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.
10-1-8. FLIGHT PROGRESS STRIP USAGE
traffic managers at automated terminal radar facilities
may waive the requirement to use flight progress strips
systems such as multiple radar sites/systems or single
site radars with CENRAP are utilized.
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
e. Facilities must revert to flight progress strip
usage if back-up systems referred to in subpara a above
are not available.
10-1-9. 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.
10-1-10. 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 temporarily
3. During periods of natural emergency; e.g., the
tower structure has been damaged by fire, accident, or
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 without:
(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
10-1-11. 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
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
(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 procedure.
(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 their allocation.
(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
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 concerns.
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.
10-1-12. PRECISION OBSTACLE FREE ZONE (POFZ)
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