According to Section 2-9-1-a of the FAA's Air Traffic Organization Policy, a phonetic letter is assigned to each tower-issued ATIS update.

This information is available on the ATIS VHF frequency for an airport, or via a phone call to a designated ATIS number for the airport.

There is a passing reference on the Wikipedia page to ATIS being available electronically via a service named "D-ATIS", although I've never heard of this.

I'd love to be able to view this information electronically, rather than having to get my VHF handheld, or the plane's radio going and tune it in before flight. The voice system is frequently engaged. If it was available via the internet, it'd be super-easy to access.

Is there a means accessing the ATIS - including the identifier - for a given airport in electronic form via the internet? If so, how?

NOTE: I know it's possible to get METAR reports, but they are typically automatically generated, not manually adjusted by the tower (as ATIS sometimes is), and don't include the phonetic letter designation issued by the tower and required for initial tower contact.


The short and general answer is: No.

The ATIS is only a VHF recording, but even when recorded digitally, it is not available in a text-base form in many cases which would allow being made public on the internet. In the case of D-ATIS, the information can only be obtained using ACARS, other systems such as CPDLC require special equipment.

With modern technology and communication, some airports have started to use Twitter to broadcast ATIS, however they should not be used for flight purposes, but are only for entertainment.

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(Image Source: Twitter - Account: @yssyatis)

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ What kind of people would read ATIS only for entertainment? ... Ah, don't answer that. :) $\endgroup$ – Farhan Mar 25 '15 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ Given that this is from AirServices Australia, I'm surprised that there's not a fee charged to access this. $\endgroup$ – CJBS Mar 25 '15 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ I don't believe that Twitter account is anything official from the airport. I think someone has just created an automatic update system using the Airservices Australia data (see my answer for more information on that). $\endgroup$ – Ben Mar 26 '15 at 4:35

In Australia the full ATIS and identifier is available on the internet in text form (along with all the weather and NOTAMs) - but it is only available to pilots. The information is provided by Airservices Australia (which is basically our government-owned version of NATS) through their online service called NAIPS. NAIPS is free but to register you need an Aviation Reference Number issued by CASA, which are only available to pilots or engineers or other important people.

To illustrate, here is the ATIS from Sydney (YSSY) from a bit earlier today, they were using identifier K:

ATIS YSSY K   260229
  WIND: 260/12
        XW MAX 12
        DW MAX 3
+ VIS:
+ CLD:
  TMP: 27
+ QNH: 1015
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ How is it "only available to pilots"? Via a subscription service? $\endgroup$ – CJBS Mar 25 '15 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ I have edited my answer which hopefully answers yours! $\endgroup$ – Ben Mar 26 '15 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ yes; thanks. Is this available at all airports where ATIS is used? $\endgroup$ – CJBS Mar 26 '15 at 4:58
  • $\begingroup$ Actually it's not, and I'm not completely sure why. I have personally flown into two airports with ATIS - YSBK (Bankstown) and YSCB (Canberra). YSBK ATIS is not available on NAIPS but YSCB is. YSBK is a large general aviation airport but YSCB is mostly RPT passenger planes. Also the YSBK ATIS is recorded by a real person but YSCB is a robot voice. Those must be the reasons why. Also I just checked a few international airports and I can get the TAF and METAR but not ATIS. $\endgroup$ – Ben Mar 26 '15 at 8:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Ben I wonder if the airports that show up are ones that have D-ATIS for planes with that capability? I'd expect Sidney & Canberra to have that capability because they have major/international airline traffic, but it looks like Bankstown doesn't have that sort of airline service so it probably wouldn't have D-ATIS equipment... $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Mar 26 '15 at 17:00

I dont know of a site that has it for every airport but this site has lots of live streaming ATC. It seems they have ATIS for some airports (I found it for JFK) but chances are they will only have it for the big airports however depending on where you fly out of you may get lucky. Again this is the actual audio feed so you will still need to listen to it.

  • $\begingroup$ I've known about the LiveATC, but you're right that there's at least one airport's ATIS stream available - and via the internet. $\endgroup$ – CJBS Mar 25 '15 at 15:50

In the US ATIS information isn't available on the internet. The tapes (or an equivalent written record) are retained like any other ATC communication though (3-4-2 item "k") and are available via FOIA requests if you have a pressing need for them.

If all you're interested in is the weather most airports that are large enough to warrant an ATIS broadcast are also large enough to have a weather station reporting METARs, which means you can use one of the many available METAR archive search websites (or if you prefer you can dig around on the NOAA website - I used to know the URL for the archive but it's apparently been moved).

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I mentioned that I know I can get METAR information online, but I'm looking for a combined way of getting weather and the designator letter to report to ATC before initial contact. $\endgroup$ – CJBS Mar 25 '15 at 15:46
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    $\begingroup$ @CJBS The only way to get the ATIS identifier (for any kind of timely purpose like use in flight) is over the radio. The ATIS identifier doesn't always have a logical correspondence to METAR data. For example if an airport is closed due to an incident they may update the ATIS, but may not generate a METAR or SPECI weather report because the weather wouldn't have changed. (There are services which offer transcriptions of the D-ATIS data, but none I'm aware of are free & D-ATIS doesn't cover every airport with voice ATIS.) $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Mar 25 '15 at 15:54
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    $\begingroup$ @voretaq7 There are exceptions to every rule: EDLW 260620Z 23004KT 9000 BKN013 04/02 Q1008 RMK ATIS E $\endgroup$ – SentryRaven Mar 26 '15 at 6:38
  • $\begingroup$ @SentryRaven Yes, if the tower enters the ATIS letter in the automated observation remarks that would helpfully provide it to anyone reviewing the METAR :) (It would be really nice if towers did this in the US for those of us with ADS-B receivers - a poor pilot's D-ATIS - but I don't think I've ever seen a US METAR with the ATIS identifier tacked on to the end :-/) $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Mar 26 '15 at 16:54

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