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Nowadays, ATC provides radar services to pilots, such as: vectors and surveillance, however, depending on the radar status, it can be out of service; on initial call the controller will inform the pilots about this issue, please, what's the right way to say this, using standard phraseology?

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    $\begingroup$ Please add a jurisdiction, as some countries (especially the UK and the USA) handle this quite differently from most of the world $\endgroup$ – expeditedescent Dec 15 '20 at 7:06
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Without checking the Controller's Handbook, what I hear most often are two things:

a. Standby and remain clear of class [b, c] airspace, for VFR operations. b. (surveillance) radar services not available, squawk xxxx, report yyyy c. Radar out of service, N1234, radar service terminated.

An example of b was when going to an airport near DCA, radar was out of service. The controller handled my flight but relied on talking with a controller from Baltimore. This was a few years ago, and I now understand that the remote radar can be transmitted to other controllers taking a remote controller out of the loop.

The ATC Handbook is FAA JO 7110.65W, https://www.faa.gov/documentlibrary/media/order/atc.pdf

Radar can be limited due to equipment outages, and also the display available to the controller. For example tower displays are for orientation and not certified for separation and other services.

The order states that controllers may advise that: PRIMARY RADAR UNAVAILABLE (location) or RADAR SERVICES AVAILABLE ON TRANSPONDER EQUIPPED AIRCRAFT ONLY

Since there are many conditions for radar not being available and since an aircraft can be in various states (VFR/IFR, approach, visual approach, etc.) it would be best to consult the Order for the recommended phraseology. It is noteworthy that CONUS radar coverage has improved since the Order, and as a result there is often backup coverage for many locations which could influence services which can be offered.

Finally, operationally ATC still has local and regional variations, which may influence the options and corresponding phraseology utilized.

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if it’s a terminal radar then the ATIS would state that the airfield is operating procedurally. If it’s an enroute radar then the controller would probably tell you when you first called by stating that they’re operating either ‘surveillance only’ (IFF) or ‘procedural control’ if both are out. They’d then ask you for estimates for various fixes. A lot of places which don’t have radar coverage full stop don’t bother telling you and just ask for estimates so it’s implied there no radar.

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  • $\begingroup$ Special thanks for your answer. $\endgroup$ – eduardoguilherme Dec 15 '20 at 16:56
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In many parts of the world, "radar service not available."

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The controller would probably just say something simple like “radar is out of service”.

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