How to write proper ATIS?

Hello. I just get promoted and now I can access ATIS. But the problem is I don’t know how to write proper ATIS in IF. Maybe someone can give me some insights on what information should I include in the ATIS. It would be much appreciated if you can give me some examples. I don’t need an advanced explanation. Just a brief explanation will do. Thanks :smile:

ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service) is a recording that some airports broadcast in order to reduce frequency congestion. Current weather information, active runway information, NOTAMs, and other useful pieces of information are included in the ATIS. The ATIS is usually updated every hour or when there is a sudden weather change at the airport. ATIS is how pilots get the latest information about an airport over the radio and this is simulated in IF.

Elements of the ATIS:

Location: The airport that is broadcasting the ATIS

Identifier: Each ATIS is given a letter to identify it. This letter is spoken as all letters are in aviation, using the phonetic alphabet.

Time of Issue: This is the time that the recording was made, given in Zulu time.

Winds: Current wind information. If winds are 6 knots or less and varying in direction, they’re considered Variable (VRB). If the winds are less than 3 knots the winds are listed as Calm. A variation of 10 knots or more is considered a Gust (Example: 120/21G33. ‘Winds from one two zero at two one knots gusting to three three knots’.) .

Visibility: The current visibility at the airport. Less than 3 miles is IFR. Three miles or greater is VFR.

Weather Phenomenon: Rain, Mist, Snow, Thunderstorm, etc.

Sky Condition: This will give the altitude of the bottom (base) of the clouds relative to ground level (AGL) as well as the amount of cloud cover. A Ceiling is defined as cloud coverage of Broken or higher. This will become important when determining whether conditions are VFR or IFR. A ceiling of less than 1000ft or lower is considered IFR.

Few (FEW): 2/8 or less of the sky area is covered with clouds.
Scattered (SCT): 2/8-4/8 of the sky is covered with clouds.
Broken (BKN): 4/8-6/8 of the sky is covered with clouds.
Overcast (OVC): 6/8 or more of the sky is covered with clouds.
Temperature/Dewpoint: The current temperature and dewpoint at the airport.

Altimeter: The current barometric pressure of the airport, given in inches of mercury in the US and Canada, and millibars (or hectopascals) every where else.

Approaches and Runways in Use: The current approaches and runways being used for takeoff and landing.

Remarks/Notams: Other information such as bird activity, unlit towers in the area, inoperative airport lighting or systems, etc. are listed in this section.

Closing Remark: Each ATIS will close with “Advise controller on initial contact, you have (current ATIS letter: Alpha/Bravo/Charlie/etc…)”. The first call to any ATC at the airport should include the ATIS identifier. This tells ATC that the pilot has listened to and understands the current ATIS information.


I am very excited to see ATIS come alive. I think we can alleviate a number of issues with novice pilots when we get people used to listening to it before leaving the gate or approaching the airport. In my flying days this was an essential tool, and you were expected to tell the controller you had the current information by repeating the alphabetical letter attached to the current update.

I do wonder if there is a template we could develop to make it more consistent for pilots, and faster for ATC to listed current relevant information. We have some training and education do to, but this will be a very helpful tool when used properly.

No excuses for people going to the wrong runway now. It will be clear which ones are active and for what purpose.


I’ve brought this up with the other controllers. We’re working on a template for ATIS so it’s consistent with all controllers/airports.


It will be great if there is template and also simple re-edit function.
Currently when ATIS is submitted, we have to start all over again for correcting or information change. But controller still needs to take care of his/her duty. We need some way to save time and reduce workload. Maybe functions such as auto fill-in function like real world D-ATIS machine will help a lot, controller just have to input essential airport information.

Another question, it seems abbreviations are not allowed. I just checked another controller’s ATIS and it read strange things. Is it possible to make abbreviation database?

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@DavidCutler had/has a template for ATIS :)

This website let’s you paste the ICAO of an airport and it will automatically make a written, copyable ATIS of the current conditions. In IF you’re able to paste this into where you would type it in.


Sean is the weather applicable to IF? For instants cloud cover and ceiling as well as pressure etc?

Creating my first ATIS. Cheers man

Not really, but I write in anyway just for realism :) Maybe someday we’ll get real clouds that change according to METAR

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@Swang007, *according to METAR, - but all the same :D

I write all the weather stuff in just as a matter of practice. Even if something is not physically there, you can pretend it is and execute the flight with that information. I’m sure eventually we’ll arrive at the point where we have the atmospheric effects provided, as Sean already said, and then you won’t even have to ‘pretend’. After all, some aspects like temperature, wind and visibility are already programmed. So it’s good to get ahead a bit and get used to the type of information that you receive (as a pilot) and that you send (as a controller). Think of it as a theory test :D


@JoshFly8 is an expert at typing up ATIS advisories. Maybe he can give you some examples. YouTube and Google definitely have examples for you to listen to.

Ok, but this was over a year ago.

Stop necroposting.

Either way, there isn’t a “correct” way you type out an ATIS. PM me and I can explain the basics (if you’re interested in doing it outside IF).