Reduced Runway Length Operations during Construction/Work In Progress - ATIS and Radiotelephony Messages

Reduced Runway Length Operations during Construction/Work In Progress - ATIS and Radiotelephony Messages


EUROCONTROL has been requested by IATA to raise awareness about an FAA InFo notice (11015 dated 1 September 2011) which informed aircraft operators about ATIS messages and additional R/T phraseology associated with reduced runway length operations during and following aerodrome/runway construction work in the USA.


The purpose of this Request for Support message is twofold: first to highlight the FAA approach to advising reduced runway length available; and second to gain a better appreciation of European practices, procedures and phraseologies being applied in these circumstances with a view to assessing if a consistent, harmonised global position could/should be considered.

FAA Provisions

FAA InFO notice 11015 states that, “For runways that are undergoing construction or have recently completed construction. Operators and pilots can expect to hear the following messages via the ATIS recording. In situations where the runway has been shortened, operators will hear “WARNING” and “SHORTENED”

  • For example: “WARNING, RUNWAY (number) has been SHORTENED, (length in feet) FEET AVAILABLE.”

In addition, it states that, ‘“SHORTENED” will be used as part of the take-off (or line up and wait) and landing clearance…’

  • For example: “RUNWAY (number) SHORTENED, CLEARED FOR TAKE OFF.”

Note: These procedures will apply for the duration of works or until a permanent shortening of the runway is reflected accordingly in aeronautical publications.

ICAO Provisions

ICAO Annex 11, Air Traffic Services, 4.3.7, states that ATIS broadcasts shall include,

“k) other essential operational information."

ICAO Doc 4444, PANS ATM, 7.5.2 “Essential information on aerodrome conditions shall include information relating to the following:

a) Construction or maintenance work on, or immediately adjacent to the movement area

h) any other information.”

ICAO Doc 4444, PANS ATM, 7.5.3: “Essential information on aerodrome conditions shall be given to every aircraft, except when it is known that the aircraft already has received all of part of the information from other sources. The information shall be given in sufficient time for the aircraft to make proper use of it, and the hazards shall be identified as distinctly as possible.

Note - “Other sources” include NOTAM, ATIS broadcast, and display of suitable signals.”

ICAO Doc 4444, PANS ATM, Phraseologies


e) CAUTION (specify reasons) RIGHT (or LEFT), (or BOTH SIDES OF RUNWAY [Number];

f) CAUTION WORK IN PROGRESS (or OBSTRUCTION) (position and any necessary advice)."

(EUROCONTROL Note: “Necessary advice” includes “essential information” such as reduced TORA/LDA that may be associated with any WIP/construction work.)


When construction work reduces the length of the runway distance available for take-off and landing, it is imperative that this information is made available to aircraft operators and flight crews in a timely manner. In turn they must be aware of, and fully understand, the messages they may hear/see on the ATIS/DATIS and/or receive from ATC as part of their air traffic clearance.

There are existing ICAO provisions covering these circumstances and the FAA has complemented them by introducing its own bespoke phraseology as a safety risk reduction measure. Flight crews should therefore be aware of specific (regional and local) procedures and phraseologies that exist to inform them about reductions in TORA/LDA associated with runway construction/WIP scenarios.

Information Requested

Air navigation service providers, aircraft operators, aerodrome operators, local runway safety teams, and national aviation authorities are invited to note the subject and submit their national/local procedures relating to such cases, including ATIS and/or ATC phraseology to be used and aerodrome (temporary) signage.

Respondents are also invited to indicate the need, or otherwise, for a more harmonised approach regarding the procedures and phraseology to be used in the circumstances described.

Further Reading

Summary of Responses

  • A total of 8 responses with comments were received: four ANSPs, two civil aviation authorities and two aircraft operators.
  • The responding ANSPs followed extant ICAO provisions and phraseology. There was no call to introduce similar wording in Europe.
  • The ANSPs were aware of impending proposed change to ICAO EUR SUPPS to replace the words “TAKE-OFF” with “TOR-AH” in the context of runway intersection departure clearance phraseology.
  • One ANSP had undertaken a wide-ranging safety assessment to cater for known/planned WiP that would reduce runway length available. All risks were reduced to a ‘tolerable’ level, after application of mitigation measures. The aviation authority was consulted and accepted the temporary changes.
  • One Aircraft Operator recommended that all runway dimension changes should be promulgated in metres in addition to feet.


© European Organisation for Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) January 2012. This alert is published by EUROCONTROL for information purposes. It may be copied in whole or in part, provided that EUROCONTROL is mentioned as the source and to the extent justified by the non-commercial use (not for sale). The information in this document may not be modified without prior written permission from EUROCONTROL. The use of the document is at the user’s sole risk and responsibility. EUROCONTROL expressly disclaim any and all warranties with respect to any content within the alert, express or implied.


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