Glossary

Pilatus PC-12 aircraft

Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS)

An Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) is a continuous broadcast service of information related to an airport and is accessed by the pilot in command and flight crew of any flight. The information is pre-recorded essential aeronautical information that pertains to:

  • Weather conditions and information
  • Active runways
  • Available approaches
  • Important notices to the pilot in command

The recording is updated at scheduled intervals or if there is a significant change that urgently needs to be broadcast.

It’s in the Details

There are three types of ATIS systems: PC-based, solid state, and digital ATIS.

Solid-state systems incorporate speech synthesis and data processing in a single device.

PC-ATIS systems are created using a computer with many high-performance soundcards.

Digital systems create messages in a text-to-voice type of system.

Because air traffic controllers are busy at larger airports, the recording is done by an automated voice. The air traffic controller will type out an ATIS message using the digital ATIS system instead of taking the time to record the message personally. At smaller airports, however, it is not unusual for a message to be recorded by the controller using either the PC-ATIS or solid-state system.

To streamline important information, the ATIS formats across the world follow similar formats and layouts.