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 3. En Route Flight Advisory Service (EFAS)

14-3-1. GENERAL

EFAS, Radio call; “FLIGHT WATCH” is a service specifically designed to provide en route aircraft with timely and meaningful weather advisories pertinent to the type of flight being conducted. This information is limited to near-time or real-time weather that will directly affect an aircraft's route of flight. Full weather briefings and nonweather aeronautical information are not provided by Flight Watch Specialists (FWS).

14-3-2. FLIGHT WATCH AREA (FWA)

The FWA is the area within which EFAS is provided by the Flight Watch Control Station (FWCS).

a. The FWA must normally be defined by the boundary of the associated ARTCC plus 100 NM.

b. The Flight Services Operations Service Area Director may redesignate the FWA when necessary to accommodate service responsibilities at facilities not yet consolidated into ARTCC areas. These FWAs will vary according to the number and range of the communications outlets, but should include an area that overlaps adjacent FWCS operational areas by at least 50 NM.

14-3-3. SYSTEM CONFIGURATION

a. EFAS must be provided to aircraft within communications coverage of the FWCS. This will normally be considered congruent to the FWA.

b. Remote Communication Facilities (RCF) loca‐ tions must be at an FSS, an existing RCF, or a VOR location when possible. The locations may be adjusted when it is advantageous to do so for reasons such as better communications coverage, leasing problems, etc.

c. Communications, through local or remote outlets, must be provided to enable pilots operating at or above 5,000 feet above ground level to maintain communications over the area served by the FWCS.

d. Frequency 122.0 MHz must be provided as a common frequency at all EFAS facilities and used for communications with aircraft flying below 18,000 feet MSL.

e. An assigned discrete frequency must be available for communications with aircraft operating at FL180 and above within each FWCS's associated ARTCC area. This does not preclude use of the frequency for communications with aircraft operating at a lower altitude where frequency coverage permits.

14-3-4. HOURS OF OPERATION

EFAS must be available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, 7 days a week. The Flight Services Operations Service Area Office, with concurrence of the Vice President, Flight Services, may authorize extension of hours or a 24-hour operation when it is determined that expanded or continuous operation is essential to aviation safety.

14-3-5. STAFFING

a. The EFAS operating position must be manned by certified FWS. Each FWCS must be staffed sufficiently for the authorized hours of operation. The Flight Services Operations Service Area Office can authorize additional staffing levels when justified and requested by the facility air traffic manager.

b. During periods of high activity, an additional specialist may be assigned to the position to assist the FWS in the processing, posting, and dissemination of weather information. It is not required that this specialist be EFAS qualified to perform these duties.

14-3-6. NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE (NWS) SUPPORT

a. The NWS area manager (normally the WFO meteorologist-in-charge) of the WFO within which the FWCS is located, or as designated by the NWS regional office, has the responsibility to monitor and evaluate the various links between the NWS and FAA facilities. The air traffic manager must coordinate with the designated NWS area manager to establish and maintain EFAS/NWS local procedures.

b. The CWSU of the associated ARTCC is designated as the primary operational support facility for the FWCS. The CWSU will, to the extent practicable, commensurate with other duties:

1. Provide duty briefings once per shift, as initiated by the FW specialist, which will include a thorough description of meteorological conditions which are impacting, or are expected to impact, aviation weather within the FW/ARTCC area.

2. Provide expertise for consultation of ongoing weather trends during the hours the CWSU is operational.

c. Support for EFAS operational questions or clarification concerning weather is also provided by the associated WFO and the National Aviation Weather Advisory Unit (NAWAU) for specific products originated by these offices. The WFO will also provide EFAS support, (weather consultation) as necessary, when CWSU service is unavailable.

NOTE-
The CWSU hours of operation are normally the same as the EFAS facility. Preparation and priority duties may preclude extended service for the first 1 to 2 hours of operation.

14-3-7. EQUIPMENT

A separate position of operation must be provided for EFAS. The following equipment and/or material must be terminated in, or readily accessible at, the EFAS console:

a. Graphic weather chart, computer “view sequences,” and written message display equipment.

b. Weather radar displays to provide presentations from local and remote sites covering the associated ARTCC area plus 100 NM when available and feasible. (Dependent on sites and coverage.)

c. Weather satellite displays.

d. Alphanumeric Service A weather data.

e. FSS/NWS lines. Access must be provided to the associated CWSU and WFO providing aviation meteorological support.

f. Position recording of the FW position and an associated time signal must be provided at FWCSs.

g. PIREP display. A PIREP graphic display, computer “view sequence” or manual equivalent (written) must be provided at the EFAS position for display and maintenance of pilot reported weather conditions over the FWA.

14-3-8. TRAINING

a. Classroom Training. Successful completion of an FAA approved Flight Service Station En Route Flight Advisory Service course is required prior to position certification.

b. Facility Training. “Facility qualification training and certification requirements for the FWS position must be developed and administered using the guidance contained in FAAO 3120.4, Air Traffic Technical Training.”

14-3-9. CERTIFICATION

The following personnel must be certified on the FWS position:

a. All newly selected FWS.

b. All first-line supervisors assigned to FWCS locations. The certification must be accomplished within 1 year of selection or during the probationary period.

c. All permanently assigned training specialists and quality assurance specialists at FWCS locations. Resident Course 50201 should be completed within the first year of assignment.

14-3-10. RECERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

a. Previously certified personnel, after an absence of more than 120 days but less than 1 year, must be provided refresher training at the facility as determined by the facility manager and recertified on the position by their first-line supervisor.

b. Previously certified personnel, after an absence of more than 1 year from the FWS duties, must be provided refresher training at the facility as determined by the facility manager, pass an EFAS Recertification Examination by the FAA Academy NWS Unit, and be recertified on the position by their first-line supervisor.

c. The EFAS certification exam is maintained by FAA Academy NWS Unit, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. To obtain a copy, forward a written or electronic request to the FAA Academy NWS Unit. Instructions for administration and grading of the examination will be included in the package.

14-3-11. QUALIFICATION AND SELECTION

a. To be considered for an EFAS position, an air traffic control specialist must have, as a minimum, 2 years experience as a facility-rated FPL specialist.

b. All personnel must be selected under applicable agency personnel policies.

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