The following document is an excerpt from FAA Order 7210.3P, Facilities Operations and Administration Handbook, Feb. 26, 1998 (issued by Air Traffic Operations, ATO-100). Material in brackets is explanatory and not in the original FAA document.


Section 3. LETTERS OF AGREEMENT (LOA)

4-3-1. LETTERS OF AGREEMENT

a. AT [air traffic] managers shall negotiate a LOA when operational/procedural needs require the cooperation and concurrence of other persons/facilities/organizations. A LOA shall be prepared when it is necessary to:

b. Supplement established operational/ procedural instructions.

c. Define responsibilities and coordination requirements.

d. Establish or standardize operating methods.

e. Specify special operating conditions or specific air traffic control procedures.

f. Delegate responsibility for ATC service; e.g., approach control service, control boundary jurisdiction, and procedures for coordinating and controlling aircraft where two or more airports have conflicting traffic patterns or overlapping conflicting traffic patterns.

g. Establish responsibilities for:

1. Operating airport equipment.

2. Providing emergency services.

3. Exchanging braking action reports with the airport management. As a minimum, procedures shall provide for the prompt exchange of reports which indicate runway braking conditions have deteriorated to " poor " or "nil" or have improved to "good".

4. Reporting operating limitations and hazards. h. Describe procedures that supplement those contained in FAA Order 7110.65 [Air Traffic Control] or FAA Order 7110.10 [Flight Services] to satisfy a requirement of a military service.

REFERENCE-
FAA Order 7110.65, Para 1-1-9, Constraints Governing Supplements and Procedural Deviations.

i. Define stereotyped flight plans used for special operations, such as training flights or flight test activities.

j. Describe airspace areas required to segregate special operations.

k. Establish aircraft radiotelephony call signs to be used by the tower and the local operators.

l. Define the responsibilities of the tower and the airport management or other authority for movement and nonmovement areas by precisely delineating the loading ramps and parking areas under the jurisdiction of the airport management or other appropriate authority. Facility AT managers may, at their discretion, exclude from the movement area those portions of the airport surface normally designated movement areas that are not visible from the tower. Consideration shall be given to the impact this may have on the movement of ground traffic. The agreement may include the following:

1. Airport management or other appropriate authority shall require, by agreement or regulation, all ground vehicles and equipment operators and personnel to obtain tower approval prior to entry onto the airport movement area and comply with control instructions issued to them while on that area. This includes those vehicles used to conduct pushback operations and shall require approval prior to moving aircraft/vehicles out of the loading ramps or parking areas onto the movement area.

2. AIrport management or other appropriate authority may also require those aircraft which will not infringe upon the movement area but will impede ingress and egress to the parking area to contact the tower for advisories prior to conducting pushback operations. State that information related to aircraft movement on the loading ramps or parking areas is advisory in nature and does not imply control responsibility.

3. At those airports where vehicles not equipped with two-way radio are permitted by the airport management or other appropriate authority to enter or cross the defined movement area at specific locations without approval from the tower, enter into an LOA with the airport management, or other appropriate authority, specifying the conditions for such operations and include the clause as follows: "The airport owner/operator covenants and expressly agrees that with regard to any liability which may arise from the operation within (area/areas), that party shall be solely and exclusively liable for the negligence of its own agents, servants, and/or employees, in accordance with applicable law, and that neither party looks to the other to save or hold it harmless for the consequences of any negligence on the part of one of its own agents, servants, and/or employees."


4-3-2. APPROPRIATE SUBJECTS

Examples of subjects of LOA's are:

a. Between ARTCC's [regional traffic control centers]:

1. Radar handoff procedures.

2. Interfacility coordination procedures.

3. Delegation of responsibility for IFR [instrument flight] control jurisdiction.

b. Between ATCT's [airport traffic control towers]:

1. Tower en route control service.

2. Interfacility coordination procedures.

c. Between AFSS's/FSS's [flight service stations]: When NAVAIDs [visual or electronic devices in the aircraft or on the ground] in one AFSS/FSS facility's area are monitored by another FSS.

REFERENCE -
Para 3-5-1, Navaid Monitoring.
FAA Order 7930.2, Para 4-2-2, NOTAM Accountability, and para 4-2-3, NOTAM for NAVAID in Different FSS Flight Plan Area.

d. Between an ARTCC and an ATCT:

1. Approach control service.

2. Interfacility coordination procedures.

3. Tower/center en route control service.

e. Between an ARTCC and an AFSS/FSS: Define areas of security responsibility. (See para 2-5-5, Facility Security.)

f. Between an ATCT and an AFSS/FSS: Operation of airport lighting.

g. Between an ARTCC or an approach control facility and a non-approach control tower, an AFSS/FSS, an airport manager, or a local operator: Special VFR Operations. (See FIG 4-3-1.)

h. Between an ARTCC or an approach control facility and a non-approach control tower:

1. Authorization for separation services.

2. Interfacility coordination procedures.

i. Between an ARTCC and another government agency:

1. Interfacility coordination for control of ADC [Aerospace Defense Command] aircraft.

2. Delegation of responsibility for approach control services.

3. MTR [military training route] procedures.

j. Between a tower and another government agency:

1. Simulated flameout procedures.

2. Control of helicopter SVFR flights.

3. Operation of aircraft-arresting barriers.

k. Between a tower and/or AFSS/FSS and an airport manager/ aircraft operator at airports upon which the tower and/or AFSS/FSS is located:

1. Airport emergency service.

2. Operation of airport lighting.

3. Reporting airport conditions.

4. Control of vehicular traffic on airport movement areas.

5. Operations under an exemption from Part 91, Appendix D, Section 3, the surface area of Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E airspace within which Special VFR weather minimums are not authorized.


4-3-3. DEVELOPING LOA

AT managers shall take the following action when developing a LOA: (See FIG 4-3-1 and FIG 4-3-2.)

a. Determine, through coordination, which FAA facility is principally responsible for processing the LOA.

b. Confine the material in each agreement to a single subject or purpose.

c. Describe the responsibilities and procedures applicable to each facility and organization involved.

d. Delegate responsibility for control of IFR [instrument flight] aircraft, where necessary, by taking the following action:

1. Describe the area within which responsibility is delegated. The area may be depicted in chart form.

2. Define the conditions governing use of the area. These include altitudes, routing configuration, and limitations or exceptions to the use of the applicable airspace.

3. Specify the details of control procedures to be used. These include clearance limits, reporting points, handoff points, and release points.

4. Identify clearance limits designated as Instrument Approach Fixes when they are to be used for holding aircraft.

5. Specify communications and coordination procedures.

e. Coordinate with other FAA facilities and military or civil organizations as appropriate.

f. Attach charts or other visual presentations, when appropriate, to depict the conditions of the LOA.

g. Coordinate with the FIFO if aircraft operations or pilot procedures will be affected.

h. Prepare a single supplement, if necessary, to augment the letter at a facility and attach it to the basic LOA. Do not repeat material from the basic LOA.

i. After coordination, send two copies of the proposed LOA, including supplements, to the ATD for approval if required.


4-3-4. REVIEW BY REGIONAL OFFICE

a. The ATD shall review the proposed LOA, ensure coordination with other interested divisions and affected user groups, as necessary, and approve the LOA if satisfactory.

b. The ATD may, in writing, delegate to AT managers, AT managers designees, ATREP's, or Region Air Defense Liaison Officer (RADLO's) the authority to develop, coordinate, approve, and implement LOA's except for:

1. Those which prescribe procedures or minima contrary to those contained in FAA Order 7110.65, Air Traffic Control, unless appropriate military authority has authorized application of reduced separation between military aircraft; or

2. Those between an IFR facility and a tower to authorize the separation services prescribed in FAA Order 7210.3 para 2-1-14, Authorization for Separation Services by Towers, and FAA Order 7210.3 para 11-5-3, Functional Use of Tower Radar Displays.


4-3-5. APPROVAL

Upon receipt of ATD approval, the AT manager shall:

a. Prepare the LOA in final form incorporating the ATD guidance.

b. Establish an effective date, acceptable to all parties involved, that permits sufficient time for distribution and for participating facilities and user groups to familiarize personnel, revise directives, flight charts, etc., and complete other actions.

c. Sign the LOA and obtain signatures of other authorities required.

d. Distribute copies of the signed LOA to each participating facility or organization, the ATD, and other interested offices. Forward one copy to ATO-200 if the LOA requires routine application of separation standards in excess of the minima provided for in FAA Order 7110.65, Air Traffic Control. Distribution of supplements outside the facility is not required.


4-3-6. REVISIONS

a. Process revisions to LOA's and attachments or supplements thereto as page replacements. Mark the revisions as follows:

1. Place an asterisk or vertical line to the left of each new or revised paragraph or section to signify new material.

2. Identify page revisions by the "REV" number, e.g., "REV 1," and the effective date in the lower right hand corner of each revised page.

b. Coordinate revisions to an LOA in the same manner and degree as for the original LOA.


4-3-7. CANCELLATION

Review letters of agreement frequently to ensure timeliness and conformance with current policy. Cancel any agreement which is no longer applicable, and notify the affected groups. Coordinate with the signatories and the ATD if cancellation is necessary.


Fig. 4-3-1 Format for a Control Facility/AFSS/FSS Letter of Agreement

(Name) Center/Approach Control and (Name) AFSS/FSS

LETTER OF AGREEMENT

EFFECTIVE:_________________________________________________

SUBJECT: Special VFR Operations within (Name) Airport Surface Area

1. PURPOSE: To provide operating procedures for Special VFR flight handling in the (name) surface area without individual coordination.

2. SCOPE: The procedures outlined herein are for use in the conduct of Special VFR operations within the (name) Airport surface area at or below _____ feet. These procedures are applicable only to aircraft equipped with functioning 2-way radio in order to effect a recall when required by traffic or weather conditions.

3. RESPONSIBILITIES: Upon request by the (name) AFSS/FSS, the Center/Approach Control Facility may authorize Special VFR operations in the (name) Airport surface area for specific periods of time. The Center/Approach Control Facility shall retain the authority to withdraw the provisions of this agreement at any time.

4.PROCEDURES:

a. Local Special VFR operations. The (name) AFSS/FSS shall not authorize more than one aircraft to operate simultaneously in the surface area unless pilots agree that they will maintain visual separation with other aircraft operating in the surface area.

b. IFR Arrivals and Departures. Special VFR operations shall be controlled by the (name) Center/Approach Control during the following periods:

(1) From 10 minutes prior to thc estimated time of arrival of an IFR aircraft over the approach fix until it is on the ground (IFR arrivals shall not be cleared for an approach until the AFSS/FSS confirms that there are no Special VFR operations in progress.)

(2) From 10 minutes prior to the estimated time of departure of an IFR aircraft until it departs the surface area.

c. Special VFR Arrivals and Departures:
(1) The (name) AFSS/FSS may authorize aircraft to enter, depart, or fly through the surface area when no Special VFR operations are in progress. Authorization shall be granted as outlined in 4a.

(2) Aircraft desiring to enter the surface area during times Special VFR operations are in progress shall be instructed to maintain VFR conditions outside the surface area pending recall and landing of aircraft operating in the surface area.

d. Predesigned clearance phraseologies. To authorize Special VFR operations or to issue instructions or other messages pertinent thereto, the (name) AFSS/FSS shall use the following phraseology:
(1) To authorize operations:
A-T-C CLEARS (identification) TO ENTER/OUT OF/THROUGH (name) SURFACE AREA. MAINTAIN SPECIAL VFR CONDITIONS AT OR BELOW (altitude). REPORT LANDING COMPLETED/LEAVING SURFACE AREA,
or
A-T-C CLEARS (identification) TO OPERATE WITHIN (name) SURFACE AREA. MAINTAIN SPECIAL VFR CONDITIONS AT OR BELOW (altitude).

(2) To deny operations when visibility is less than one mile:
VISIBILITY (value) A-T-C UNABLE TO ISSUE DEPARTURE/ENTRY CLEARANCE.

(3) To suspend operations:
SPECIAL VFR AUTHORIZATION DISCONTINUED. RETURN TO AIRPORT OR DEPART SURFACE AREA. ADVISE INTENTIONS .......... (after response), REPORT LANDING COMPLETED/LEAVING SURFACE AREA.

(4) To advise an aircraft to remain outside the surface area:
A-T-C ADVISES (identification) TO MAINTAIN VFR OUTSIDE THE (name) SURFACE AREA PENDING ARRIVAL/RECALL/DEPARTURE OF SPECIAL VFR AIRCRAFT.


__________________________________________________
Air Traffic Manager, (Name) AFSS/FSS

__________________________________________________
Air Traffic Manager, (Name) ARTCC/Approach Control


Fig. 4-3-2 Format for an ARTCC/Air Division Letter of Agreement

(Name) Air Route Control Center and (Name) Air Division

LETTER OF AGREEMENT

EFFECTIVE: __________________________

SUBJECT: Inter-Facility Coordination for the Control of Aerospace Defense Command Interceptor Aircraft

1. PURPOSE: (List responsibility and describe necessary coordination.)

2. CANCELLATION: (As required.)

3. SCOPE: (Specify area, names, and types of facilities involved.)

4. RESPONSIBILITIES: (Specify.)

5. PROCEDURES:

a. ATC Assigned Airspace. (List procedures to be followed for requesting and authorizing airspace, handling aircraft to and from the airspace, and notifying when no longer required.)

b. Transfer of Control. (Specify transfer procedures.)

c. Departure. (Specify required advanced time for filing flight plans. Outline additional items required in the flight plan; e.g., type of departure, CONAD control facility, and IND position number.)

d. En Route. (including information that ATC is responsible for effecting separation in assigned airspace whenever nonparticipating aircraft are cleared to operate within such airspace.)

e. Arrivals. (Outline handoff procedures and special instructions.)

f. General. (Self-explanatory.)

6. ATTACHMENTS (List, as required, items such as chart of ATC-assigned airspace areas, common reference/handoff points, etc.)

_______________________________________
Air Traffic Manager, (Name) ARTCC

_______________________________________
Commander, (Name) Air Division

_______________________________________
(Title of other appropriate authority)