|Last Updated||05/27/2021 01:27
by Matthew Woerly
There are many variables that go into creating an Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS), so we will try to just cover the most important points here.
First off, a couple of ground rules. When you post an ATIS, you are actually logging yourself on to VATSIM a second time using your CID and password with the specified callsign and frequency. Therefore, it is necessary to come up with a standard protocol for which position will publish and maintain the ATIS (if more than one controller online). As provided for in Paragraphs A(8)(a) and (b) of the Code of Conduct, a controller is permitted to create a second connection to the VATSIM network using his or her CID for the sole purpose of providing voice ATIS to pilots. A controller wishing to provide an ATIS MUST meet the following requirement: The controller must have an S1 rating or higher.
An ATIS is added to the network using the vATIS program. Templates for our airports can be imported from the ZSE vATIS folder in our Dropbox folder. This should take care of the callsign, frequency, and general templates used for each airport.
Some guidelines - DO NOT type out a separate text version of the ATIS it in the "Controller Info" box (top box of the ATIS maker dialogue in VRC, or settings in other clients). The text version of your Voice ATIS Template will be visible to text only pilots when they are tuned into the ATIS frequency.
[input ICAO] Controllers; "[polite personal msg here]"
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Advise having current ATIS for clearance
%icao% ATIS %id% %time% %winds% %vis%;
Sky Conditions %clouds% %temp%/%dew% A%altim%
Sim ILS/VIS app in use; %runways%
Readback all hold short instructions.
Advise on initial contact you have info %id%
- Position ID
- Time (Zulu): Use the time on the METAR, not the current time.
- Wind: Given in Magnetic! Do not say "winds"... say "wind"
- Visibility: Do not say "miles" or "statute miles"
- Precipitation (if any)
- Sky conditions: See Shannon's excellent ATIS how-to (link below) for more details on this section.
- Temperature and Dewpoint
- Altimeter: Do not say "point" or "decimal"
- Remarks: Specify any additional information that will be useful or pertinent to pilots such as severe Wx. Give the landing and departing runways, and if able - which approaches (ILS, visual, etc) are in use.
- NOTAMs: Use to communicate any special circumstances. In general, the only thing you need to record is the section about the runway's being renamed.
Major airports like SEA and PDX will have automatic systems that broadcast the current ATIS. Smaller airports will need a controller to manually record the message each time it updates. In vATIS this is controlled in the facility settings. If you are manually recording a voice ATIS, please follow the following guidelines.
The following are several examples of real METARs for KSEA and the associated script that would be used to record the ATIS. Please use these scripts as a template for recording your voice ATIS:
KSEA 051453Z 14011KT 10SM FEW055 SCT070 SCT160 06/02 A3028
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport information Charlie, one-four-five-three Zulu. Wind one-two-zero at one-one, visibility one-zero. Few clouds at five thousand five hundred, seven thousand scattered, one-six thousand scattered. Temperature six, dewpoint two, altimeter three-zero-two-eight. ILS runway one-six center, Bay and Husky visual approaches in use. Landing runway one-six center, departing runway one-six left. Notices to airmen: Runways one-six right and three-four left renamed to runways one-six center and three-four center, Seattle arrivals and departures advise on initial contact you have information Charlie.
KSEA 011509Z 16008KT 7SM BKN016 OVC033 25/21 A2989
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport information Uniform, one-five-zero-niner Zulu. Wind one-four-zero at eight, visibility seven. Ceiling one thousand six hundred broken, three thousand three hundred overcast. Temperature two-five, dewpoint two-one, altimeter two-niner-eight-niner. ILS runway one-six center approaches in use. Landing runway one-six center, departing runway one-six left. Notices to airmen: Runways one-six right and three-four left renamed to runways one-six center and three-four center, Seattle arrivals and departures advise on initial contact you have information Uniform. KSEA
212015Z 29021G24KT 1/4SM -RA BR OVC002 17/16 A2973
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport information Hotel, two-zero-one-five Zulu. Wind two-seven-zero at two-one gusts two-four, visibility one quarter, light rain, mist. Ceiling two hundred overcast. Temperature one-seven, dewpoint one-six, altimeter two-niner-seven-three. ILS runway three-four center approaches in use. Landing runway three-four center, departing runway three-four right. Notices to airmen: Runways one-six right and three-four left renamed to runways one-six center and three-four center, Seattle arrivals and departures advise on initial contact you have information Hotel.
KSEA 061853Z 000000KT 10SM SCT012 BKN021 OVC055 13/09 A3014
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport information Whiskey, one-eight-fife-tree Zulu. Wind calm, visibility one-zero. Sky condition, one-thousand-two-hundred scattered, ceiling two-thousand-one-hundred broken, fife-thousand-fife-hundred overcast. Temperature one-tree, dewpoint niner, altimeter tree-zero-one-four. ILS runway one-six center approaches in use. Landing runway one-six center, departing runway one-six left. Notices to airmen: Runways one-six right and tree-four left renamed to runways one-six center and tree-four center, Seattle arrivals and departures advise on initial contact you have information Whiskey.
When it's a great day in our airspace, here is the official FAA guidance on omitting cloud and visibility from your ATIS. 7110.65 Chapter 2 Section 9. Automatic Terminal Information Service Procedures 2-9-3. CONTENT d. The ceiling/sky condition, visibility, and obstructions to vision may be omitted if the ceiling is above 5,000 feet and the visibility is more than 5 miles. A remark may be made, “The weather is better than five thousand and five.”