I am here today to explain how ATIS works as an expert server and what is its usefulness.
I know that many people know its usefulness, but like everyone else, you have taken, either alone or with the help of someone, so I would like to speak to everyone and especially to those who are in casual Server and Training, so that you can learn more about ATIS.
So, let’s begin
As in reality, the ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service) is an automatic message is an automatic broadcast service. It allows pilots to receive continuous information on the busiest airports.
Thanks to ATIS, you will know which runways are open, closed, wind direction etc…
With the picture you will make below, I will explain word by word the meaning of this information.
Please note that this information is not there to make the weather nice but is useful!
It is obvious, it knows indeed of the name of the airport, for here, I went to take the ATIS of this airport.
You’ve probably noticed, the name ATIS is never the same, sometimes it’s ALPHA, then another time Charlie etc…
This code name is useful and changes every time the weather conditions change, here is an example :
- Imagine that we are under the CHARLIE Information, and the wind goes to the right, then 1 hour later, the wind goes to the left, the information will not be the same, the runways will change sides, so new information to ATIS will be made, and we will switch to the DELTA Information.
As you can see, I took the screenshot at 17:13, and the information is 1708 (17:08 ), this is indeed the time when the last ATIS information was made.
ZULU time is the universal time, for example, in Rapid City, it was 11:13, however, I had the right to UTC ( Zulu ) time of 17:13, if you have a good knowledge of Geography, you should know that universal time is based on the Greenwich meridian, which passes through London.
310 corresponds to the direction of the wind, WARNING, not to be confused with direction and origin, the wind comes from 310° and does not go to 310°!
6 corresponds to the wind speed, ( in KTS )
To have its real speed in Mp/h, you must do the number of KTS * 1.151 | Example: 6 * 1.151 = 6.90468 --) 7 Mp/H
To have its real speed in Km/h, you have to do the number of KTS * 1,852 | Example : 6 * 1,852 = 11,112 --) 11 Km/h
Although you can see it for yourself, it is still useful to take it into account,
Visibility 10 corresponds to 10 miles, in a term like this, it is called 10SM (Statute Miles).
To convert it into Km ( kilometer ), just do SM * 1,609
For example: 10 * 1.609 = 16.0934 --) 16km.
On the ATIS, the temperature is given in degrees Celsius (°C), in reality, it is important to take this into account, because we are not safe from icing or other problems.
The dew point or dew temperature is the temperature below which dew naturally settles, for the case of -1, the dew point appears from -1 °C Celsius.
The altimeter (barometric) is an instrument capable of indicating an altitude based on atmospheric pressure. Indeed, atmospheric pressure decreases with altitude (plus or minus 1hpa/30ft).
It seems logical that an airplane can not take off without runways, like everyone else, before each runway use, you make sure if the runway is open or not by judging the three colors (green, amber and red), however, these colors are just indications and their information is not always important to follow.
Here is a table taken from the User Guide to give you an idea of how the colors are programmed :
According to the rule, it is possible to land on a runway with the red indication up to 10kts maximum.
In reality, if the wind is rather calm enough, the controllers can open a certain runway for better visual conditions for the pilots .
Let’s imagine that we are in the morning, very calm wind. and that runway 08 is in the middle of a dazzling sun, if it doesn’t cause any problem, the pilot can change the side of the runway, and replace it with runway 26.
On the ATIS, the controller already gives you an idea of which runway you are going to use for takeoff or landing.
If you are ever on an airport that is not controlled and you don’t know which runway to take, I advise you to use the Windy site which gives you additional information on what you need.
This is the last sentence you will hear from ATIS, it will ask you each time to confirm with a name from the Military Alphabet to make sure you are up to date on the airport information.
For example, let’s imagine that you consulted the ATIS at 12:05 under the code name: ALPHA with runway 26 open, then at 12:35, the wind changed sides and it is runway 08 which is now open, the ATIS information will therefore change under the name BRAVO, if you ask for an intention with the name Alpha, the controller will therefore understand that you are not as up to date as the ATIS, and he will therefore redirect you to it.
Additional atis options
It is very likely that other things will be said in the ATIS, for example, FNF events, or a very busy airport where we must not allow light aircraft.
There is a category on the official IF website that explains all the options about the ATIS and Remarks / Notams.
I would like to thank two people who helped me to write the topic :
@Nono45_FR For teaching me for a long time about the world of air traffic control and helping me to write this topic.
@IFFR_Captain_Baba For giving me a site to design and make the topic more attractive to read.
Here are the sources I used to write the tutorial :