Air Traffic Control Service (AFIS)

Air Traffic Control Service (AFIS)

The AFIS service is an intermediate solution for aerodromes whose operations are numerous and complex enough to require some sort of ATS service but at the same time not numerous or complex enough to require a more comprehensive services such as ATC.

Adopting this type of solution must be approved by AESA following an Aeronautical Safety Study, which is performed by SAERCO based on the requirements and conditioning factors indicated by the client. SAERCO searches for the best possible solution from all points of view, primarily safety, proposing the one that best satisfies the client's needs: AFIS, ATC or a combination of the two based on time slots, days or seasons.

The AFIS Service includes the following primary functions associated with the two facets of the service (information and alert):

  • Informing aircraft operating in the FIZ zone of the associated air space to help the pilots avoid collisions.
  • Informing aircraft moving about in the manoeuvring area so as to avoid collisions between two aircraft and between aircraft and other vehicles or obstacles.
  • Informing vehicles and persons in the manoeuvring area.
  • Informing the aircraft of essential information about the aerodrome, the weather conditions and the status of air navigation assistance operations, reporting any malfunctions or irregular operation of equipment.
  • Continuously monitoring flight operations (listening to the right frequencies and keeping close track of the visible operations on the ground and in the air), recording the information on the effective progress of the flights so that it is available for consultation and possible search and rescue missions.
  • Issuing alerts when the aircraft does not appear at the scheduled time according to the flight plan.

More detailed information is provided to the aircraft from SAERCO’s AFIS facilities. The minimum information to be provided includes:

  • Weather information for aircraft that are taking off or landing.
    • Wind speed and direction on the ground.
    • QNH/ QFE altimeter adjustment.
    • Ambient air temperature on the runway.
    • Visibility (RVR if available), cloud ceiling and special weather conditions in the direction of initial take-off/ascent and on approach/landing.
  • Information that allows the pilot to choose the most appropriate landing strip:
    • Preferred landing strip.
    • Traffic route used by other aircraft.
    • Length of runway and distance between one intersection and the end of the runway.
  • Information on aircraft, vehicles or personnel in or around the manoeuvring zone or aircraft operating in proximity to the aerodrome that could pose a hazard to another aircraft.
  • Information on the conditions of the aerodrome that are essential for the safe operation of the aircraft:
    • Construction or maintenance work in or around the manoeuvring area.
    • Uneven or deteriorated sections of runways or taxiways.
    • Snow, ice or water on or around a runway or taxiway.
    • Other weather hazards: parked aircraft, presence of birds, irregular operation of the airport's lighting system, etc.
  • Information on variations in the operational status of the visual or non-visual aids essential for controlling traffic at the airport.
  • Information regarding radio tracking or radiogoniometrics, if this equipment is available and required by the competent ATS authority.
  • Messages, including authorisation messages received from other ATS services for retransmission to the aircraft.

As for the information provided for the movement of anything other than aircraft, all personnel, including the drivers of vehicles, will request flight information at the aerodrome before entering the manoeuvring area and before making any proposed changes to operations inside the manoeuvring area of which AFIS is already aware.