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

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

Section 4. Services

13-4-1. PREFILED FLIGHT PLANS

When an aircraft operator regularly makes two or more identical flights per week and the FSS air traffic manager believes that a prefiled flight plan program would provide beneficial service, a LOA must be executed between the concerned FSS and the scheduled operator, preferably operators certificated under 14 CFR Part 121 or 14 CFR Part 135, or the military desiring to prefile flight plans. The following criteria must be used in coordinating and implementing the prefiled flight plan program:

a. The LOA must provide for but not be limited to:

1. Each operator will furnish the appropriate FSS with a specific contact for coordination including the name, address, and telephone number of the party to notify if an aircraft becomes overdue, day or night.

2. Prefiled flight plans must be furnished for each flight, and signed by an authorized representative of the company.

3. Immediate notification by the operator of permanent cancellation or change of prefiled flight plans. This permanent data change must be accepted any time prior to the activation of the flight plan.

4. Separate and complete flight plans must be required when the operator desires to deviate from the prefiled data.

5. The operator must request activation with the appropriate FSS not more than 24 hours or less than 1 hour in advance of the estimated time of departure for prefiled flight plans. Flight plans may be automatically activated if this is contained in a LOA.

6. Violations of these procedures by the operator will be grounds to terminate the program with the operator.

b. Only those prefiled flight plans for which the operator has requested activation must be transmitted. Prefiled flight plans which are known to be in error, not going to depart, or any other reason which will cause a cancellation or a resubmission must not be transmitted to a control facility.

13-4-2. PRACTICE INSTRUMENT APPROACHES

At locations providing Local Airport Advisories (LAA) where either an ARTCC or an approach control facility provides standard separation to VFR aircraft practicing instrument approaches, provisions for handling such aircraft must be included in a letter of agreement.

13-4-3. OPERATION OF AIRPORT LIGHTS

a. When a FSS is located at an airport or at a part-time tower location, the FSS air traffic manager may, under the terms of a LOA with the airport manager and the tower, assume this responsibility provided that:

1. The controls are extended into the station and are located conveniently at the operating position.

2. The operating quarters afford a sufficient view to determine the operating status of the lights without the specialist having to leave his/her post of duty or an indicator is provided in the station quarters which will show the actual operating status.

b. FSS operating less than 24 hours a day which have lighting control responsibility must be guided by the instructions in Part 3, Chapter 10, Section 6, Airport Lighting.

13-4-4. RUNWAY EDGE LIGHTS ASSOCIATED WITH MEDIUM APPROACH LIGHT SYSTEM/RUNWAY ALIGNMENT INDICATOR LIGHTS

FSSs having responsibility for the control of MALS/RAIL brightness must comply with the instructions in para 10-6-8, Runway Edge Lights Associated with Medium Approach Light System/Runway Alignment Indicator Lights.

13-4-5. LOCAL AIRPORT ADVISORY (LAA)/REMOTE AIRPORT ADVISORY (RAA)/REMOTE AIRPORT INFORMATION SERVICE (RAIS)

a. Provide LAA at FSSs during the published service hours when:

1. Located on the airport.

2. There is no operating control tower on the airport.

3. The facility has a continuous display of the automated weather data or manual weather observations.

4. A discrete frequency or the tower frequency, when the tower is closed, is available.

5. The pilot says, I have the automated weather.

b. Provide RAA at FSSs during the published service hours when:

1. The airport authority or airport manager has requested the service and the facility has the resources available to provide the service.

2. The annual traffic density and employee productivity factor is high enough to justify the cost of providing the service. Published service times may be adjusted by the facility manager to accommodate anticipated or forecast traffic density changes.

EXAMPLE-
Winter service hours may be longer than summer service hours at airports that service several popular ski resorts. Therefore, the manager may choose to reduce or suspend summer service to mitigate short-term productivity concerns.

3. There is no operating control tower on the RAA airport.

4. The facility has a continuous display of the automated weather data or manual observations are reported to the facility.

5. There is a remote discrete frequency or the tower frequency is remoted to the FSS, when the tower is closed.

6. The airport has a traffic density of 25,000 or more aircraft operations per year.

NOTE-
If a new airport fails to deliver 25,000 aircraft operations during the first year of service, RAA must be discontinued. After the first year is completed and yields 25,000 or more aircraft operations, the decision to continue services is evaluated on the anniversary date and based on a minimum of 25,000 aircraft operations at the target airport during any consecutive twelve months of the previous 3 years.

7. The facility's productivity factor is determined by dividing the annual RAA service count by 16,000.

NOTE-
The productivity factor is compared to the number of employees used to provide the service and must be equal to or greater than the number of employees needed to provide the service. Normally about 2.5 employees are factored annually to provide 10 hours of service per day. (The .5 factor ensures employee vacations, training periods, sick days, and daily break periods).

c. Provide RAIS to support special events at airports during NOTAM D service hours when:

1. The airport authority has requested the service at least 30 days in advance and the facility has the resources available to provide the service.

2. There is no operating control tower at the airport.

3. The facility has discrete communications capability at the airport.

4. The RAIS airport has automated weather reporting for the pilots with voice capability.

5. The pilot says, I have the automated weather.

6. A NOTAM D has been issued at least 24 hours in advance.

13-4-6. AUTOMATIC FLIGHT INFORMATION SERVICE (AFIS) - ALASKA FSSs ONLY

a. Alaska FSS AFIS provides a continuous broadcast of recorded non-control information at airports in Alaska where a Flight Service Station (FSS) provides local airport advisory service. The AFIS broadcast automates the repetitive transmission of essential but routine information such as weather, wind, altimeter, favored runway, breaking action, airport NOTAMs and other applicable information. The information is continuously broadcast over a discrete VHF radio frequency (usually the ASOS frequency). Pilots are urged to listen to AFIS when arriving, departing, and operating within the airport advisory area as it relieves frequency congestion on the local airport advisory frequency. AFIS is not used in terminal areas and does not contain approach information.

b. Before transmitting, the voice message must be reviewed to ensure content is complete and accurate. Ensure specialist speech rate does not exceed 100 words per minute, the enunciation is of the highest quality, and each part of the message is easily understood.

c. Keep messages as brief and as concise as practical.

d. ASOS must not be allowed to broadcast weather concurrent with AFIS.

e. During hours of non-operation of Alaska FSS AFIS, ASOS broadcast capability must allow the automated weather report to be broadcast on the ASOS frequency in the one minute update mode and include the following information:

1. The FSS hours of operation or in the case of a seasonal FSS, a statement that the FSS is closed for the season.

2. The appropriate common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF).

3. The frequency for operating pilot controlled lighting.

4. The FSS and frequency for additional information.

f. The FSS air traffic manager that has responsibility for a FSS utilizing AFIS equipment must ensure that ATCS personnel assigned to duty in that FSS are in compliance with the AFIS requirements and that they receive training to utilize AFIS equipment and are familiar with required procedures.

13-4-7. TRANSMISSION OF MESSAGES FROM AIRPORT INSPECTORS

Accept administrative messages from airport inspectors for transmission to NFDC and other FAA offices as prescribed in Chapter 2 of FAAO 5010.4, Airport Safety Data Program.

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