operators to participate in these meetings will
use the following guidance:
1. When requested by the airport operator, the
air traffic manager must participate in the
development of a LADP. Since a LADP can affect an
airport acceptance rate and/or departure rate, the air
traffic manager must include the participation of the
air traffic manager from the appropriate ARTCC,
who must participate and/or utilize their traffic
management unit (TMU). The plan will be reviewed
and updated annually. The plan must include:
(a) A clear definition of triggering
mechanism(s) used to implement the LADP, e.g.,
holdover tables, visible precipitation.
(b) Assignment of responsibility to notify air
traffic of implementation and cessation of the LADP.
Air traffic facilities should not become the triggering
mechanism except in rare circumstances. If air traffic is
designated as the triggering mechanism, submit the
proposed LADP to the Terminal Operations Service Area
office for approval.
2. Develop or enhance local strategies to
manage the number of aircraft at the departure
runway queues and minimize the amount of time an
aircraft spends on the ground after being deiced.
3. Gate hold procedures, when used as part of a
LADP, should be initiated at the time the plan is
implemented. The application of gate hold
procedures during deicing/anti-icing operations are
not predicated on other requirements of
FAAO JO 7210.3.
The pilot-in-command remains the final authority as to
aircraft operation. Air traffic is not responsible for
tracking or adherence to aircraft holdover times.
4. Coordinate the expected start time, actual
start time and stop time of the LADP with the
appropriate ARTCC TMU. The ARTCC TMU will
forward these times to the ATCSCC.
5. Balance the airport flow to accommodate
demand. Adjust the arrival rate with the departure
rate. These rates should reflect the number of
operations expected to occur during
deicing/anti-icing conditions and facilitate
minimizing the amount of time an aircraft spends on
the ground after being deiced/anti-iced.
6. Aircraft operators at LADP airports are
responsible for complying with issued Expect
Departure Clearance Time (EDCT) times and will not
be exempted from compliance with these times.
However, once an aircraft has been deiced/anti-iced,
it must be released unless a ground stop applicable to
that aircraft is in effect. If a facility believes aircraft
operators are not performing deicing/anti-icing in a
manner consistent to meet the EDCT time, the
facility must notify the ATCSCC through the
7. Allocate the available departure slot capacity,
when departure rates are reduced because of deicing,
consistent with available resources. Facilities should
consider the following unprioritized list of options
when developing departure allocation procedures.
(a) OPTION A: First come, first served.
When departure demand exceeds capacity, the air
traffic facility will minimize departure delays at the
runway queue by using gatehold or an equivalent
(b) OPTION B: Air traffic will determine the
departure allocation based upon the departure rate
and the stated demand, obtained directly from the
users, during a specified time period. For example, air
traffic will coordinate with each user and receive their
demand for a 15-minute time period. Then, based
upon the total airport departure demand for the
15-minute time period, determine the number of
flights which the user will be allocated, advise each
user, and determine which flights they will use to fill
(c) OPTION C: Airport users determine the
departure allocation. Air traffic will notify the users
of the departure rate in effect and the users will then
advise air traffic which flights they will use to fill
their allocation. Air traffic will provide input on the
coordination process but will not accept an active role
in developing the departure allocation.
(d) OPTION D: Air traffic determines the
departure rate and informs the users of the number of
operations expected during a specific time period. Air
traffic determines the total percentage of each users'
daily operations based upon a “typical busy day” by
dividing each of the users total daily operations by the
airports total daily operations. Then, air traffic
determines each users hourly share by multiplying
the users daily percentage times the departure rate.
The users will then distribute their hourly share
evenly throughout the specific time intervals.
1. Air traffic may or may not take an active role in
determining the percentage of each user's operations on
a “typical busy day” and each user's hourly share.
2. If a user has only one aircraft scheduled per hour,
attempts should be made to accommodate it.
8. Provide coordination, communication, and
feedback with the parties included in the plan.
Coordination should take place when airports are
forecast to have icing conditions, during deicing/anti-icing and after deicing/anti-icing, to effect
necessary adjustments. Prior to and after each winter
season, the airport participants should assess the
efficiency of the airport plan and address any specific
9. Develop an air traffic facility training
program. Prior to each winter deicing/anti-icing
season, conduct annual controller refresher training
including, but not limited to, awareness of and
sensitivity to the peculiar nature of deicing/anti-icing
operations, icing conditions, and minimizing delays
at the runway departure queue.
10-1-13. PRECISION OBSTACLE FREE
Coordinate with the Airport Division and Flight
Standards to determine if precision approach
operations are impacted by the POFZ. ILS hold lines
will need to be relocated if aircraft (vertical surfaces)
or vehicles fall within the POFZ.