Section 3. Responsibility
1-3-1. PROCEDURAL APPLICATIONS
Apply the procedures in this order, except when other
procedures are contained in a letter of agreement
(LOA) or other appropriate FAA documents,
provided they only supplement this order and any
standards they specify are not less than those in this
1. Pilots are required to abide by applicable provisions of
14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) or any other
pertinent regulations regardless of the application of any
procedure in this order.
2. FAA Order JO 7210.3, Facility Operation and
Administration, contains administrative instructions
pertaining to these letters and documents.
1-3-2. DUTY PRIORITY
Because there are many variables involved, it is
impossible to provide a standard list of duty priorities
that apply to every situation. Each set of
circumstances must be evaluated on its own merit,
and when more than one action is required, personnel
must exercise their best judgment based on the facts
and circumstances known to them. Action which
appears most critical from a safety standpoint should
be performed first.
a. The following order of duty priorities is offered
as a guideline.
1. Emergency Situations. Emergency situations
are those where life or property is in immediate
2. Inflight Services. Inflight services are those
provided to or affecting aircraft in flight or otherwise
operating on the airport surface. This includes
services to airborne aircraft, airport advisories,
delivery of air traffic control (ATC) clearances,
advisories or requests, issuance of military flight
advisory messages, en route flight advisory service
(EFAS), notices to airmen (NOTAM), search and
rescue (SAR) communications searches, flight plan
handling, transcribed or live broadcasts, weather
observations, pilot reports (PIREP), and pilot
3. Preflight Services. Preflight services are
those which directly affect aircraft operations but
which are provided prior to actual departure and
usually by telephone. These include pilot briefings,
recorded data, flight plan filing/processing, and
aircraft operational reservations.
1-3-3. DUTY FAMILIARIZATION AND
TRANSFER OF POSITION
The transfer of position responsibility must be
accomplished in accordance with appropriate facility
directives each time the operational responsibility for
a position is transferred from one specialist to
another. The relieving specialist and the specialist
being relieved must share equal responsibility for the
completeness and accuracy of the position relief
a. Purpose. This paragraph prescribes the method
and the step璪y璼tep process for conducting a
position relief briefing and transferring position
responsibility from one specialist to another.
1. In all operational facilities, the increase in
traffic density and the need for the expeditious
movement of air traffic without compromising safety
have emphasized the importance of the position relief
process. Major problems occur whenever there is a
heavy reliance upon memory unsupported by
routines or systematic reminders. This procedure
addresses the complete task of transferring position
responsibility and the associated relief briefing.
2. Position relief unavoidably provides added
workload for specialists at the time of relief. The
intent of this procedure is to make the transfer of
position responsibility take place smoothly and to
ensure a complete transfer of information with a
minimum amount of workload. The method takes
advantage of a self璪riefing concept in which the
relieving specialist obtains needed status information
by reading from the Status Information Areas to
begin the relief process. Up璽o璽he璵inute information relating to the provision of flight services to
pilots and aircraft in flight requires verbal exchanges
between specialists during the relief process. The
method also specifies the point when the transfer of
position responsibility occurs.
3. In the final part of the relief process, the
specialist being relieved monitors and reviews the
position to ensure that nothing has been overlooked
or incorrectly displayed and that the transfer of
position responsibility occurred with a complete
c. Terms. The following terms are important for a
complete understanding of this procedure:
1. Status Information Areas. Manual or
automated displays of the current status of
position-related equipment and operational
conditions or procedures.
2. Written Notes. Manually recorded items of
information kept at designated locations on the
positions of operation are elements of Status
3. Checklist. An ordered listing of items to be
covered in a position relief.
1. Specialists involved in the position relief
process should not rush or be influenced to rush.
2. During position operation, each item of status
information which is or may be an operational factor
for the relieving specialist should be recorded as soon
as it is operationally feasible so that it will not be
forgotten or incorrectly recorded.
3. Extra care should be taken when more than
one specialist relieves or is being relieved from a
position at the same time; for example, combining or
e. Responsibilities. The specialist being relieved
must be responsible for ensuring that any pertinent
status information of which he/she is aware is relayed
to the relieving specialist and is either:
1. Accurately displayed in the Status
Information Areas for which he/she has
2. Relayed to the position having responsibility
for accurately displaying the status information. Prior
to accepting responsibility for a position, the
relieving specialist must be responsible for ensuring
that any unresolved questions pertaining to the
operation of the position are resolved. The specialists
engaged in a position relief must conduct the relief
process at the position being relieved, unless other
procedures have been established and authorized by
the facility air traffic manager.
f. Step-By-Step Process of Position Relief.
1. Preview of the Position
(a) Follow the checklist and review the Status
This substep may be replaced by an authorized preduty
briefing provided an equivalent review of checklist items
(b) Observe position equipment, operational
situation, and the work environment.
(c) Listen to voice communications and
observe other operational actions.
(d) Observe current and pending aircraft and
vehicular traffic and correlate with flight and other
(e) Indicate to the specialist being relieved
that the position has been previewed and that the
verbal briefing may begin.
Substeps (b), (c), and (d) may be conducted concurrently
or in order.
2. Verbal Briefing
SPECIALIST BEING RELIEVED
(a) Review with the relieving specialist the
checklist, Status Information Areas, written notes,
and other prescribed sources of information, and
advise of known omissions, updates, and inaccuracies. Also, brief the relieving specialist on the
abnormal status of items not listed on the Status
Information Areas, as well as on any items of special
operational interest calling for verbal explanation or
(b) Brief on traffic, if applicable.
(c) Completely answer any questions asked.
(d) Observe overall position operation. If
assistance is needed, provide or summon it as
(e) Sign off the position in accordance with
existing directives or otherwise indicate that the relief
process is complete.
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 2, Duty Familiarization and the Transfer of
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 2, Sign In/Out and On/Off Procedures
(f) Ask questions necessary to ensure a
complete understanding of the operations situation.
(g) Make a statement or otherwise indicate to
the specialist being relieved that position responsibility has been assumed.
(h) Sign on the position unless a facility
directive authorizes substep (g) above.
(i) Check, verify, and update the information
obtained in steps 1 and 2.
g. Check position equipment in accordance with