Refresher: ATIS – Why it is important

ATIS gives you information about the airport before reaching out to Air Traffic Control.

It is necessary that you listen to ATIS before you request a push back and before reaching out to Approach Control or Tower if inbound to the airport. If you don’t, you’ll get a later mentioned “Check Help Pages” which isn’t a great way to start off your experience with ATC.

“But what if Approach sends me to an on guard and I haven’t listened to ATIS yet?”

Click on your map in Infinite Flight. Next, click on the airport you’ll arrive at, and then click on the “tune” button for ATIS. After listening to the ATIS update, reach out to the Approach or Tower.

See: How to receive ATIS information on arrival

“Won’t Approach/Tower get mad if I don’t reach out immediately?”

No, we watch your current communication to determine if you on the ATIS frequency and if so, we will happily wait for you to reach out after listening. However, if you get within 25nm of the airport then we get a little stressed so try to do it by 55nm out. You can listen to ATIS as far as 75nm away from an airport.

After you listen to ATIS, you will find out;

  • What runways are in use. While on the map a runway heading may be shaded green or yellow, that won’t necessarily mean that it is the runway in use at the airport.
  • What the weather is at the airport. For example, if visibility is less than 3nm, you should not request a Visual Approach as we won’t be able to give to you. You will instead be given an ILS approach for the same runway requested.
  • If patterns are allowed
  • What type of departure you need to adhere to for instance straight out
  • If the airport is busy and/or an event is going on which can explain why you may be delayed in your arrival or departure from the airport.

There are more items you get from ATIS but these are some of the most important items.

There are also some great articles written on ATIS in the IFC that I would recommend you review to make sure you are familiar. It can’t be stressed enough that ATIS is your pre-understanding of what is going on the airport. What’s the motto – always be prepared.

What the ATIS commands mean to a pilot?

ATIS (For Pilots)

Check Help Pages

ATC ATIS Controller Tutorial


Great post Adam, just want to add that controller instructions are always final and have priority over ATIS.


Great point. ATIS is a large part of ATC and is always needed for a successful flight. Thanks for the awesome and detailed reminder!


I was impressed with approach today, no one asked for a closed runway even though we were landing using a red runway heading. This was awesome, great work pilots.

Isn’t disobeying the ATIS ghostabke now?

Nice refresher, hopefully people take the time to read this.

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Yes, but I didn’t want to focus on the you could be ghosted and more on why it is important.


ATIS does play a big role.Take no pattern work allowed for example if you dont want to accomidate pattern work just state it in ATIS.Now people know what you will be accpeting and not accpeting

Please actually read and/or listen to the ATIS.

If ATIS says the airport is using a particular set of runways, asking three or four times for the opposite end is spam.

It’s not there just to make you click a couple more times to get to ground. It’s actually providing information. Pay attention to it.

I will never understand why pilots think we’re going to shut the airport down so they can make themselves an exception.

(BTW, everyone knows not to send duplicate messages. This little game where pilots think they get 5 free duplicate messages every time they spawn is getting really old. You know not to send duplicates. You don’t need to be told every time you spawn.)

There’s more to a METAR than runway colors. If you can’t figure out winds aloft, or how crosswinds function, that’s okay. We have…ATIS…

Listen to it.


What about having ATIS for training server. Like I think it could be good in some ways but the bad thing is that no one will listen to it which will b the annoying thing about it

Also, if a troll were to come and start ATIS on Training, it would take up the entire screen with words. The other 1/3 of controllers wouldn’t know what any of it meant, which leaves about 1/3 of people who actually understand it.

Fantastic post :) . I know the ATIS saved me yesterday as I thought about landing on RWY 27 as normal in EGLC but then I checked the ATIS and saw RWY 9 was where I needed to go. I think I checked around 80 miles out. I also try checking it when I am getting ready to taxi as I don’t want to make mistakes. The ATIS definitely comes in handy :)

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