Controller Information and ATIS Policy

Controller Information and ATIS Policy 2015


  Director Operations

Update Date

  16 April 2017

Review Date

   16 April 2017



Part 1—Preliminary

1. Purposes

(1) The purposes of this policy are—

(a) to identify the situations when an ATIS must be provided; and

(b) to specify the requirements of the controller information; and

(c) to specify the ATIS broadcast frequency.

2. Policy owner and review schedule

(1) This policy is owned by the Director Operations.

(2) This policy shall be reviewed annually and the most recent review date shall be displayed on the VATPAC website.

3. Governing rules

(1) This policy implements the Global Controller/ATIS Information Policy (VATSIM Executive Committee).

4. Definitions

(1) In this policy—

(a) ATIS means meteorological and operational information about an airport; it can also refer to the text-form ATIS sent to pilots when the pilot uses the “Retrieve ATIS” function on an ATIS position;

(b) Controller information means the information send pilots when the pilot uses the “Retrieve ATIS” function on a controller position, other than an ATIS position;

(c) Director means the Director Operations.

Part 2—Controller Information

5. Technical requirements for controller information

(1) The controller information must comply with the following limitations—

(a) each line must not exceed 76 characters; and

(b) there must not be more than 4 lines.


Voice switching information, normally inserted automatically by controller client software, is not included in the line limit in subparagraph (b).

6. Content of controller information

(1) Controller information MUST include, at a minimum-

(a) For a controller operating a Standard TMA control position:

         (i) The details of any secondary aerodromes to which a top-down Tower service is being provided. Secondary aerodromes which are not specified in the controller information may be assumed to operate as non-controlled aerodromes. Top-down coverage being provided to the primary aerodrome of the TMA is not required to be detailed in the controller information. 

         (ii) If Tower services are not being provided by another controller at the primary aerodrome for the respective TMA, AND a top-down service to the primary aerodrome is NOT being provided by the TMA controller, a note stating so and the reason why.

(b) For a controller operating a standard Enroute control position, but not a FSS or Oceanic sector:

         (i) The three (3) letter sector identifier of any standard control position to which extended coverage is being provided, and

         (ii) The four (4) letter ICAO identifier of any aerodrome to which a top-down Tower or Approach service is being provided. Aerodromes which are not specified in the controller information may be assumed to operate as uncontrolled aerodromes. 

(c) For a controller operating a non-standard control position, in addition to Subsection (b):

         (i) The name of the authorising/supervising VATPAC staff member or Senior Controller, and the reason why the non-standard sector was activated, per the requirements listed in the Controller Positions and Ratings Policy (Eg. Authorised by (name) due event traffic).

(d) "ATC Feedback: ", followed by a link to the VATPAC website ATC feedback form, located at

(2) Controller information MAY include, inter alia—

(a) callsign; and

(b) expected log-off time; and

(c) relevant ATIS frequencies; and

(d) a link to the VATPAC pilot assist website; and

(e) other relevant operational information.

(3) Controller information MUST NOT include—

 (a) controller’s name or rating; or

 (b) control frequency; or

 (c) meteorological information.

(4) None of the requirements in Paragraph (1) may override the Controller Positions and Ratings Policy with respect to extended coverage criteria and requirements. This section does not override any of the requirements contained within the Controller Information and ATIS Policy Section 5 (Technical requirements for controller information) with regards to character or line limitations. 

(5) Controller information must not include—

(a) controller’s name or rating; or

(b) control frequency; or

(c) meteorological information.

Part 3—ATIS

7. When must an ATIS be provided?

(1) An ATIS must be provided for an aerodrome, if and only if, an air traffic control service is also being provided for that aerodrome, except when subparagraph (2) applies.

(2) Despite subparagraph (1), a controller must not provide more than one ATIS.

8. Text form of ATIS

(1) When an ATIS is provided, it must be provided in both voice and text form. Both forms must contain the same substantial information.


The two forms contain the same substantial information if a person can obtain the same information regardless of which form is used. Non-informative parts of the ATIS may be excluded from the text ATIS to save space (e.g. “on first contact…”).

9. When must an ATIS be updated?

(1) The Director shall publish revision criteria in the Manual of Air Traffic Services.

(2) A controller providing an ATIS shall update the ATIS when the revision criteria in subparagraph (1) are met.

10. Items not permitted in an ATIS

(1) An ATIS shall not include—

(a) raw METAR data;

(b) anything that is not operationally relevant;

(c) anything that is not flight information.


Items that are similar to control instructions are not flight information.

11. ATIS broadcast frequency

(1) The ATIS shall be broadcast on the frequency determined by using subparagraph (2).

(2) The broadcast frequency in subparagraph (1) is—

(a) the first ATIS frequency listed in En route Supplement Australia (ERSA) for that aerodrome that is within the range 118.0 MHz to 136.0 MHz; or

(b) if there is no suitable frequency in clause (a), then 134.0 MHz.

12. Procedures for generating ATIS

(1) The Director shall publish procedures relating to the generation of ATIS in the Manual of Air Traffic Services.

(2) A controller provclassing an ATIS shall comply with the procedures mentioned in subparagraph (1).


1. Table of Amendments

Effective Date



8 February 2015


   Divorced procedure from policy text

   Updated in line with new EC policy

   Redrafted the policy with numbering

19 June 2015


   Transferred policy into new template with paragraph headings

   Renumbered paragraph 7 to 6(2) and paragraph 9 to 8(2)

   Minor non-substantive editorial changes

18 November 2015

   Reformatted and renumbered for new website

2. Table of References

Name of Document



Global Controller/ATIS Information Policy    VATSIM Executive Committee
Manual of Air Traffic Services    VATPAC
En route Supplement Australia    Airservices Australia