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AIM

10/12/17

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Services Available to Pilots

Chapter 4. Air Traffic Control

Section 1. Services Available to Pilots

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−1−1. Air Route Traffic Control Centers

Centers are established primarily to provide air traffic
service to aircraft operating on IFR flight plans within
controlled airspace, and principally during the
en route phase of flight.

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−1−2. Control Towers

Towers have been established to provide for a safe,
orderly and expeditious flow of traffic on and in the
vicinity of an airport. When the responsibility has
been so delegated, towers also provide for the
separation of IFR aircraft in the terminal areas.

REFERENCE

AIM, Paragraph 5

−4−3 , Approach Control

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−1−3. Flight Service Stations

Flight Service Stations (FSSs) are air traffic
facilities which provide pilot briefings, flight plan
processing, en route flight advisories, search and
rescue services, and assistance to lost aircraft and
aircraft in emergency situations. FSSs also relay ATC
clearances, process Notices to Airmen, broadcast
aviation weather and aeronautical information, and
advise Customs and Border Protection of transborder
flights. In Alaska, designated FSSs also provide
TWEB recordings, take weather observations, and
provide Airport Advisory Services (AAS).

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−1−4. Recording and Monitoring

a.

Calls to air traffic control (ATC) facilities

(ARTCCs, Towers, FSSs, Central Flow, and
Operations Centers) over radio and ATC operational
telephone lines (lines used for operational purposes
such as controller instructions, briefings, opening and
closing flight plans, issuance of IFR clearances and
amendments, counter hijacking activities, etc.) may
be monitored and recorded for operational uses such
as accident investigations, accident prevention,
search and rescue purposes, specialist training and
evaluation, and technical evaluation and repair of
control and communications systems.

b.

Where the public access telephone is recorded,

a beeper tone is not required. In place of the “beep”
tone the FCC has substituted a mandatory require-
ment that persons to be recorded be given notice they
are to be recorded and give consent. Notice is given
by this entry, consent to record is assumed by the
individual placing a call to the operational facility.

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−1−5. Communications Release of IFR

Aircraft Landing at an Airport Without an
Operating Control Tower

Aircraft operating on an IFR flight plan, landing at an
airport without an operating control tower will be
advised to change to the airport advisory frequency
when direct communications with ATC are no longer
required. Towers and centers do not have nontower
airport traffic and runway in use information. The
instrument approach may not be aligned with the
runway in use; therefore, if the information has not
already been obtained, pilots should make an
expeditious change to the airport advisory frequency
when authorized.

REFERENCE

AIM, Paragraph 5

−4−4 , Advance Information on Instrument Approach

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−1−6. Pilot Visits to Air Traffic Facilities

Pilots are encouraged to participate in local pilot/air
traffic control outreach activities. However, due to
security and workload concerns, requests for air
traffic facility visits may not always be approved.
Therefore, visit requests should be submitted through
the air traffic facility as early as possible. Pilots
should contact the facility and advise them of the
number of persons in the group, the time and date of
the proposed visit, and the primary interest of the
group. The air traffic facility will provide further
instructions if a request can be approved.

REFERENCE

FAA Order 1600.69, FAA Facility Security Management Program

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−1−7. Operation Rain Check

Operation Rain Check is a program designed and
managed by local air traffic control facility

9/13/18

AIM