ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service)

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Definition of ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service)

ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service) is a continuous, pre-recorded broadcast of aviation information that provides pilots with essential information for navigating specific terminal areas. This broadcast is designed for mass spreading of relevant information, especially in busy airports, and is constantly updated to ensure accuracy.

The purpose of ATIS is to improve controller effectiveness and relieve frequency congestion by automating repetitive transmission of essential but routine information. This helps pilots to have the necessary information to carry out a safe landing. The recorded broadcast includes information such as weather, active runway, runway state, NOTAMs, and any other information pertinent to the flight.

A typical broadcast is coded with a reference ‘Information’ letter, such as Information Alpha, signifying the current version of an ATIS. Air traffic controllers will inform approaching aircraft of the current ATIS, stating that ‘Information November is current,’ to ensure that pilots have up-to-date and necessary information. Thus, ATIS plays a vital role in ensuring aviation safety and efficient ground operations at airports.

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