Section 3. DOE and Other Aircraft
5-3-1. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) FLIGHTS
for civil pilots to operate public aircraft to transport radioactive
and/or high explosive materials within the conterminous United States.
They will operate principally during daylight hours and, although they
will be made in VFR conditions insofar as possible, an instrument
flight plan will be filed and IFR procedures followed.
5-3-2. IDENTIFICATION OF SPECIAL DOE FLIGHTS
transporting radioactive/high explosive materials, DOE flights will be
identified by using the prefix “RAC” followed by the last four digits
of the aircraft registration number.
special characteristics of the cargo dictate that the flight be
carefully planned along selected routes. Pilots may refuse clearances
that require route or altitude changes.
5-3-3. NOTIFICATION OF DOE REPORTED ACCIDENT/UNREPORTED AIRCRAFT
In the event a
“RAC” flight is involved in an accident, inform the STMCIC of the
appropriate ARTCC so that he/she may immediately notify local and
state rescue and law enforcement authorities of the accident and tell
them that the flight was transporting radioactive/high explosive
materials. The STMCIC must then notify the DEN air traffic security
coordinator (ATSC), and the ATSC will notify the DOE Operations
Control Center of the accident via urgent telephone call at (702)
295-0311. The STMCIC must be informed whenever a loss of radio/radar
occurs en route or the flight is overdue at the destination. The
STMCIC must then notify the OMIC and the ATSC, and the ATSC will
notify the DOE duty officer.
5-3-4. ATMOSPHERE SAMPLING FOR NUCLEAR CONTAMINATION
a foreign nuclear weapons test, a planned arrival sampling schedule is
established by the USAF. Although sampler aircraft are flight planned
to the suspected atmosphere area of nuclear contamination, the
aircraft are likely to require altitude and route changes which cannot
be anticipated prior to departure. The purpose of those altitude and
route changes is to permit direct contact with and sampling of the
cloud debris whose exact location and altitude distribution cannot
be accurately predicted.
afford these operations optimum flexibility during in-flight profiles,
ATC facilities must honor in-flight clearance requests for altitude
and route changes to the maximum extent possible. If necessary, other
IFR traffic may be recleared so that requests by sampler aircraft are
honored. However, in no case must the separation minima outlined in
FAAO JO 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, be compromised.
aircraft engaged in aerial sampling missions must use the call sign
“SAMP” followed by the last three digits of the aircraft's serial
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 9-3-15, SAMP.
FAAO JO 7610.4, Para 12-4-3, Atmospheric Sampling for Nuclear
3 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Chicago
Convention of 1944 includes the following:
Convention must be applicable to civil aircraft and must not be
applicable to state aircraft.
used in military, customs and police services must be deemed to be
contracting States undertake, when issuing regulations for their state
aircraft, that they will have due regard for the safety of navigation
of civil aircraft.
of Defense and U.S. Customs Service have specified that one of the
following conditions must be met for flight operations outside U.S.
Domestic airspace which are conducted under the “due regard” or
“operational” prerogative of state aircraft and not in accordance with
standard ICAO flight procedures. Under these conditions the PIC
assumes the responsibility for separating his/her aircraft from all
other air traffic.
1. Aircraft must be operated in visual
meteorological conditions (VMC); or
must be operated within radar surveillance and radio communications of
a surface radar facility; or
must be equipped with airborne radar that is sufficient to provide
separation from other aircraft; or
must be operated within Class G airspace.
and rescue actions for flights conducted under due regard provision
are the responsibility of the parent organization.
The Air Force
Reserve (AFRES) 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (53WRS) and the
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aircraft
Operations Center (AOC) have responsibility for flying winter storm,
hurricane, and tropical storm reconnaissance missions. When conducting
these missions, aircraft from the 53WRS will utilize the call-sign
“TEAL,” and aircraft from the AOC will utilize the call-sign “NOAA.”
Due to the unique nature of these missions it is necessary to provide
a degree of special handling to ensure that sufficient meteorological
data is collected. The routes flown are dictated by storm movement,
not traffic flows. The nature of these weather phenomena may result in
very little time between the filing of a flight plan and the actual
storm missions are flown in support of the National Winter Storm
Operations Plan (NWSOP). Routes will normally follow published tracks
as delineated in the Winter Storm Tracks LOA between CARF and AFRES.
to a NWSOP mission, the 53WRS Current Operations or the AOC Flight
Operations Division must submit an Altitude Reservation Approval
Request (ALTRV APREQ) for a published or adhoc winter storm track to
CARF and include the following data:
time over start fix.
track to be flown.
of dropsonde release points.
altitude(s) if other than
requests to deviate from published routes.
1. The passing of this data does not pre-empt the
mission commander's responsibility to file a flight plan, nor does it
constitute an ATC clearance.
dropsonde is a cylinder shaped 18-inch long metal weather sensor,
weighs 3 and 1/2 pounds, and has a parachute
attached. The flight will release dropsondes at pre-designated points
along the published track. The aircraft commander will want to follow
a specific pressure gradient (as opposed to altimeter setting of
29.92) when flying these missions. The correct pressure for dropsondes
release is normally found at altitudes between FL290 and FL310. These
dropsondes are configured to fall at an average rate of 1,000 feet per
between departure airport and ALTRV ingress point, as well as between
ALTRV egress and destination airport will be via normal flight plan
must pass this information to impacted facilities and upon receipt of
this data, appropriate facility personnel must ensure that the
information is properly distributed to all control positions involved.
to permanently change a published winter storm track or drop site must
be coordinated with CARF and impacted facilities. Requests to change
any other portion of the NWSOP must be coordinated with System
Operations and Safety.
AND TROPICAL CYCLONE MISSIONS.
missions are flown in support of the National Hurricane Operations
Plan (NHOP). Prior to a hurricane/tropical cyclone reconnaissance
mission the 53WRS Current Operations or the AOC Flight Operations
Division will contact the ATCSCC, and provide the following data:
point and estimated time of departure.
route(s) to be flown.
(e) Any special requests.
The passing of this data does not pre-empt the mission commander's
responsibility to file a flight plan, nor does it constitute an ATC
receipt of hurricane reconnaissance mission data, conference the
affected ARTCC TMUs and distribute the mission information.
field facilities with traffic flow priorities if the hurricane
reconnaissance flight will impact terminal traffic.
receipt of hurricane reconnaissance mission data, ensure that they are
distributed to appropriate facilities in their jurisdiction.
any operational concerns to the ATCSCC for further evaluation and
it become necessary to contact a TEAL or NOAA flight and all other
methods of communication are not possible (e.g., direct radio, ARINC,
aircraft relay), the Chief, Aerial Reconnaissance Coordinator, All
Hurricanes (CARCAH) may be requested to relay messages to/from the
aircraft. You may receive a phone call from CARCAH to authenticate the
to change any portion of the NHOP must be coordinated with System
Operations and Safety.
SKIES TREATY AIRCRAFT PRIORITY FLIGHTS (F and D)
ATCSCC CARF must be the FAA coordination unit between the Defense
Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and field facilities for all OPEN SKIES
operational information. This includes initial notification and
followup information on each mission that requires priority handling.
OPEN SKIES flights that require priority handling are located in FAA
Order JO 7110.65, Para 9222.
must designate and advise the CARF of a focal point within that
facility for OPEN SKIES information.
scheduled movement information of OPEN SKIES aircraft received from
the DTRA will be forwarded by the CARF.
initial notification of a priority OPEN SKIES flight, the affected
ARTCCs/CERAPs/HCF must inform all SUAusing/scheduling agencies along
the route of flight and any other facility/agency it deems necessary
within their area of responsibility of the flight path and possible
deviation path of the aircraft.
OPEN SKIES flights will not deviate from approved route of flight
without ATC clearance.
air traffic manager of each facility through which the priority OPEN
SKIES aircraft transits must ensure that a supervisory specialist(s)/CIC
monitors the aircraft while in the facility's airspace. The
supervisory specialist(s)/CIC must monitor the movement of the
priority OPEN SKIES aircraft from the flight's entry into the
facility's airspace until the flight exits the facility's airspace to
ensure that priority handling, separation, control, and coordination
FAAO JO 7110.65, Subpara 2-1-4n, Operational Priority.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 9-2-22, Open Skies Treaty Aircraft.
TREATY ON OPEN SKIES, TREATY DOC. 102-37.
traffic facilities must notify the CARF (5404224212/4213) and DTRA
Operations (7037672003) immediately in the event of any incidents or
problems generated by OPEN SKIES aircraft.
CARF must immediately notify System Operations Security/Strategic
Operations Security for resolution of problems or incidents, if