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Started by ASCTU744, Mon, 8 Apr 2024 04:51


I have two questions regarding ACARS METAR format:

1. Is the transition level for the destination airport the same as the one I need during descent? Since you tend to pass the TL well before your destination airport.

2. The ACARS METAR gives you an "EXPECT RNWY" value, is this for takeoff or landing?


EHAM B 161320Z
05009KT 9999 -RA
SCT022 BKN053 06/03

13:42:49 - 16 APR 2014



METAR and ATIS are different messages. METAR is just weather (wind directions relative to True North). ATIS is weather and other operational information for that specific airport, such as runways in use; ATIS winds are relative to Magnetic North.

In the case of EHAM, ATIS indicators A-M are used for arrivals and N-Z for departure, broadcasted on VHF using separate frequencies.
KJFK - at this moment - is supplying one ATIS message (X), indicating landing runways (22L/22R) and departure runway (22R).

Normally ATC clears you to descend: while above the transition level [TL], to descend to a flight level - which could be the lowest in use = TL. When cleared to descend further, it will be to an altitude using QNH/altimeter setting. "Descend to FL040", or "descend to altitude 3000 ft, QNH 1015".

In your example with ATIS-indicator B, RWY06 will be the landing runway.

In a "Lost Comm" situation, you will descend according to ICAO prescribed procedures or in accordance with procedures as indicated on airport charts. You will then have to set QNH when passing the TL (which you hopefully received before getting into this Lost Comm situation).

Most airport charts indicate "TL by ATC", others have the TL indicated as a fixed number (SKBO) or a fixed number that is dependent of local QNH (VHHH).

Simon (not anywhere near EHAM for some time)


I'm a bit late but thanks!