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From where are ATIS messages transmitted?

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From where are ATIS messages transmitted?

Old 20th May 2019, 11:26
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From where are ATIS messages transmitted?

Another strange question inspired by another strange question!!


I had always assumed that ATIS was transmitted from 'the tower'. And it always seems to be continually transmitted.

I found a strange question that asks from where can ATlS information be received, and the correct answer is 'at certain times from airfield VORs'.


It's not a problem, it is the only remotely possible choice from the answers, but I still find it strange. Can anyone enlighten me?

Thanks
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Old 20th May 2019, 11:38
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Heathrow arrival ATIS is available on OCK and BNN, not sure about BIG and LAM. In the USA, many airfields have an on airfield VOR and this also has ATIS.
Otherwise at smaller airfields in the UK it's simply an extra Tx at the airfield's own Tx site.
Bear in mind some are designated 'departure ATIS' and hence are transmitted at very low power as they're only meant for aircraft on the ground whilst a 'normal' ATIS has a DOC of about 60nm.
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Old 20th May 2019, 11:42
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Consult the AIP and you will see.
Yes, some VORs transmit ATIS info too, others don't.
EBBR Brussels Airport, for one example, has two separate 8,33 frequencies for Departure information and Arrival information; the Arrival information is also broadcast by 5 VORs.
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Old 22nd May 2019, 09:58
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I heard that Liverpool ATIS machine was being replaced, so I asked if the old machine was available for our GA Club. Apparently they wanted to keep it as a spare.

It would be interesting to know how the pre-recorded messages are selected, I don't think it is done manually, as it would be a 24 hour task.
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Old 22nd May 2019, 10:07
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I hope it has a scouse accent - it really should
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Old 22nd May 2019, 11:30
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Listening to ATIS? How 20th Century! I thought everyone read it by datalink these days.
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Old 23rd May 2019, 11:57
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Nope, most of us not at fancy intergalactic spaceports still have ye olde radio to get the ATIS from, complete with Denville's familiar vox.
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Old 23rd May 2019, 17:08
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Originally Posted by scifi View Post
It would be interesting to know how the pre-recorded messages are selected, I don't think it is done manually, as it would be a 24 hour task.
If Liverpool has an automated weather ob system, then it could be the messages are on a database and are selcted automatically, with other items such as 'taxiway X closed' added in plain langguage.
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Old 23rd May 2019, 18:30
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With the very limited speech possibilities, a laptop could synthesise the spoken ATIS from the print ATIS, accurately. I don't know if this happens anywhere.
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Old 23rd May 2019, 19:45
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The Brussels ATIS certainly sounds like being synthetic voice. But I suppose there is an option to intersperse a recording of exceptional messages, like taxiways not in use or so.

And yes, a laptop could do the job, like as not even a Raspberry PI could.

Last edited by Jan Olieslagers; 23rd May 2019 at 20:27.
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Old 23rd May 2019, 20:01
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Does anyone remember the wonderful voice on the Heathrow ATIS back in the early-mid 2000s, where the reader would say on a rapidly rising tone: "and wingtip clearance is.............................................(long pause, drop an octave)....................not assured". I can't remember the reason for it - perhaps someone can recall.

FBW
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Old 24th May 2019, 17:10
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I can't remember the reason for it - perhaps someone can recall.
What - the reason for the message or the rising and falling in intonation?
Dunno about the latter, but the former...
Heathrow was designed in the era of relatively short span aircraft with a complex inner and outer taxiway system. When larger aircraft arrived, there was an equally complex set of rules about what aircraft could taxy where. There were numerous incidents of aircraft slicing through rudders or other wingtips - I recall going to pick up bits when I was 'Checker' (seems like a lifetime ago now, was only the early eighties!) Hence the message. I look at a chart of Heathrow now and I don't recognise most of it.

TOO
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Old 24th May 2019, 19:43
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Talking of Heathrow, the VOLMET (not the ATIS) was recorded by a guy in an office at the old north side radar unit (roughly where Compass Centre now stands)
Hot summer night so windows open; one of our guys just going home at 3 am after a 'first half'; accidentally beeps his horn as he gets into his car.
Office window flies wide open and a torrent of abuse is hurled at him; the bloke was just doing the next VOLMET and the car horn 'beep' went on the tape!!
I daren't tell you about the 'unwanted' voice recorded on the Glasow ATIS one night as I'd get banned from the forum.
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Old 24th May 2019, 20:20
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When I worked at Heathrow (long ago) the ATIS was recorded by the Approach Supervisors Assistant from the Sup's desk. One of our ATCAs was totally deranged and one Christmas he gave the ATIS broadcasts his own version of the ICAO alphabet, which resulted in an Iberia flight saying "Heathrow Approach, Iberia 512 approaching Ockham with information Fandabidozi" Great fun and the pilots joined in too
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Old 25th May 2019, 17:05
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Originally Posted by HEATHROW DIRECTOR View Post
When I worked at Heathrow (long ago) the ATIS was recorded by the Approach Supervisors Assistant from the Sup's desk. One of our ATCAs was totally deranged and one Christmas he gave the ATIS broadcasts his own version of the ICAO alphabet, which resulted in an Iberia flight saying "Heathrow Approach, Iberia 512 approaching Ockham with information Fandabidozi" Great fun and the pilots joined in too
Christmas Day 1969, my first year as an ATCA at Drayton; listened to Bovingdon VOR ATIS and it was being sung to the tune of 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing'!! One or two pilots checked in on Heathrow Approach using the same tune too eg
'Hark the Bealine four eight three - ee
Greetings to the ATC
Coming down to six zero - o
we have information Dee'
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Old 26th May 2019, 17:04
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Well, it was about 50 years ago so perhaps the story can be told. I am in the RAF and go home on leave (to Scotland). Big friend works in Scottish Centre. Over a couple of beers the funny story emerges. It seems that Dan Air have a schedule that arrives at Aberdeen at 2225 and the airport shuts at 2230. So, it goes like this:

On hand over northbound Dan checks in with Scottish:

"Good evening Scottish, this is F****ing Dan Air 102".

Great confusion in Centre, Supervisor sent for, swearing on the frequency, never heard of etc. etc.

Supervisor, "OK Dan Air 102 you obviously have a problem can I help?"

"Call Aberdeen and ask them to play their latest ATIS".

There on the ATIS is the usual runway in use etc and, in the background is a loud voice saying "Where is that F****ing Dan Air 102".

Honour was satisfied. I would not have had the balls.
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Old 26th May 2019, 17:38
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As the original question has been duly answered, these "back room" stories can have their place. I for one am greatly enjoying them - keep them coming!
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Old 26th May 2019, 19:44
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While we're waiting for more "back room" stories, the ghost of my English teacher is prompting me to point out that "From where" in the title, should really be "From whence" or for the really pedantic, just "Whence".

Whence, according to its conventional definition, means from where, so the phrase from whence is logically redundant. But this doesn’t stop people from using from whence, a phrase that has been common for centuries. When hearing the sentence Whence came you?, one may feel something is missing—specifically, a preposition—even though the sentence is well constructed without it.
https://grammarist.com/usage/whence-from-whence/
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Old 26th May 2019, 19:47
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Originally Posted by JW411 View Post
Well, it was about 50 years ago so perhaps the story can be told. I am in the RAF and go home on leave (to Scotland). Big friend works in Scottish Centre. Over a couple of beers the funny story emerges. It seems that Dan Air have a schedule that arrives at Aberdeen at 2225 and the airport shuts at 2230. So, it goes like this:

On hand over northbound Dan checks in with Scottish:

"Good evening Scottish, this is F****ing Dan Air 102".

Great confusion in Centre, Supervisor sent for, swearing on the frequency, never heard of etc. etc.

Supervisor, "OK Dan Air 102 you obviously have a problem can I help?"

"Call Aberdeen and ask them to play their latest ATIS".

There on the ATIS is the usual runway in use etc and, in the background is a loud voice saying "Where is that F****ing Dan Air 102".

Honour was satisfied. I would not have had the balls.
That's the tale I was alluding to but I was told it was at Glasgow.
In the middle of the ATIS recording, a phone is heard to ring and a voice says 'that'll be that F***ing Dan Air 102'.
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Old 27th May 2019, 07:23
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In the same vein (sorry to stray off topic a bit) Dan Air positioning flights were always given the flight number DAN 99FA. A controller once queried this and, with comendable restraint, Capt Barry J simply said "we are empty"
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