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Section 16 Observing of Air Carrier Operations From Air Traffic Control Facilities (PTRS Code 1845)

6-527    OBJECTIVE. Operations inspectors are encouraged to observe air carrier operations from air traffic control (ATC) facilities. The purpose of these observations is to ensure that operators comply with ATC procedures.

NOTE:  Inspectors are not authorized to conduct inspections of ATC facilities. Inspectors may, however, comment on their observations of these facilities and related ATC procedures through the Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS).

6-528    GENERAL. This section contains guidance to be used by aviation safety inspectors (ASIs) on the observation of air carrier operations at air traffic service facilities. The workload in control towers, terminal instrument flight rules (IFR) rooms, and air route traffic control centers is especially demanding during instrument weather conditions and peak operational periods. Inspectors should be careful to avoid distracting controllers from the performance of their duties.

A.    Coordination. The inspector should contact the air traffic facility to coordinate the observation.

B.    Observation. Inspectors are encouraged to observe operations during IFR weather conditions and during peak operating periods. Inspectors should observe and note the following performance elements:

    Aircraft and ground vehicle compliance with ground operating procedures

    Pilot adherence to approach and departure procedures, ATC instructions, and weather minimums

    Reasons for any missed approaches

    Effectiveness of airport visual aids: lights, signs and markings for ramps, taxiways, and runways

    Effectiveness and dissemination of weather reports

    Effectiveness of reports on the conditions affecting airport operations

    Problems observed by ATC personnel

6-529    PTRS INPUT. Inspectors should record the activity by using code 1845. In addition, any observed discrepancies should be included in the comment section.

NOTE:  The information contained in this report will not necessarily download to the appropriate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) office by an alternate method (such as by telephone or letter).

RESERVED. Paragraphs 6-530 through 6-544.