Chapter 3. Inflight Services

Section 1. General

  1. Inflight services are those provided to or affecting aircraft inflight or otherwise operating on the airport surface. This includes services to airborne aircraft, such as delivery of ATC clearances, advisories or requests, issuance of military flight advisory messages, NOTAM, SAR communications searches, flight plan handling, transcribed or live broadcast, weather observations, PIREPs, and pilot briefings.
  2. Upon request, provide en route aircraft with timely and pertinent weather data tailored to a specific altitude and route using the most current available sources of aviation meteorological information. Tailor en route flight advisories to the phase of flight that begins after climb out and ends with descent to land. Current weather and terminal forecast at the airport of first intended landing and/or the alternate airport must be provided on request. When conditions dictate, provide information on weather for alternate routes and/or altitudes to assist the pilot in the avoidance of hazardous flight conditions.


Provide inflight services in accordance with the procedures in this chapter to aircraft on a “first come, first served” basis, as circumstances permit.

  1. Prior to assuming inflight duties, the specialist must review, as a minimum, the graphic information listed in subparagraph 2-1-4a, Weather Display Products (if available). After assuming duties, the specialist must continue to review graphic and written data as needed during the watch to update and maintain a thorough knowledge of weather synoptic and forecast information affecting aviation operations.
  1. Emergency situations are those where life or property are in immediate danger. Aircraft in distress have priority over all other aircraft.
  2. Treat air ambulance flights as follows:
  1. Provide priority handling to civil air ambulance flights when the pilot, in radio transmissions, verbally identifies the flight by stating “MEDEVAC” followed by the FAA authorized call sign or the full civil registration letters/numbers. Good judgment must be used in each situation to facilitate the most expeditious movement of a MEDEVAC aircraft.


If a flight plan includes the letter “L” for “MEDEVAC” and/or includes “MEDEVAC” in Item 11 (Remarks) of the flight plan or Item 18 (Other Information) of an international flight plan, the entries are considered informational in nature only and not an identification for operational priority.


FAA Order JO 7110.10, Para 11-1-15, Aircraft Identification.

  1. Provide priority handling to AIR EVAC and HOSP flights when verbally requested by the pilot.


If a flight plan includes “HOSP” or “AIR EVAC” in either Item 11 (Remarks) of the flight plan or Item 18 (Other Information) of an international flight plan, the entries are considered informational in nature only and not an identification for operational priority.

  1. Assist the pilots of MEDEVAC, AIR EVAC, and HOSP aircraft to avoid areas of significant weather and adverse conditions.
  2. If requested by a pilot, provide additional assistance (i.e., landline notifications) to expedite ground handling of patients, vital organs, or urgently needed medical materials.
  1. Provide maximum assistance to search and rescue (SAR) aircraft performing a SAR mission.
  2. Provide special handling as required to expedite Flight Check and automated flight inspection “Flight Check (number) Recorded” aircraft.

Upon request, provide inflight weather briefings, in accordance with the procedure outlined in Chapter 2, Section 2.

  1. Inflight equipment malfunctions include partial or complete failure of equipment which may affect either safety and/or the ability of the flight to proceed.
  2. When a pilot reports a flight equipment malfunction, determine the nature and extent of any assistance desired.
  3. Provide maximum assistance possible consistent with equipment and any special handling requested.
  4. Relay to other specialists or facilities who will handle the aircraft all information concerning the equipment malfunction on the aircraft and any special handling requested or being provided.
  1. Aircraft-reported NAVAID malfunctions are subject to varying circumstances. When an aircraft reports a ground-based NAVAID malfunction, take the following action:
  1. Request a report from a second aircraft.
  2. If the second aircraft reports normal operations, if able, inform the first aircraft. Record the incident on FAA Form 7230-4, Daily Record of Facility Operation.
  3. If the second aircraft confirms the malfunction:
  1. Notify the appropriate IFR control facility or sector.
  2. Notify Technical Operations personnel.
  3. Take NOTAM action when requested by Technical Operations personnel.
  4. Record the incident on FAA Form 7230-4.
  1. In the absence of a second aircraft report:
  1. Notify Technical Operations and advise what time the initial aircraft reported the failure and when a second aircraft report might be obtained.
  2. Record the incident on FAA Form 7230-4.
  1. When an aircraft reports a global positioning system (GPS)/global navigation satellite system (GNSS) anomaly:
  1. Request the following information:
  1. Aircraft call sign and type of aircraft.
  2. Date and time of the occurrence.
  3. Location of anomaly.
  4. Altitude.
  1. Record the incident on FAA Form 7230-4.
  2. Forward this information to the traffic management unit (TMU) and Technical Operations personnel.
  1. When an aircraft reports a Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) anomaly, request the following information and/or take the following actions:
  1. Determine if the pilot has lost all WAAS service.


“Are you receiving any WAAS service?”

  1. If the pilot reports receipt of any WAAS service, acknowledge the report, and continue normal operations.
  2. If the pilot reports loss of all WAAS service, report as a GPS anomaly using procedures in paragraph 3-1-5b.
  1. When a pilot reports an ADS-B services malfunction (i.e., ADS-B, TIS-B, FIS-B, or ADS-R):
  1. Request the following information:
  1. Aircraft call sign and type of aircraft.
  2. Date and time of observation.
  3. Location and altitude of anomaly.
  4. Condition observed (or anomaly).
  5. Type and software version of avionics system.
  1. Forward this information to an Operations Control Center (OCC) or Service Operations Center (SOC) as appropriate.
  2. Record the incident on FAA Form 7230-4.

Provide maximum assistance to aircraft engaged in flight inspection of NAVAIDs. Unless otherwise agreed to, maintain direct contact with the pilot and provide information regarding known traffic in the area and request the pilot's intentions.


  1. Many flight inspections are accomplished using automatic recording equipment. An uninterrupted flight is necessary for successful completion of the mission. The workload for the limited number of aircraft engaged in these activities requires strict adherence to a schedule.
  2. Flight inspection operations which require special participation of ground personnel, specific communications, or radar operation capabilities are considered to require special handling. These flights are coordinated with appropriate facilities before departure.