ATC Communication Procedures
for Local Towers and Phoenix TRACON

Revision: 1
Effective Date: 11-21-2002

Purpose and Scope
The purpose of this document is to establish a consensus as well as to further standardize radio communication procedures between Air Traffic Controllers and pilots when arriving and departing airports within and surrounding the greater Phoenix area. This document does not replace or supersede any Federal Aviation Regulations or information described in the Aeronautical Information Manual. The following document was compiled from information gathered from procedures and opinions of Control Towers around the Phoenix area as well as the Phoenix TRACON.  The information contained herein is considered a “living document” and is subject to revisions as necessary. 


Initial Contact:
When aircraft initially contact Air Traffic Control Towers, they will state, in one transmission: 
1. Who they are addressing
2. The aircraft's full call sign
3. Position in reference to the airport (or published reporting point)
4. Their request
5. ATIS information they have received
Non-established reporting points are not to be used when arriving to an airport traffic area. Use the compass rose position and nautical mileage distance in reference to the airport. Example: “Scottsdale Tower, Cessna 1234R, 7 miles northwest, touch and go’s with Alpha.”

When aircraft initially contact the Phoenix TRACON, they will state, in one transmission:
1. Who they are addressing
2. The aircraft's full call sign
3. Position in reference to a radial and DME or a prominent landmark
4. Abbreviated request
Example: “Phoenix Approach, Cessna 1234R, 7 east of Gateway Airport, multiple approaches.”

Radio Communications Transfer
When an aircraft is transferred from Phoenix TRACON to a local Tower or vice versa, that aircraft will treat the radio transmission as though it is an initial contact and use the phraseology as described above. 

Notes Pertaining to the Area
When performing multiple practice instrument approaches, it is important to inform both Phoenix Approach and the local tower facility by stating the fact that the pilot is requesting to do more than land at the airport.  Informing the approach controller and tower controller of the pilot's intentions “paves-the-way” for future needs.

Some Air Traffic Control Towers have a “BRITE” in the tower cab which allows that VFR tower controller to see radar images further than the eye can see. However, this is for informational purposes only and is not to be used for controlling purposes. Traffic advisories may be issued to pilots to enhance safety. The pilot-in-command is still responsible for giving all pertinent information listed above when making an initial call to the tower. 

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DISCLAIMER: All information on this website is provided as "recommended procedures" and should be utilized as such. The Arizona Flight Training Workgroup (AFTW) members (collectively or individually) and the owner/manager of this website will not be held liable for any accident, incident, pilot deviation, or any other damages that may occur as a result of following the recommendations found within this site. Per FAA regulations, the Pilot In Command (PIC) has final and complete responsibility in these matters.