ATIS on Tower frequency - what do you do?

This is a question for our Expert Server controllers, and for pilots that fly on Expert.


Dear IFATCs, when you update your ATIS, you obviously broadcast this to traffic on Ground. Do you also announce this on traffic on your Tower frequency?


Dear Expert pilots, when you are inbound and you hear an announcement for a new ATIS, what do you do?

  • I ignore it and continue inbound.
  • I quickly tune into the ATIS frequency, then back to Tower.
  • I quickly check the D-ATIS.

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I only check ATIS when I hear a broadcast to check the ATIS.

  • Yes, that is correct. I don’t tune out of a frequency unless I’m instructed to do so.
  • No, when I hear an ATIS update announcement, I see this as permission to tune out of Tower and in ATIS and then come back to Tower.

0 voters

Thanks for your participation and thoughts!


Yes I do, but I try to time it carefully unless it absolutely has to be now - for the exact reasons you identify. If I have someone on final or I know they’re going to need instructions very soon, and there isn’t a significant change that will affect them, I will hold off to avoid them changing frequency at a crucial moment.

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Apologies to those who voted early for the first question; I’ve just updated it to make it more clear. Please re-do your vote.

I announce on both just because I can ;)

I announce both tower and ground as soon as I have the time to do so

I announce it on both, simply because it’s what I’ve been doing before D-ATIS came along, and habits are hard to break

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The problem with some pilots going to the ATIS frequency while flying is that most of the time, if approach is active and they switch to a different frequency, that could be problematic. That’s the beauty of the D-Atis.

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Absolutely! However, I will time it carefully, unless there is an immediate change that needs to be noted. For example, if it is merely an hourly update and nothing has changed, I will make sure no one is nearing final, so I can safely make the broadcast, and the aircraft can leave my frequency to check the ATIS. If pilots are at crucial stages of flight, like final, I will hold off. I do it more as a courtesy thing, while still relaying the information.


For me it would depend on how busy the airport is at the time. If it’s quiet I’ll put out a broadcast right away on both frequencies.

If it’s busy and the only change was the information letter it can wait a while if at all. There’s not much more info they are going to get from the ATIS that will be prudent. However if there was an operational change, I’ll put out a broadcast as soon as practical.

I always wondered if IFATC controllers can “see” which ATIS information a pilot has? I think it’s good practice to check the new ATIS information as soon as practicable except in critical flight phases. IRL when flying you can put the ATIS or markers on the background but in IF this is not possible (yet).
So I would like to know if it’s sufficient to check D-ATIS iso checking the ATIS frequency to prevent temporary frequency change with the controller.

In a way, yes. It’s only visible if you tune into ATIS and then tune into our frequency asking for some sort of clearance, such as pushback, taxi, or landing.

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Maybe @Tyler_Shelton or @TaipeiGuru can help with this

If you tune into ATIS prior to tuning into other frequencies, then it will say you have information XYZ.

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4.1.3 — […] In addition, a broadcast must be made on Ground/Tower/Radar to ensure pilots check the new ATIS.

You must as Tower, so yes.


As much as I hate to broadcast it on tower, I do it simply because it is required according to the manual.

Is it also accepted by the system to check D-ATIS or is tuning the ATIS frequency only acceptable?

You can check D-ATIS, I was just referring to the controller’s perspective.

Edit: I’d personally check ATIS though, especially on Ground because it won’t be included in your ATC commands if you don’t listen to ATIS.

I announce on both as quickly as I can. Sometimes tower is quite busy so I’ll hold off until I have a minute.

So just opening the airport info, where you can find the D-ATIS , isn’t enough to check the actual ATIS and to acknowledge it. Just tuning the frequency is the best thing to do on the ground and in the air right.

When you request pushback, taxi, takeoff, landing, an approach, etc. it will include the last ATIS information phonetic letter in the message. Without tuning to ATIS it won’t update your future messages.