Where can I find the ATIS code and frequency for an airport through a VFR chart? For example, in the case of Frankfort airport (in the attached image), I can see the AWOS frequency but I am unable to locate the ATIS code and frequency.

enter image description here

Actually, Im try to fill a VFR navigation log at am unable to find the information to be filled in the Airport and ATIS advisory section. My departure airport is FKR. enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Who says it has an ATIS? $\endgroup$ – GdD Oct 3 '20 at 12:13
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD, if I look at the airport information using sky vector, I can see the ATIS frequency (127.75) for this airport but I do not know about the ATIS code. $\endgroup$ – yash Oct 3 '20 at 12:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @yash - Just FYI. FKR does not have an official ATIS. It has an AWOS-3 at 124.325 MHz. The frequency you listed is for the nearby LAF ATIS at 125.75 MHz. You can use the LAF ATIS as a substitute in VFR flight when the FKR AWOS-3 is inoperative. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Oct 3 '20 at 13:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @yash - For IFR flight, you would substitute the TYQ AWOS-3 120.725 MHz for the FKR AWOS-3. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Oct 3 '20 at 13:46
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think you understand what an ATIS code is. It's not something you can fill in before the flight. $\endgroup$ – expeditedescent Oct 3 '20 at 19:14

The frequency for and class of the ATIS is on the VFR Sectional Chart right where you have indicated. It will also be listed in the US Chart Supplement under Weather Data Sources. The ATIS Code will never be listed as it is a function of the ATIS itself. And, it changes over time.

The left side of that section of your VFR Navigation Log is meant to be filled out shortly before takeoff. The right side of that section of your VFR Navigation Log is meant to be filled out shortly before arrival. It is helpful to have the information beforehand in your preflight planning in order to make a go/no-go decision. But, it’s primary purpose is to inform the pilot of current takeoff conditions at the time of departure and arrival. At a controlled airfield, you will be required to confirm you have the most current ATIS information by relaying the ATIS Code to ATC. That ATIS code is acquired either by listening to the ATIS over the ATIS frequency, over your cell phone at the phone number given in the US Chart Supplement, or electronically. The ATIS Code changes each time the information on the ATIS is updated. For a Class D, E, or G airport, in most cases, that is once every hour around the 45-55 minute mark. It can be more frequent for a more advanced, automated digital, non-automated, or human recorded ATIS at a Class B, C or large D airfield.

By the way, many air traffic controllers I have talked to have said that they must hear the ATIS Code either at the beginning, right after your tail number, or at the end, as the last piece of information of your initial transmission/radio call. But, I do not have any citations or references for this. Maybe another poster can provide one.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The convention is to add “with [code]” to the end of your initial contact, but ATC doesn’t really care where or how you say the code as long as it’s correct. If you don’t say it and then have an accident, they can lose their jobs even if the weather wasn’t a factor. $\endgroup$ – StephenS Oct 3 '20 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenS - That’s the convention. Is there a rule for ATC? This comes from an FBO coffee counter debate. Some pilots say the weather info right after their tail number. Some say it whenever. The local controllers will always give the weather over the radio to any pilot who did not say the weather info at the end of their initial contact. They do not usually do the same for pilots who say it right after their tail number. The controllers stated that it was a rule they had to follow if they did not hear it at the end of the initial call. Bul they were flexible for hearing it at the start. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Oct 3 '20 at 14:12
  • $\begingroup$ They just have to hear it. But an initial contact contains a lot of information they have to write down, and they’re human, so they sometimes miss pieces, especially if it’s not in the order they’re used to. If they aren’t 100% sure they heard it, they’re going to ask (or just tell you the weather, if no ATIS) rather than risk their jobs. $\endgroup$ – StephenS Oct 3 '20 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenS - That was the point of the debate. My CFI taught to always say it anywhere you can. Other CFIs said to always say it after the tail number, before giving any other info. My personal SOP is to say it after the tail number because I like to do the most tedious or most forgotten/forgettable tasks first as GP. The controllers said that they had a rule to hear it last or read it back. But, they let those who said it first slide. But, is there an actual rule on where it should be placed. One can not be found in the FAR/AIM that I can find. Maybe in the controllers bible. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Oct 3 '20 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ I always say it at the end out of habit, but I’ve never seen a rule on either side. $\endgroup$ – StephenS Oct 3 '20 at 14:49

According to the AIM 4-1-13:

The Chart Supplement U.S. indicates airports for which ATIS is provided.

So that's the official FAA answer: look in the Chart Supplement. But, a good shortcut is that ATIS is usually available only at towered airports (there are some special cases mentioned in the AIM, like ATIS broadcast over a NAVAID, although it's still for a specific airport). The frequencies for towered airports are listed on the side of the VFR sectional:

enter image description here

So, looking at the edge of the sectional will give you a quick way to see airports where ATIS is available. That may not list 100% of the ATIS frequencies, but I suspect it's pretty close and certainly good enough for cross country planning.


I see no evidence that FKR/KFKR has an ATIS system, and I can’t recall ever seeing a non-towered airport that does. Even some towered airports don’t have ATIS.

As the sectional chart indicates, it does have AWOS. This is an automated system that reads the latest weather in a continuous loop, rather than an hourly recording or script by a human.

When you are departing or arriving at an airport with ATIS, you have to tell ATC that you have “information [code]” so they know you have the latest ATIS recording.

When departing or arriving at an airport with just ASOS/AWOS, you just listen to it and, if talking to ATC, advise them you have “the weather”. There is no code.

Note that if a tower is closed, its ATIS system will revert to ASOS/AWOS just like a non-towered field.

  • $\begingroup$ Ha ha. I just posted a correction to the OP at the same time that you posted this answer. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Oct 3 '20 at 13:39

As others have pointed out, you seem to be mistaken as to what an ATIS is and the difference between an ATIS and an ASOS/AWOS.

An AWOS is an Automated Weather Observing System:

Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) units are operated and controlled by the Federal Aviation Administration. These systems are among the oldest automated weather stations and predate ASOS. They generally report at 20-minute intervals and do not report special observations for rapidly changing weather conditions.

An ASOS is an Automated Surface Observing System:

Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) units are automated sensor suites that are designed to serve meteorological and aviation observing needs. There are currently more than 900 ASOS sites in the United States. These systems generally report at hourly intervals, but also report special observations if weather conditions change rapidly and cross aviation operation thresholds.

The AWOS or ASOS will be connected to a system for "long line" dissemination (transmittal to the Internet or to ATC's flight data system) and will also be accessible to pilots locally (a computer-generated voice will read off the information over an air band frequency or over a telephone line).

Notice that both AWOS and and ASOS are observing systems. In contrast, ATIS stands for Automatic Terminal Information Service:

The continuous broadcast of recorded noncontrol information in selected terminal areas. Its purpose is to improve controller effectiveness and to relieve frequency congestion by automating the repetitive transmission of essential but routine information.

The ATIS is a broadcast of information relevant to operation at a towered airport. Of course it includes the current weather, which is actually derived from an AWOS or ASOS but is "backed up" by a human observer. But it also includes things like:

  • The instrument approach(es) and landing runway(s) in use
  • The departing runway(s) in use, if different from landing runway(s)
  • Airborne hazard advisories: MANPADS threat, laser illumination, low-level wind shear, available hazardous weather products, bird activity
  • Surface hazard advisories: shortened runway, runway condition codes, taxiway closures, construction work, snow removal operations
  • Other pertinent information: LAHSO in use, VFR frequencies or procedures, (non-)availability of pattern work or practice approaches, etc

Whenever any information contained in the ATIS changes, not just the weather, a new ATIS codeword is used to ensure pilots have the latest and greatest. If the only thing broadcast is the weather, a timestamp of when the observation was made is sufficient to identify what "the latest" is, which is why an AWOS/ASOS broadcast will not have a phonetic code for you to copy down. But with a general information service things besides the weather could change, meaning you can't rely on the weather observation timestamp.

As to Dean F.'s question about when ATC needs to hear the codeword: There is no rule about "at the beginning of the transmission" or "just after your tail number" or anything else. The only rule is that we have to hear you say you have the correct codeword, or we have to give you all the pertinent information. But there's a lot for us to write down and/or type in when you first call, especially if you aren't receiving radar services yet, so please forgive us if we ask you to confirm.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.