Section 8. Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP)
- ATOP is an Air Traffic Control (ATC) System deployed in designated en route and oceanic airspace. ATOP includes both surveillance and flight data processing, which provides the controllers with automated decision support tools to establish, monitor, and maintain separation between aircraft, and aircraft to airspace and terrain.
- ATOP capabilities include:
- MEARTS based radar surveillance processing.
- Conflict Prediction and Reporting for conflict probe.
- Automatic Dependence Surveillance-Addressable (ADS-A).
- Automatic Dependence Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).
- Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC).
- ATC Interfacility Data Communications (AIDC).
- Decision Support Tools used primarily for situation awareness.
- Electronic Flight Data including Electronic Flight Strips.
In addition to the watch supervision described in Chapter 2, Administration of Facilities, Section 6, Watch Supervision-Terminal/En Route, facilities must provide in facility directives the operational duties and procedures for the Supervisor-In-Charge associated with the ATOP System. Responsibilities and procedures must include but are not limited to the following:
- Disseminate flight information received at the Supervisor workstation in a timely manner.
- Supervisor workstation message management.
- ATOP data management when a channel changeover is being performed.
- Assignment of Error Repair responsibilities.
Facilities must define responsibilities and develop procedures associated with the ATOP System for the Error Repair position. Responsibilities and procedures must include but are not limited to:
- Disseminate messages received at the workstation in a timely manner.
- Edit and repair messages.
- Ensure LOAs, SOPs, MOUs and Sector Position Binders are current to support ATOP.
- Facility managers must consider ATOP functions and limitations when reviewing current LOAs and/or negotiating future LOAs.
- Consider the following items when reviewing LOAs:
- Interfacility coordination procedures.
- Outage notification.
- Degraded functions notification.
- Automated Information Transfer Procedures.
- Ensure all facility directives, where applicable, support ATOP. Directives should include but are not limited to:
- System problem reporting.
- Airspace and sector configuration.
- Use of surveillance sources.
- Use of paper strips and strip marking.
- Electronic flight data management.
- Conflict Probe/Decision Support Tools use, limitations, and exceptions.
- Internal coordination.
- Contingency plans.
- Controller preference management.
In addition to the procedures outlined in paragraph 6, Step-by-Step Process, of Appendix A, Standard Operating Practice (SOP) for the Transfer of Position Responsibility, in FAA Order JO 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, ensure facility directives include, at a minimum, the following procedures:
- Position relief briefing checklist.
- Sign-over procedures.
Facilities must identify the procedures for a channel changeover that include a checklist detailing actions to be taken, and roles and responsibilities.
In accordance with Chapter 8, NAS En Route Automation, and requirements in this chapter, facilities must develop and maintain procedures for the transition to and from, and during ATOP degraded operations. A facility directive must include a checklist detailing actions, roles, and responsibilities during planned and unplanned outage or degraded operation.
Facility managers must ensure that local procedures are developed for the use of CPDLC. These procedures must include but not be limited to:
- The use of free-text messages in air-to-ground communication.
- Data link limitations and exceptions.
- Lost communications procedures.
- Frequency assignment for automated transfer.