Section 14. Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS)-Terminal


STARS may be used for identifying aircraft assigned a discrete beacon code, maintaining identity of targets, and performing handoffs of these targets between controllers. All procedures for the terminal domain related to air traffic control services using STARS apply to the FUSION target.


This equipment does not relieve the controller of the responsibility to ensure proper identification, maintenance of identity, handoff of the correct target associated with the alphanumeric data, and separation of aircraft.


In addition to other uses specified herein, terminal automation may be used for the following functions:

  1. Tracking.
  2. Tagging.
  3. Handoff.
  4. Altitude information.


FAA Order JO 7110.65, Para 5-2-21, Altitude Filters.

  1. Coordination.
  2. Ground speed.
  3. Identification.

Use terminal automation systems as follows:


Locally developed procedures, operating instructions, and training material are required because of differences in equipment capability. Such locally developed procedures must be supplemental to those contained in this section and must be designed to make maximum use of the STARS equipment.

  1. Inform all appropriate positions before terminating or reinstating use of the terminal automation system at a control position. When terminating the use of terminal automation systems, all pertinent flight data of that position must be transferred or terminated.
  2. Inform other interfaced facilities of scheduled and unscheduled shutdowns.
  3. Initiate a track/tag on all aircraft to the maximum extent possible. As a minimum, aircraft identification should be entered, and automated handoff functions should be used.
  4. Assigned altitude, if displayed, must be kept current at all times. Climb and descent arrows, where available, must be used to indicate other than level flight.
  5. When operating in FUSION mode, the assigned or pilot reported altitude must be displayed and kept current when the aircraft is in level flight.
  6. The automatic altitude readout of an aircraft under another controller's jurisdiction may be used for vertical separation purposes without verbal coordination provided:
  1. Operation is conducted using single-site radar coverage or when operating in FUSION mode.
  2. Prearranged coordination procedures are contained in a facility directive in accordance with paragraph 5-4-9, Prearranged Coordination, and FAA Order JO 7210.3, paragraph 3-6-7, Prearranged Coordination.
  3. Do not use Mode C to effect vertical separation within a Mosaic radar configuration.
  1. Two‐letter ICAO designators or three‐letter designators, as appropriate, must be used unless program limitations dictate the use of a single letter alpha prefix.
  2. Use of the inhibit/select functions to remove displayed information no longer required must be in accordance with local directives, which should ensure maximum required use of the equipment.
  3. Information displayed must be in accordance with national orders and specified in local directives.
  1. CA/MCI
  1. When a CA or MCI alert is displayed, evaluate the reason for the alert without delay and take appropriate action.


FAA Order JO 7110.65, Para 2-1-6, Safety Alert.

  1. If another controller is involved in the alert, initiate coordination to ensure an effective course of action. Coordination is not required when immediate action is dictated.
  2. Suppressing/Inhibiting CA/MCI alert.
  1. The suppress function may be used to suppress the display of a specific CA/MCI alert.
  2. The inhibit function must only be used to inhibit the display of CA for aircraft routinely engaged in operations where approved separation criteria do not apply.


Examples of operations where approved separation criteria do not apply are ADC practice intercept operations and air shows.

  1. Computer entry of a message suppressing a CA/MCI alert constitutes acknowledgment for the alert and signifies that appropriate action has or will be taken.
  2. CA/MCI alert may not be suppressed or inhibited at or for another control position without being coordinated.
  1. Inhibit MSAW processing of VFR aircraft and aircraft that cancel instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plans unless the pilot specifically requests otherwise.


FAA Order JO 7110.65, Para 10-2-7, VFR Aircraft in Weather Difficulty.
FAA Order JO 7110.65, Para 10-2-8, Radar Assistance to VFR Aircraft in Weather Difficulty.

  1. A low altitude alert may be suppressed from the control position. Computer entry of the suppress message constitutes an acknowledgment for the alert and indicates that appropriate action has or will be taken.

Use the track suspend function only when data block overlap in holding patterns or in proximity of the final approach create an unworkable situation. If necessary to suspend tracks, those which are not displaying automatic altitude readouts must be suspended. If the condition still exists, those displaying automatic altitude readouts may then be suspended.