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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Airport Operations

Sources for Airport Data

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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge



Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Introduction To Flying
Chapter 2, Aircraft Structure
Chapter 3, Principles of Flight
Chapter 4, Aerodynamics of Flight
Chapter 5, Flight Controls
Chapter 6, Aircraft Systems
Chapter 7, Flight Instruments
Chapter 8, Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Chapter 9, Weight and Balance
Chapter 10, Aircraft Performance
Chapter 11, Weather Theory
Chapter 12, Aviation Weather Services
Chapter 13, Airport Operation
Chapter 14, Airspace
Chapter 15, Navigation
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors
Chapter 17, Aeronautical Decision Making




Recommended communication procedures.
Figure 13-1. Recommended communication procedures.

Towered Airport
A towered airport has an operating control tower. Air traffic
control (ATC) is responsible for providing the safe, orderly,
and expeditious flow of air traffic at airports where the
type of operations and/or volume of traffic requires such a
service. Pilots operating from a towered airport are required
to maintain two-way radio communication with air traffic
controllers, and to acknowledge and comply with their
instructions. Pilots must advise ATC if they cannot comply
with the instructions issued and request amended instructions.
A pilot may deviate from an air traffic instruction in an
emergency, but must advise ATC of the deviation as soon
as possible.

Nontowered Airport
A nontowered airport does not have an operating control
tower. Two-way radio communications are not required,
although it is a good operating practice for pilots to transmit
their intentions on the specified frequency for the benefit
of other traffic in the area. The key to communicating at
an airport without an operating control tower is selection
of the correct common frequency. The acronym CTAF,
which stands for Common Traffic Advisory Frequency,
is synonymous with this program. A CTAF is a frequency
designated for the purpose of carrying out airport advisory
practices while operating to or from an airport without an
operating control tower. The CTAF may be a Universal

Integrated Community (UNICOM), MULTICOM, Flight
Service Station (FSS), or tower frequency and is identified
in appropriate aeronautical publications. UNICOM is a
nongovernment air/ground radio communication station
which may provide airport information at public use airports
where there is no tower or FSS. On pilot request, UNICOM
stations may provide pilots with weather information, wind
direction, the recommended runway, or other necessary
information. If the UNICOM frequency is designated as
the CTAF, it will be identified in appropriate aeronautical
publications. Figure 13-1 lists recommended communication
procedures. More information on radio communications is
discussed later in this chapter.

Sources for Airport Data

When a pilot flies into a different airport, it is important to
review the current data for that airport. This data provides the
pilot with information, such as communication frequencies,
services available, closed runways, or airport construction.
Three common sources of information are:
• Aeronautical Charts
• Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD)
• Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs)