by Jonathan M. Stern
Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS)
Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) is an audio recording of noncontrol information, including the most recent weather report for the airport, the runways and instrument approaches in use, and any other pertinent information. The purpose of ATIS is to reduce controller workload and radio frequency congestion. ATIS recordings are changed every hour or more frequently if conditions change to a significant degree. ATIS is broadcast from an endless loop recording that continues to play on Flight Simulator, as it does in real situations, until the radio frequency is changed. Each ATIS recording is identified by a letter of the phonetic alphabet (such as Information Hotel). That letter is then given to a controller to indicate that the pilot has received the most current information.
Example: "Washington National Airport Information Hotel, Time one two five seven zulu. Weather, one thousand two hundred scattered, two thousand broken. Visibility one two. Temperature five seven, dew point five two. Altimeter two niner niner four. Wind three three zero at five. Landing and departing runways three, three six, and three three. ILS runway 36 approach in use. Advise controller on initial contact that you have Hotel."