In regards to air traffic control, FAA Order 7110.65 is the standard for policy and procedure in the USA. Do other countries use this also?

Is there an 'international standard' for air traffic control? If so, are there any notable differences between that and the service provided by U.S. FAA?

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    $\begingroup$ The way the question is rephrased is an improvement, but it is still too broad. You can't simply divide the world into the US and the rest. ICAO has 191 member states, each has their own particular differences from the ICAO SARPs (Standards and Recommended Practices). Maybe we can try an find out how the US procedures differ from the ICAO ones. But keep in mind that other countries deviate from the ICAO SARPS as well. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Feb 4, 2015 at 8:09
  • $\begingroup$ The answer to how it is worded now would be that the base principles are the same, but different countries have different quirks (such as the US using "cleared to land number 3" but not "behind the inbound 737 line up and wait behind). There's scope for someone to explain the Chinese airspace system and that they use metres for altitude instead of feet, etc. It's still a wide question but it could be at least somewhat answered as is. $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Feb 4, 2015 at 12:04

3 Answers 3


ICAO Annex 11 "Air Traffic Services" is probably the top document. Implementations in national law might vary.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! This is good information, but a link to the ICAO annex and/or some more details about the content would help to make this a more useful answer. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Feb 8, 2015 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ I think the ICAO docs are behind a paywall $\endgroup$
    – rbp
    Feb 9, 2015 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ Many standards (norms) are only available at a cost. ICAO Annex 11 is one of them. USD 76.00 at [link] techstreet.com/products/1782988 $\endgroup$
    – user7241
    Feb 9, 2015 at 18:07

Every country in the world generally operates from their own manuals. The International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, also has a standard that it recommends, and many countries have copied. From what I've been told, back when ICAO started up, they basically copied for their manuals, what the FAA had and used at the time. Over the years, the two have diverged in their designs.

There is no official/major standard, but most countries hold towards the ICAO recommendations, at least in general form. ATC's main purpose is the safe, orderly and expeditious movement of aircraft.


The FAA and EUROCONTROL jointly published a document in 2013 that provides a comparison of air traffic management starting in section 2.

Most differences have to do with the fact that the EU is comprised of multiple countries, while in the US, the FAA has full authority.


The US system is operated by one single service provider using the same tools and equipment, communication processes and a common set of rules and procedures ... [while] the European system is much more fragmented and ANSPs are still largely organised by State boundaries.

Route/airspace management (including special use airspace):

[T]he Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for airspace management and route design[;] in the amalgamated European ATM system, airspace design remains the prerogative of the individual States.

Direct link


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