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7110.65:Chapter 1

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Chapter 1. General

Chapter 1. General

Section 1. Introduction


This order prescribes air traffic control procedures and phraseology for use by persons providing air traffic control services. Controllers are required to be familiar with the provisions of this order that pertain to their operational responsibilities and to exercise their best judgment if they encounter situations that are not covered by it.


This order applies to all ATO personnel and anyone using ATO directives.


This order is available on the FAA Web site at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/orders_notices.


FAA Order JO 7110.65W, Air Traffic Control, dated December 10, 2015, and all changes to it are canceled.


The significant changes to this order are identified in the Explanation of Changes page(s). It is advisable to retain the page(s) throughout the duration of the basic order.


This order and its changes are scheduled to be published to coincide with AIRAC dates. (See TBL 1-1-1.)

TBL 1-1-1 Publication Schedule
Basic or Change Cutoff Date for Submission Effective Date of Publication
JO 7110.65X 4/27/17 10/12/17
Change 1 10/12/17 3/29/18
Change 2 3/29/18 9/13/18
Change 3 9/13/18 2/28/19
JO 7110.65Y 2/28/19 8/15/19


  1. If an FAA facility has not received the order/changes at least 30 days before the above effective dates, the facility must notify its service area office distribution officer.
  2. If a military facility has not received the order/changes at least 30 days before the above effective dates, the facility must notify its appropriate military headquarters. (See TBL 1-1-2.)
TBL 1-1-2 Military Distribution Contacts
Military Headquarters DSN Commercial
U.S. Army USAASA 656-4868 (703) 806-4868
U.S. Air Force HQ AFFSA 884-5509 (405) 734-5509
U.S. Navy CNO (N980A) 224-2638 (703) 614-2638


The office of primary responsibility (OPR) for this order is:

  • FAA Headquarters, Mission Support Services
  • Air Traffic Procedures (AJV-8)
  • 600 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20597
  1. Personnel should submit recommended changes in procedures to facility management.
  2. Recommendations from other sources should be submitted through appropriate FAA, military, or industry/user channels.
  3. Proposed changes must be submitted, electronically, to the Air Traffic Procedures Correspondence Mailbox at 9-AJV-8-HQ-Correspondence@faa.gov. The submission should include a description of the recommended change, and the proposed language to be used in the order.
  4. Procedural changes will not be made to this order until the operational system software has been adapted to accomplish the revised procedures


  1. Interpretation requests from field air traffic personnel must be submitted as follows:
    1. The request must be submitted,in writing,by an Air Traffic Facility/District manager to their Service Area Director.
    2. The Service Area Director must review the request and determine if more than one interpretation on the intent of the language can be inferred.
    3. If it is determined that an interpretation is required, the Service Area Director must submit the request, in writing, to the Air Traffic Procedures Directorate, for a response.
  2. If a request does not require an interpretation but further clarification is needed it must be forwarded to the Service Center Operations Support Group for a response.
    1. The Service Center Operations Support Group may consult with the Air Traffic Procedures Directorate when preparing their response.
    2. The Service Center Operations Support Group must provide a written response to the requestor and forward the response to the Air Traffic Procedures Directorate.
  3. Interpretation requests from all other sources must be submitted, in writing, to the Air Traffic Procedures Directorate through the Air Traffic Procedures correspondence mailbox.

NOTE: Interpretations can be accessed through the Air Traffic Control Interpretation link at the following website: https://my.faa.gov/org/linebusiness/ato/ mission_support/air_traffic_procedures.html.


Procedures/minima which are applied jointly or otherwise require the cooperation or concurrence of more than one facility/organization must be docu- mented in a letter of agreement. Letters of agreement only supplement this order. Any minima they specify must not be less than that specified herein unless appropriate military authority has authorized application of reduced separation between military aircraft.


  1. Exceptional or unusual requirements may dictate procedural deviations or supplementary procedures to this order. Prior to implementing supplemental or any procedural deviation that alters the level, quality, or degree of service, obtain prior approval from the Vice President, Mission Support Services.
  2. If military operations or facilities are involved, prior approval by the following appropriate headquarters is required for subsequent interface with FAA. (See TBL 1-1-3.)
TBL 1-1-3 Military Operations Interface Offices
Branch Address
U.S. Navy
  • Department of the Navy
  • Chief of Naval Operations
  • N980A, NAATSEA
  • 2000 Navy Pentagon (5D453)
  • Washington, D.C. 20350-2000
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Army
  • Director
  • 9325 Gunston Road, Suite N319
  • Ft. Belvoir, VA 22060-5582

NOTE: Terminal: Headquarters Air Force Flight Standards Agency is the approval authority for any USAF procedures or minima that differ from those specified herein and that involve military aircraft only.


Every employee is responsible to ensure the safety of equipment and procedures used in the provision of services within the National Airspace System (NAS). Risk assessment techniques and mitigations, as appropriate, are intended for implementation of any planned safety significant changes within the NAS, as directed by FAA Order 1100.161, Air Traffic Safety Oversight. Direction regarding the SMS and its application can be found in the FAA Safety Management System Manual and FAA Order 1100.161. The SMS will be implemented through a period of transitional activities. (Additional information pertaining to these requirements and processes can be obtained by contacting the service area offices.)


When references are made to regional office organizations that are not part of the Air Traffic Organization (i.e., Communications Center, Flight Standards, Airport offices, etc.), the facility should contact the FAA region where the facility is physically located - not the region where the facility’s service area office is located.


This order is distributed to selected offices in Washington headquarters, regional offices, service area offices, the William J. Hughes Technical Center, and the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. Also, copies are sent to all air traffic field facilities and international aviation field offices; and to interested aviation public.

Section 2. Terms of Reference


As used in this order:

  1. “Shall” or “must” means a procedure is mandatory.
  2. “Shall not” or “must not” means a procedure is prohibited.
  3. “Should” means a procedure is recommended.
  4. “May” or “need not” means a procedure is optional.
  5. “Will” means futurity, not a requirement for the application of a procedure.
  6. Singular words include the plural.
  7. Plural words include the singular.
  8. “Aircraft” means the airframe, crew members, or both.
  9. “Approved separation” means separation in accordance with the applicable minima in this order.
  10. “Altitude” means indicated altitude mean sea level (MSL), flight level (FL), or both.
  11. “Miles” means nautical miles unless otherwise specified, and means statute miles in conjunction with visibility.
  12. “Course,” “bearing,” “azimuth,” “heading,” and “wind direction” information must always be magnetic unless specifically stated otherwise.
  13. “Time” when used for ATC operational activities, is the hour and the minute in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Change to the next minute is made at the minute plus 30 seconds, except time checks are given to the nearest quarter minute.
  14. “Runway” means the runway used by aircraft and, unless otherwise specified, does not include helipads and/or their accompanying takeoff/landing courses. (See Pilot/Controller Glossary terms – Runway and Helipad.)
  15. Flight operations in accordance with the options of “due regard” or “operational” obligates the authorized state aircraft commander to:
    1. Separate his/her aircraft from all other air traffic; and
    2. Assure that an appropriate monitoring agency assumes responsibility for search and rescue actions; and
    3. Operate under at least one of the following conditions:
      1. (a) In visual meteorological conditions (VMC); or
      2. (b) Wthin radar surveillance and radio communications of a surface radar facility; or
      3. (c) Be equipped with airborne radar that is sufficient to provide separation between his/her aircraft and any other aircraft he/she may be controlling and other aircraft; or
      4. (d) Operate within Class G airspace.
      5. (e) An understanding between the pilot and controller regarding the intent of the pilot and the status of the flight should be arrived at before the aircraft leaves ATC frequency.
    • NOTE:
    • 1. A pilot’s use of the phrase “Going Tactical” does not indicate “Due Regard.” An understanding between the pilot and controller regarding the intent of the pilot and the status of the flight should be arrived at before the aircraft leaves air traffic control (ATC) frequency.
    • 2. The above conditions provide for a level of safety equivalent to that normally given by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) ATC agencies and fulfills U.S. Government obligations under Article 3 of the Chicago Convention of 1944 (Reference (d)), which stipulates there must be “due regard for the safety of navigation of civil aircraft” when flight is not being conducted under ICAO flight procedures.
  16. “CFR” means Code of Federal Regulations.


The following definitions must be used in the application of the separation criteria in this order.

NOTE: The term “protected airspace,” as used in this paragraph, is the airspace equal to one half the required applicable lateral separation on either side of an aircraft along its projected flight path. If the protected airspace of two aircraft does not overlap, applicable lateral separation is ensured.

  1. SAME COURSES are courses whose protected airspaces are coincident, overlap, or intersect and whose angular difference is less than 45 degrees. (See FIG 1-2-1.)
  2. CROSSING COURSES are intersecting courses whose angular difference is 45 through 135 degrees inclusive. (See FIG 1-2-1.)
  3. OPPOSITE/RECIPROCAL COURSES are courses whose protected airspaces are coincident, overlap, or intersect and whose angular difference is greater than 135 degrees through 180 degrees inclusive. (See FIG 1-2-1.)
FIG 1-2-1 Divergence

1-2-3. NOTES

Statements of fact, or of a prefatory or explanatory nature relating to directive material, are set forth as notes.


As used in this order, references direct attention to an additional or supporting source of information such as FAA, NWS, and other agencies’ orders, directives, notices, CFRs, and Advisory Circulars (ACs).


Revised, reprinted, or new pages are marked as follows:

  1. The change number and the effective date are printed on each revised or additional page.
  2. A page that does not require a change is reprinted in its original form.
  3. Bold vertical lines in the margin of changed pages indicate the location of substantive revisions to the order. Bold vertical lines adjacent to the title of a chapter, section, or paragraph means that extensive changes have been made to that chapter, section, or paragraph.
  4. Paragraphs/sections annotated with EN ROUTE, OCEANIC, or TERMINAL are only to be applied by the designated type facility. When they are not so designated, the paragraphs/sections apply to all types of facilities (en route, oceanic, and terminal).
  5. The annotation, USAF for the U.S. Air Force, USN for the U.S. Navy, and USA for the U.S. Army denotes that the procedure immediately following the annotation applies only to the designated service.
  6. WAKE TURBULENCE APPLICATION inserted within a paragraph means that the remaining information in the paragraph requires the application of wake turbulence procedures.
  7. The annotation PHRASEOLOGY denotes the prescribed words and/or phrases to be used in communications.

    NOTE: Controllers may, after first using the prescribed phraseology for a specific procedure, rephrase the message to ensure the content is understood. Good judgment must be exercised when using nonstandard phraseology.

  8. h. The annotation EXAMPLE provides a sample of the way the prescribed phraseology associated with the preceding paragraph(s) will be used. If the preceding paragraph(s) does (do) not include specific prescribed phraseology, the EXAMPLE merely denotes suggested words and/or phrases that may be used in communications.

    NOTE: The use of the exact text contained in an example not preceded with specific prescribed phraseology is not mandatory. However, the words and/or phrases are expected, to the extent practical, to approximate those used in the example.


As used in this order, the abbreviations listed below have the following meanings indicated. (See TBL 1-2-1.)

TBL 1-2-1 Abbreviations
Abbreviation Meaning
AAR Airport acceptance rate
AC Advisory Circular
ACC Area Control Center
ACD ARTS Color Display
ACE-IDS ASOS Controller Equipment- Information Display System
ACL Aircraft list
ACLS Automatic Carrier Landing System
ADC Aerospace Defense Command
ADIZ Air Defense Identification Zone (to be pronounced “AY DIZ”)
ADS Automatic Dependent Surveillance
ADS-B Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast
ADS-C Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract
AERT Automation Embedded Route Text
AFP Airspace Flow Program
AIDC ATS Interfacility Data Communications
AIM Aeronautical Information Manual
AIRMET Airmen’s meteorological information
ALDARS Automated Lightning Detection and Reporting System
ALERFA Alert phase code (Alerting Service)
ALNOT Alert notice
ALS Approach Light System
ALTRV Altitude reservation
AMASS Airport Movement Area Safety System
AMB Ambiguity-A disparity greater than 2 miles exists between the position declared for a target by ATTS and another facility’s computer declared position during interfacility handoff
AMVER Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System
ANG Air National Guard
APR ATC preferred route
APREQ Approval Request
ARINC Aeronautical Radio Incorporated
ARIP Air refueling initial point
ARSR Air route surveillance radar
ARTCC Air Route Traffic Control Center
ARTS Automated Radar Terminal System
ASD Aircraft Situation Display
ASDE Airport Surface Detection Equipment
ASDE-X Airport Surface Detection Equipment System - Model X
ASF Airport Stream Filters
ASOS Automated Surface Observing System
ASR Airport surveillance radar
ATC Air traffic control
ATCAA ATC assigned airspace
ATCSCC David J. Hurley Air Traffic Control System Command Center
ATD Along-Track Distance
ATIS Automatic Terminal Information Service
ATO Air Traffic Organization
ATO COO Air Traffic Organization Chief Operating Officer
ATOP Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures
ATS Air Traffic Service
AWOS Automated Weather Observing System
BAASS Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies
BASE Cloud base
CA Conflict Alert
CARCAH Chief, Aerial Reconnaissance Coordination, All Hurricanes
CARF Central Altitude Reservation Function
CAT Clear air turbulence
CDT Controlled departure time
CENRAP Center Radar ARTS Presentation
CEP Central East Pacific
CERAP Combined Center/RAPCON
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CFR Call for Release
CIC Controller-in-Charge
CNS Continuous
CPDLC Controller Pilot Data Link Communications
CPME Calibration Performance Monitor Equipment
CTA Control Area
CTRD Certified Tower Radar Display
CVFP Charted Visual Flight Procedure
CWA Center Weather Advisory
DETRESFA Distress Phase code (Alerting Service)
DH Decision height
DL Departure List
DME Distance measuring equipment compatible with TACAN
DOE Department of Energy
DP Instrument Departure Procedure
DR Dead reckoning
DRT Diversion recovery tool
DSR Display System Replacement
DTAS Digital Terminal Automation Systems
DTM Digital Terrain Map
DVFR Defense Visual Flight Rules
DVRSN Diversion
EA Electronic Attack
EAS En Route Automation System
EBUS Enhanced Backup Surveillance System
EDCT Expect Departure Clearance Time
EDST En Route Decision Support Tool
EFC Expect further clearance
EFVS Enhanced Flight Vision System
ELDB Enhanced Limited Data Block
ELP Emergency Landing Pattern
ELT Emergency locator transmitter
EOS End Service
EOVM Emergency obstruction video map
ERAM En Route Automation Modernization
ERIDS En Route Information Display System
ETA Estimated time of arrival
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FANS Future Air Navigation System
FDIO Flight Data Input/Output
FDP Flight data processing
FICON Field Condition
FIR Flight Information Region
FL Flight level
FLIP Flight Information Publication
FLY Fly or flying
FMS Flight Management System
FMSP Flight Management System Procedure
FSM Flight Schedule Monitor
FSS Flight Service Station
GCA Ground controlled approach
GNSS Global Navigation Satellite System
GPD Graphics Plan Display
GPS Global Positioning System
GS Ground stop
HAR High Altitude Redesign
HF/RO High Frequency/Radio Operator
HIRL High intensity runway lights
IAFDOF Inappropriate Altitude for Direction of Flight
ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization
IDENT Aircraft identification
IDS Information Display System
IFR Instrument flight rules
IFSS International Flight Service Station
ILS Instrument Landing System
INCERFA Uncertainty Phase code (Alerting Service)
INREQ Information request
INS Inertial Navigation System
IR IFR military training route
IRU Inertial Reference Unit
ISR Increased Separation Required
ITWS Integrated Terminal Weather System
JATO Jet assisted takeoff
LAHSO Land and Hold Short Operations
LOA Letter of Agreement
LLWAS Low Level Wind Shear Alert System
LLWAS NE Low Level Wind Shear Alert System Network Expansion
LLWAS-RS Low Level Wind Shear Alert System Relocation/Sustainment
LLWS Low Level Wind Shear
L/MF Low/medium frequency
LORAN Long Range Navigation System
Mach Mach number
MALS Medium Intensity Approach Light System
MALSR Medium Approach Light System with runway alignment indicator lights
MAP Missed approach point
MARSA Military authority assumes responsibility for separation of aircraft
MCA Minimum crossing altitude
MCI Mode C Intruder
MDA Minimum descent altitude
MDM Main display monitor
MEA Minimum en route (IFR) altitude
MEARTS Micro En Route Automated Radar Tracking System
METAR Aviation Routine Weather Report
MIA Minimum IFR altitude
MIAWS Medium Intensity Airport Weather System
MIRL Medium intensity runway lights
MNPS Minimum Navigation Performance Specification
MNT Mach Number Technique
MOA Military operations area
MOCA Minimum obstruction clearance altitude
MRA Minimum reception altitude
MSAW Minimum Safe Altitude Warning
MSL Mean sea level
MTI Moving target indicator
MTR Military training route
MVA Minimum vectoring altitude
NADIN National Airspace Data Interchange Network
NAR National Automation Request
NAS National Airspace System
NAT ICAO North Atlantic Region
NAT HLA North Atlantic High Level Airspace
NBCAP National Beacon Code Allocation Plan
NDB Nondirectional radio beacon
NHOP National Hurricane Operations Plan
NM Nautical mile
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOPAC North Pacific
NORAD North American Aerospace Defense Command
NOS National Ocean Service
NOTAM Notice to Airmen
NOWGT No weight. The weight class or wake category has not been determined
NRP North American Route Program
NRR Nonrestrictive Route
NRS Navigation Reference System
NTZ No transgression zone
NWS National Weather Service
NWSOP National Winter Storm Operations Plan
ODALS Omnidirectional Approach Lighting System
ODP Obstacle Departure Procedure
OID Operator Interface Device
OS Operations Supervisor
OTR Oceanic transition route
PAPI Precision Approach Path Indicators
PAR Precision approach radar
PAR Preferred arrival route
PBCT Proposed boundary crossing time
P/CG Pilot/Controller Glossary
PDAR Preferential departure arrival route
PDC Pre-Departure Clearance
PDR Preferential departure route
PPI Plan position indicator
PTP Point-to-point
PVD Plan view display
RA Radar Associate
RAIL Runway alignment indicator lights
RAPCON Radar Approach Control Facility (USAF)
RATCF Radar Air Traffic Control Facility (USN)
RBS Radar bomb scoring
RCC Rescue Coordination Center
RCLS Runway Centerline System
RCR Runway condition reading
RE Recent (used to qualify weather phenomena such as rain, e.g. recent rain = RERA)
REIL Runway end identifier lights
RNAV Area navigation
RNP Required Navigation Performance
RTQC Real-Time Quality Control
RVR Runway visual range
RVSM Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum
RVV Runway visibility value
RwyCC Runway Condition Codes
RwyCR Runway Condition Report
SAA Special Activity Airspace
SAR Search and rescue
SATCOM Satellite Communication
SDP Surveillance Data Processing
SELCAL Selective Calling System
SFA Single frequency approach
SFO Simulated flameout
SID Standard Instrument Departure
SIGMET Significant meteorological information
SPA Special Posting Area
SPECI Nonroutine (Special) Aviation Weather Report
STAR Standard terminal arrival
STARS Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System
STMC Supervisory Traffic Management Coordinator
STMCIC Supervisory Traffic Management Coordinator-in-charge
STOL Short takeoff and landing
SURPIC Surface Picture
SVFR Special Visual Flight Rules
TAA Terminal arrival area
TAS Terminal Automation Systems
TACAN TACAN UHF navigational aid (omnidirectional course and distance information)
TAWS Terrain Awareness Warning System
TCAS Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System
TCDD Tower cab digital display
TDLS Terminal Data Link System
TDW Tower display workstation
TDWR Terminal Doppler Weather Radar
TDZL Touchdown Zone Light System
TFMS Traffic Flow Management System
TMC Traffic Management Coordinator
TMU Traffic Management Unit
TRACON Terminal Radar Approach Control
TRSA Terminal radar service area
UFO Unidentified flying object
UHF Ultra high frequency
USA United States Army
USAF United States Air Force
USN United States Navy
UTC Coordinated universal time
UTM Unsuccessful transmission message
UUA Urgent pilot weather report
VCI Voice Communication Indicator
VFR Visual flight rules
VHF Very high frequency
VMC Visual meteorological conditions
VNAV Vertical Navigation
VOR VHF navigational aid (omnidirectional course information)
VOR/DME Collocated VOR and DME navigational aids (VHF course and UHF distance information)
VORTAC Collocated VOR and TACAN navigation aids (VHF and UHF course and UHF distance information)
VR VFR military training route
VSCS Voice Switching and Control System
WAAS Wide Area Augmentation System
WARP Weather and Radar Processing
WATRS West Atlantic Route System
WRA Weather Reconnaissance Area
WSO Weather Service Office
WSP Weather System Processor
WST Convective SIGMET