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.
“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