Air Traffic Organization Policy

JO 7210.3
Effective Date:
April 3, 2014
Subject:  Facility Operation and Administration

Section 2. Responsibilities


a. Guidelines for representing Federal employees named in tort claims are promulgated by the Department of Justice (28 CFR Part 50).

b. When warranted, disciplinary action must be taken without regard to possible adverse effects on the FAA position in subsequent lawsuits, enforcement proceedings, or similar actions.

c. In the case of an accident or incident resulting in a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) or a military investigation or hearing, it may be necessary to delay disciplinary action until the determination of the investigation or hearing. This is done only to ensure that all facts are known before final action is taken. The determination in such investigations must not be used as a basis for initiating disciplinary action.


Each person must be familiar with the duties and responsibilities of his/her own position, those of his/her subordinates, if applicable, and to a limited extent, with those of his/her immediate supervisor. Each specialist, when designated, must supervise and assist in training other specialists as appropriate.


a. Air traffic managers must ensure that only one certified air traffic controller is signed on and responsible for each open position, to include consolidated positions, at any given time. At the ATCSCC, the national traffic management officer (NTMO), national traffic management specialist-in-charge (NTMSIC), and national traffic management specialist (NTMS) work as a team in order to accomplish the traffic management goals of an entire operational area. Due to the management functionality involved in overseeing the NAS, more than one NTMO, NTMSIC, and/or NTMS can be signed on and responsible for an open and/or consolidated control position.

When a developmental and an instructor are both signed on at a position, the instructor is responsible for all activity at that position.

b. Anytime an operational area is operated with one air traffic control specialist (ATCS), the following procedure must be followed: Prior to leaving the operational area, for any reason, the ATCS must advise all applicable facilities (tower, approach control, and/or center) that they are leaving the operational area and must advise the same facility/facilities upon return. Leaving the operational area should only be done during periods when the controller is not responsible for any aircraft.


a. Air traffic managers must determine which sectors or positions require “duty familiarization” for each shift and must provide a facility directive which specifies all sources of operational information which must be read and/or discussed as a part of the familiarization. Familiarizations should be scheduled within an 8-hour shift to the extent possible.

b. Air traffic managers must determine which sectors or positions must maintain operational continuity through a transfer of position responsibility and must:

1. Review each sector or position and provide a tailored checklist which lists the equipment and the operational conditions which are likely to be a factor at that position. Checklists must be reviewed annually to ensure the sector/position checklist items are current. 

(a) Items which should be included on the checklist, if relevant, are:


(2) EQUIPMENT: NAVAIDs, Radar(s), Radios, Automated Weather Observing Systems, etc.


(4) AIRPORT ACTIVITIES; e.g., snow removal, vehicles on runway, etc.




(8) SPECIAL ACTIVITIES; e.g., restricted/warning areas in use, airshows, flight checks, new procedures, etc.

(9) SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS/RESTRICTIONS; e.g., due to adjacent position training, nonstandard staffing/configuration, etc.



(12) VERBALLY STATE RUNWAY STATUS; unavailable, closed, occupied.


Air traffic managers at facilities equipped with automated NOTAM systems must designate those systems as the primary source of NOTAM information.

(14) Non-RVSM aircraft operations.


(b) The checklist for a specific position need not include those items which are incorporated into the Status Information Area/s used by that position.

(c) Status Information Area/s (SIA), when available, must be the first item listed on the position checklist.

(d) When traffic is included on the position checklist, it must be the last item listed. When relevant to the position, include the following sub-items under the traffic heading so that they will not be inadvertently overlooked:

(1) Special Activity Aircraft; e.g., aircraft operating in a special use area/airspace, helicopters on prescribed routes, etc.

(2) Point out aircraft.

(3) Holding aircraft.

(4) Primary targets with no associated alphanumerics.

(5) Aircraft handed off but still in the airspace.

(6) Aircraft released but not yet airborne.

(7) Nonradar operations.

(8) VFR advisory aircraft.

(9) Aircraft standing by for service.

(10) Coordination agreements with other positions.

(11) Special problems, requests, or instructions.

(e) Air traffic managers may increase the number of items and/or the level of detail of the position relief checklists as they deem necessary.

2. To the extent possible, provide a SIA/s from which specialists may obtain the operational information relevant to the position being worked. The SIA/s may consist of a single or any combination of informational sources where status information can be recorded and displayed. These areas may include, but not be limited to, facility/area/position status boards, weather status boards, “hot item” binders, clip board information sheets, and designated areas for written notes.

3. Designate, through a facility directive, the position/s having responsibility for the accuracy of the various items contained on the SIA/s. The designated position/s should be the focal point for the type of status information for which they are responsible and, except for the accuracy of written notes located at the position, should not be a specialist having primary and direct responsibility for the provision of service or separation to aircraft.

c. To the maximum extent practicable the position relief briefing must be recorded.

d. Specialists manning the positions identified under subpara 2-2-4b, requiring the maintenance of operational continuity, must conduct a position relief briefing in accordance with FAAO JO 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, Appendix D, Standard Operating Practice (SOP) for the Transfer of Position Responsibility, or FAAO JO 7110.10, Flight Services, para 1-3-3, Duty Familiarization and Transfer of Position Responsibility.

e. Responsibilities:

1. 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:

(a) Accurately displayed on the SIA/s for which he/she has responsibility, or

(b) Relayed to the position having the responsibility for accurately displaying that status information.

2. The relieving specialist must be responsible for ensuring that any unresolved questions pertaining to the operation of the position are resolved prior to accepting responsibility for the position.

3. The relieving specialist and the specialist being relieved must share equal responsibility for the completeness and the accuracy of the position relief briefing.

The sharing of this responsibility means that the specialist being relieved is obligated to provide a complete, accurate briefing, and the relieving specialist is obligated to ensure that a briefing takes place and is to his/her total satisfaction.

4. 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.


a. Specialists must be assigned two-letter operating initials to identify the employee for record purposes. When all combinations of letters are depleted, duplicate initials may be assigned to personnel working in different areas of specialization.

b. Unless signatures are specifically requested, use assigned operating initials for all operating forms, interphone contacts, marking of recorder tapes, and other records.

c. A current file of assigned initials must be maintained.


The following is applicable to all FAA air traffic facilities, but does not apply to FAA contract facilities.

Cru-X/ART is the official time and attendance system for both signing in/out for a shift and on and off positions, not paper logs nor Common ARTS/HOST/NTML/FSS operational system or other Agency or local programs. Facilities may use Common ARTS/HOST/NTML/FSS operational system to sign on positions for position preference settings; however, these systems/programs must not be used for official time and attendance nor position times. Duplicate paper logs for sign in/out of the shift and on and off positions must not be utilized during normal daily operations.

a. FAA operations managers-in-charge (OMIC)/ front-line managers (FLM)/supervisory traffic management coordinators (STMC)/national operations managers (NOM)/national traffic management officers (NTMO)/controllers-in-charge (CIC) of the watch are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the personnel log for time and attendance (T&A) recording. T&A information must be entered into and maintained within the ATO Resource Tool (ART) system approved.

1. The facility air traffic manager must ensure that procedures are in place so that operational schedules are entered correctly into ART.

2. Employees must use ART to sign in and out of their shifts.

(a) Sign in for a shift must be accomplished no later than the shift assigned time unless the OS/STMC/NTMO/CIC and/or OMIC has approved leave at the start of the assigned shift. Sign in, using the assigned shift start time, may occur up to 15 minutes before an employee's assigned shift. Earning of, and signing in for, Time Outside Shift time at the beginning of an assigned shift must receive approval by the OS/STMC/NTMO/CIC or OMIC prior to earning or recording it into Cru-X/ART.

Shift/Core hour changes must be in accordance with local and national policy. Earning Time Outside Shift (overtime, credit hours, etc.) must be approved by the OS/STMC/NTMO/CIC or OMIC prior to entering it into Cru-X/ART or working it.

(b) In situations where it is known in advance that employees will not report to the facility, such as when attending an all day meeting outside the facility, facilities should enter the employee's shift in the schedule as an Other Duty Code.

(c) Sign out must be accomplished at the end of an employee's assigned shift. Sign out using the assigned shift end time may be accomplished no earlier than 15 minutes prior to the end of the shift, or no later than 15 minutes after the end of the assigned shift. Any Time Outside Shift at the end of an assigned shift, or leave, must first receive OS/STMC/NTMO/CIC or OMIC approval prior to earning/using and recording such time in Cru X/ART.

3. The supervisor/CIC position relief briefing check list must include:

(a) T&A status,

(b) Other Duties,

(c) Time Outside Shift (TOS) requests/approvals, and

(d) Leave requests/approvals.

Upon signing on position the OMIC/FLM/STMC/NOM/NTMO/CIC assumes full responsibility of all check list items including those identified above.

4. It is the employee's responsibility to notify the OMIC/FLM/STMC/NOM/NTMO/CIC of the watch of any changes to “Other Duty" shifts. For example, an employee is outside of the facility on another duty and requests a day of sick leave.

5. In the event of electronic system failure, scheduled system outage, or facility evacuation, the paper FAA Form 7230-10, “Position Log,” must be used to indicate position responsibility. When the ART system has been restored or the facility reoccupied, the facility must ensure that all data collected with the paper FAA Form 7230-10's is entered into ART. In instances where the data cannot be entered into ART, the paper FAA Form 7230-10's must be retained in accordance with document retention guidance.

b. The Cru-X/ART electronic logs must be used to indicate responsibility at all operational positions and for supervisory traffic management coordinator-in-charge (STMCIC), operations supervisor-in-charge (OSIC), traffic management coordinator-in-charge (TMCIC), and CIC functions. It is the responsibility of the relieved controller to enter the correct change of position responsibility time in Cru-X/ART. In situations where there is no relieved controller, such as when opening a position, the person opening the position is responsible for entering the correct position time or notifying the supervisor/STMC/CIC of the position opening time. The supervisor/STMC/NTMO/CIC must then enter that time into Cru-X/ART.


A CIRNOT initiated by WMSCR/NNCC must be transmitted to all circuit users.

a. WMSCR/NNCC must maintain a record of all CIRNOTs and forward a hard copy to FAA Headquarters, Terminal Safety and Operations Support by the most expeditious means available.

b. FSS air traffic managers must provide CIRNOTs to the Terminal Operations Service Area office and/or other field facilities upon request.

c. CIRNOTs should be retained at the receiving facility for 120 days.

The most expeditious means is transmitting the CIRNOT via facsimile, telephone, mail, electronic mail, etc.


A GENOT initiated by headquarters ATO organizations, requiring distribution to air traffic facilities, must be transmitted to all Service Area offices, Flight Service Stations (FSS), and ARTCCs.

a. Terminal Operations Service Area office must distribute GENOTs to the following using the most expeditious means available:

1. FAA contract and non-Federal towers.

2. FAA military ATREPS assigned to the service area.

The most expeditious means is transmitting the GENOT via facsimile, telephone, mail, electronic mail, etc.

b. The FSS must distribute the GENOT to all FAA field facilities addressed, except ARTCCs, within their designated areas as determined by the respective Service Area office using the most expeditious means available.

FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 2-2-8a2 Note.

c. Terminal Hub facilities distribute all GENOTs in plain language format to all non-Federal and contract ATCTs which are located within their Hub Area. The GENOT must be distributed in the most expeditious means available.

FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 2-2-8a2 Note.

d. Air traffic managers at all facilities must:

1. Disseminate GENOT information to concerned facility personnel. The content of the message will dictate the priority of the distribution.

2. Ensure that all employees with a need to know are thoroughly briefed on the change prior to performing their duties.

3. Ensure that the appropriate entry is made in the employee's Training and Proficiency Record, Form 3120-1.


The Air Traffic Bulletin is a means of communication between headquarters and field facilities. It is routinely published and distributed quarterly. In addition, special issues are published and distributed as necessary. It is not a directive, nor is it to implement new procedures. Its intent is to transmit “reminders” concerning proper application of procedures and other instructions. To provide continuity of communication, facility air traffic managers must:

a. Ensure that the facility is on the distribution list for the Air Traffic Bulletin. Any corrections/additions/deletions should be directed thru the regional distribution officer.

b. Ensure that Air Traffic Bulletin items with operational/procedural impacts are verbally discussed/briefed with facility personnel. These briefings must take place within 30 days after receipt of the bulletin. Once the briefings are given, a notation must be inserted in each individual's FAA Form 3120-1, including the certification signature provided by the staff specialist/supervisor and the employee's initials.

1. The option/s for which a briefing is required will be indicated by an asterisk followed by one or more letter designators; i.e.:

(a) *T - Tower, combined tower/approach control;

(b) *R - TRACON;

(c) *F - FSS;

(d) *E - ARTCC (En Route);

(e) *EF - ARTCC and FSS; etc.

2. The option/s for which briefings are recommended but not required will follow the option/s for which briefings are required, separated by a slash; i.e., /*T/E, indicates that for the en route option the briefing is recommended.

c. Solicit suggested Air Traffic Bulletin items, having operational/procedural impact from facility personnel at regular personnel or crew briefings; evaluate and forward those considered appropriate for Service Area office review. Service area offices must evaluate and forward to System Safety Procedures those proposals considered significant and national in scope.


Law enforcement information; e.g., aircraft identification, flight schedules, flight operations, procedures, aircraft lookouts, etc., is of great value to drug traffickers and others attempting to circumvent the law. Although law enforcement information is normally unclassified, it is considered to be inherently sensitive, of a confidential nature, and is to be handled on a “For Official Use Only” (FOUO) basis. Facility air traffic managers must ensure that such information is safeguarded from disclosure in accordance with FAAO 1600.2, Safeguarding Controls and Procedures for Classified National Security Information and Sensitive Information, whether the information is physically marked with the FOUO term or not. “Safeguarded from disclosure” includes precaution against oral disclosure, prevention of visual access, and precaution against unauthorized release, gratuitously or in response to a specific request.


Air traffic managers must ensure that facility air traffic personnel are verbally briefed on changes to FAAO JO 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, FAAO JO 7210.3, Facility Operation and Administration, and FAAO JO 7110.10, Flight Services, and other appropriate directives, that have operational/procedural significance.


Air traffic facility managers must determine which VSCS console equipment (VCE) positions require tailored checklists. The checklist must include as a minimum, the configuration map in use and the specific position eligibility/capability (classmark) adapted to maintain operational continuity.


Equipment trouble reports are normally delivered by air traffic personnel to Technical Operations Control Center personnel in person or by telephone. Locally developed procedures that are agreed to jointly by the air traffic and Technical Operations managers may be used for trouble reporting. In the absence of locally developed procedures, the following must apply: Trouble reports must specify the facility, sector and position affected and include a brief description of the problem. In addition:

a. For air/ground communications problems, the frequency or frequencies affected must be specified.

“Atlanta Sector 66R side 123.4 no transmit.”

b. For air/ground communications problems, the calling and the called locations must be specified.

“Seattle Sector 46D side hot line to Salt Lake City is not working.”


The Facility Directives Repository (FDR) provides a centralized, automated web-based library for FAA employees to access all Letters of Agreement (LOA), Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), and FAA Facility Orders (FO) for Air Traffic Facilities throughout the National Airspace System.

Directive information for Flight Service Stations (LOAs, SOPs, FOs) will only be required for those located in Alaska.

a. The Vice President's responsibility includes:

1. The Vice President for En Route and Oceanic Services must develop processes within the service unit to ensure repository entry functions are discharged effectively.

2. The Vice President for Terminal Services must develop processes within the service unit to ensure repository entry functions are discharged effectively.

3. The Vice President for System Operations Services must administer user functions and develop processes within the service unit to ensure repository entry functions are discharged effectively.

4. The Vice President for Operations Planning Services must administer system functions, provide access to the internet mirror site, and oversee the site operation and maintenance.

5. The Vice President for Safety Services oversees compliance.

b. Facility Managers must:

1. Ensure that current LOAs, SOPs and FOs are posted to the repository site.

2. Ensure that new and revised LOAs, SOPs and FOs are posted to the repository site before the effective date of the document.

3. Establish an internal administrative process to ensure the posting, completeness, and accuracy of their facility's documents.

4. Ensure Classified, Contractor Propriety, and For Official Use Only information, is removed or excluded from posted documents.

5. Ensure that all outdated and cancelled documents are removed from the FDR database.

c. District Managers must:

1. Assist in the posting of documents, required in b1 and 2 above, for facilities that do not have FAA intranet access or automation capability.

2. Establish an administrative process to ensure facility compliance.

3. Ensure Classified, Contractor Propriety, and For Official Use Only information, is removed or excluded from posted documents.

d. Safety/Quality Assurance Offices must ensure facility compliance with posting LOAs, SOPs and FOs in the repository site in facility evaluation checklists.

e. The repository database is an intranet site within the FAA automation network firewall at https://loa.faa.gov.

1. Personnel with access to the FAA intranet may view documents without the need for a log-in or user account.

2. Personnel external to the firewall may view documents on a mirrored internet site with authorization by an FAA sponsor. Access to the mirror site requires a User ID and password that are valid for the period necessary to execute the sponsored activity. Contact information and instructions are available on the internet site.

3. Personnel responsible for maintaining the facility's documents must register with the site to establish a user account.

4. A facility may have up to three user accounts. User information is located in the user manual on the site's homepage.

5. Facility/District managers are the approving authority for user account privileges for their facilities.

(a) Users must complete an electronic registration page on the site to request access.

(b) The Facility/District manager will be notified via an email message when a user makes a request for account privileges. Approval must be made via the automated privilege link.

(c) Users will be notified of their approval by e-mail.

(d) Direct problems or questions to the facility point of contact identified on the facility homepage in the repository.


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