Flight Information Service

Flight Information Service

A Flight Information Service (FIS) is a basic form of Air Traffic Control service which is available to any aircraft within a Flight Information Region (FIR), as agreed internationally by ICAO.

It is defined as information pertinent to the safe and efficient conduct of flight, and includes information on other potentially conflicting traffic, possibly derived from radar, but stopping short of providing positive separation from that traffic.

Flight Information also includes:
*Meteorological information
*Information on aerodromes
*Information on possible hazards to flight

An FIS shall be provided to all aircraft which are provided with any ATC service or are otherwise known to Air Traffic Service units. All Air Traffic Service units will provide an FIS to any aircraft, in addition to their other tasks.

Dedicated Flight Information frequencies

Any particular FIR will often have one or more dedicated FIS frequencies where aircraft can make first contact for information. The quality of the information that such frequencies can give is tempered by the large geographical area that they cover, and in some more sparsely-populated FIRs the freqencies are often not staffed. An FIS might suggest that aircraft contact a more suitable frequency, e.g. a local airport's radar unit, should that unit be in a position to provide a better service. These units often use the callsign suffix "Information".

In some countries, including the US, an FIS is provided by units known as Flight Service Stations (FSS).

Aerodrome Flight Information Service

In some countries, an Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFIS) is provided at airfields where, despite not being busy enough for full Air Traffic Control, the traffic is such that some form of service is necessary. It can be seen as a half-way house between an uncontrolled and controlled airfield: as a part of the FIS, the AFIS provides pilots of aircraft with details of other known traffic taking off, landing and flying in the vicinity of the airfield.

In the UK this service is provided by a licensed Aerodrome Flight Information Safety Officer (AFISO), using the callsign suffix "Information". The authority of an AFISO resembles a fully-qualified controller for aircraft taxiing, but only extends to the provision of an FIS to aircraft landing, taking-off or in flight.

External links

* [http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP493PART1.PDF UK CAP493 Manual of Air Traffic Services Part 1]

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