U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
Air Traffic Organization Policy

ORDER
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 7. User Request Evaluation Tool (URET)

6-7-1. GENERAL

URET is an en route decision support tool that is used by the sector team in performing their strategic planning responsibilities. URET uses flight plan data, forecast winds, aircraft performance characteristics, and track data to derive expected aircraft trajectories, and to predict conflicts between aircraft and between aircraft and special use or designated airspace. It also provides trial planning and enhanced flight data management capabilities.

6-7-2. FRONT-LINE MANAGER-IN-CHARGE RESPONSIBILITIES

a. Where authorized, perform URET data entries to keep the activation status of designated URET Airspace Configuration Elements current.

b. Ensure that the URET Airspace Status Display information accurately reflects current Special Activity Airspace (SAA) status.

c. Perform coordination and designated actions in the event of a URET outage or degradation, in accordance with the requirements of this order and as designated by facility directive.

d. Assist in sector preparations needed to transition to and from URET operations.

e. Ensure changes to restrictions based on the Restrictions Inventory and Evaluation are implemented in a timely manner.

6-7-3. OPERATIONs MANAGER-IN-CHARGE RESPONSIBILITIES

a. Ensure that the URET Airspace Status Display information accurately reflects current SAA status.

b. Perform coordination and designated actions in the event of a URET outage or degradation, in accordance with the requirements of this order and as designated by facility directive.

c. Ensure changes to restrictions based on the Restrictions Inventory and Evaluation are implemented in a timely manner.

6-7-4. FACILITY MANAGER RESPONSIBILITIES

a. Ensure LOAs, SOPs, and Sector Position Binders are current to support URET.

1. Facility managers must consider URET functions and limitations in reviewing all current LOAs and/or negotiating all future LOAs.

2. The following items should be considered when reviewing LOAs:

(a) Interfacility coordination procedures.

(b) Special Use Airspace (SUA) use and status.

(c) Restriction relaxation/removal.

(d) Outage notification.

(e) Degradation of functions notification.

(f) Automated Information Transfer (AIT) procedures.

b. Ensure all facility directives are current to support URET. Directives must include, but are not limited to:

1. URET Outages.

2. URET Airspace Configuration Elements Data Entry.

3. Standard Use of Automated Flight Data Management.

4. Sectors authorized to use URET Inappropriate Altitude for Direction of Flight (IAFDOF) Manual Mode.

5. Sectors authorized to use the URET Drop Track Delete function and the conditions under which it may be used.

6. Conditions under which a controller can deactivate an adapted URET restriction.

7. Local requirements for posting flight progress strips that exceed national requirements.

8. Facility standard for annotating status of manual coordination at URET sectors where automated coordination with an external facility is not available (e.g., international facility, VFR tower). Facility directives may require either the use of the URET Coordination Menu or flight progress strips, and must define a standard for each URET sector.

9. Facility standard for annotating hold instructions and reporting delay information at URET sectors. Facility directives may require either the use of URET Hold Annotations, flight progress strips, or a facility-approved worksheet, and must define a standard for each URET sector.

c. Ensure the Restrictions Inventory and Evaluation is conducted and maintained in accordance with this order.

d. Ensure changes to restrictions based on the Restrictions Inventory and Evaluation are implemented in a timely manner.

6-7-5. URET AIRSPACE CONFIGURATION ELEMENTS

a. URET Airspace Configuration Elements are:

1. Special Activity Airspace (SAA).

2. Airport Stream Filters (ASF).

3. URET adapted restrictions.

b. For each airspace configuration element adapted in URET, facility directives must designate at least one primary position and one secondary position to be responsible to update the status (e.g., active/inactive) and/or the activation schedule for that element.

NOTE-
1. Accurate conflict probe results require timely updates to the current activation status and/or the projected activation schedule for airspace configuration elements.

2. Designating a position to have secondary responsibility for each URET Airspace Configuration Element is essential to maintain the capability to perform updates in the event that equipment at the primary position is temporarily out of service.

3. Positions to be considered for primary or secondary designation include a specified sector, TMU, or operations supervisor.

c. ATC positions and personnel authorized by facility directive must perform automation entries in URET in a timely manner to update the status of SAA, restrictions, and ASF.

d. For a URET airspace configuration element that is associated with a particular sector or sectors and whose status is highly dynamic in nature:

1. The designated sector(s) should be assigned the primary responsibility to keep the URET status current.

2. The TMU or the appropriate operations supervisor should be assigned the secondary responsibility to keep URET status current.

6-7-6. STANDARD USE OF AUTOMATED FLIGHT DATA MANAGEMENT

Use of the checkbox flight data management feature of URET must be standardized in accordance with individual facility directives.

6-7-7. URET OUTAGES

a. In accordance with Chapter 8, NAS En Route Automation, and the requirements in this chapter, URET facilities must develop and maintain procedures for transition to and from URET operations.

NOTE-
The back-up for URET is flight progress strips.

b. Planned Outages.

1. Schedule preventive or periodic maintenance of URET to coincide with periods of low air traffic volume.

2. Notification of planned local URET outages must be coordinated with the Operations Manager no less than 2 hours in advance.

3. The Operations Manager must notify the neighboring URET facilities of a planned URET outage no less than 1 hour in advance.

4. The Operations Manager must notify Operations Supervisors of a planned URET outage as soon as known.

5.  Each Operations Supervisor must notify the sector teams in their area of a planned URET outage as soon as known.

6. At least 20 minutes prior to a local URET outage, Operations Supervisors must ensure that sectors resume posting and maintenance of flight progress strips, in accordance with FAAO JO 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, requirements for a non-URET environment, except as otherwise permitted by facility directive.

c. Unplanned URET Outages.

1. A facility directive must include a checklist detailing actions to be taken and roles and responsibilities during an unplanned URET outage.

2. When an unplanned URET outage occurs, sectors must post and maintain flight progress strips in accordance with FAAO JO 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, requirements for a non-URET environment, except as otherwise permitted by facility directive.

NOTE-
1. A full transition to strips may not be necessary based on the duration of the outage. Outages of short duration may allow continued use of the URET data while strips are prepared for use in the event that the outage continues.

2. A “snapshot” of URET flight data at the time of the outage will be available to the sector team. Although the data will not be updated and will become stale, it may be used to assist the sector team while reestablishing the support of strips.

3. Any failure recovery action that will result in the automatic clearing of the URET data on a position's display must be approved by the Operations Manager.

d. Degraded Conditions.

1. In the event that URET is operational, but alert data may be affected due to an associated equipment malfunction, the National Operations Manager (NOM) must notify the Operations Manager who must in turn notify Operations Supervisors. Each Operations Supervisor must ensure that each sector team in their area of specialization is cognizant of the potential for degradation.

2. When the associated equipment malfunction is corrected, the NOM must notify the Operations Manager who must in turn notify Operations Supervisors. Each Operations Supervisor must ensure that each sector team in their area of specialization is cognizant that the source of possible degradation has been corrected.

6-7-8. TRANSITION AND TRAINING PLANNING

The facility air traffic manager must ensure that detailed facility plans are prepared defining:

a. Training schedules of Certified Professional Controllers, Operations Supervisors, and Operations Managers.

b. Training schedules of developmental controllers based on national training directives.

6-7-9. RESTRICTIONS INVENTORY AND EVALUATION

a. Facilities must identify responsibilities and establish procedures for the creation and maintenance of a facility restriction inventory once URET is fully operational. Facility plans should include identification and cataloging each air traffic restriction by type, purpose, and frequency/duration in effect.

b. Facilities must create a plan and conduct ongoing evaluations on the need to relax or remove restrictions not warranted during URET operations. This must include URET impact on ability to relax/remove restrictions and identification of dependencies between ability to remove restrictions and automation capabilities/limitations.

c. Submit annually to the Vice President of En Route and Oceanic Services, an Evaluation Report on facility restriction relaxation/removal related to URET.

d. Prior to implementation of restriction changes each ARTCC must:

1. Coordinate with any affected ATC facility.

2. Coordinate with the ATCSCC, as appropriate.

3. Inform individual air carriers, as appropriate.

6-7-10. TRAFFIC COUNTS AND DELAY REPORTING

a. Automated counts of traffic activities are the preferred methods during use of URET.

b. Adherence to all applicable delay reporting directives must continue while URET is operational.

c. Delay information, must be recorded either on available flight progress strips, on facility approved forms, or via the automated URET delay reporting features for aircraft in hold. Facility directives must detail the procedures for collecting and reporting this information to the ATCSCC.

6-7-11. COMPUTER DATA RETENTION

Follow the guidelines detailed in this order to retain URET recorded data.

6-7-12. WAIVER TO INTERIM ALTITUDE REQUIREMENTS

a. If, at any URET facility, a facility directive has been issued to waive the mandatory computer entry of interim altitudes, controllers and supervisors in any affected area and adjacent areas or facilities must be informed of the resulting potential for misleading URET alert data.

b. Each URET facility should strongly consider the benefits of URET in evaluating any current or future waiver for data entry of interim altitudes. URET accuracy in assigning alert priorities for surrounding sectors, including those in neighboring URET facilities, is dependent upon the subject sector's entry/update of interim altitudes.

6-7-13. TRANSFER OF POSITION RESPONSIBILITY

Each URET facility must ensure that pertinent URET information is integrated into any Position Relief briefing list, whether manual or electronic.

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