American Flying Adventures is proud to offer a 24/7 real-time audio feed of St.
Petersburg/ Clearwater International Airport's most important radio
frequencies. See behind the scenes at one of medium busy airport.
Listen to live transmissions between air traffic controllers in the airport
tower and pilots landing and departing from the airport. Click on the links
below to listen.
The control tower at 'St. Pete' Airport continually broadcasts information about
operational and weather conditions at the airport. This is called the Aerodrome
Terminal Information Service - ATIS. It is a
continuous broadcast of recorded non-control information in busier terminal
(i.e. airport) areas. ATIS broadcasts contain essential information, such as
weather information, which runways are active, available approaches, and any
other information required by the flight crew. Pilots
usually listen to an available ATIS broadcast before contacting the local
control tower, in order to reduce the controllers' workload and relieve
frequency congestion. The recording is updated when there is a significant
change in the information, like a change in the active runway. It is given a
letter designation (e.g. bravo), from the Phonetic Alphabet. The letter
progresses down the alphabet and starts at Alpha each day. When contacting the
control tower or ground station, a pilot will indicate he/she has "information"
and the ATIS identification letter to let the controller know that the pilot is
up to date with all current information.
Ground Control is responsible for the airport "maneuvering" areas, or
areas not released to aircraft. This generally includes all
taxiways, holding areas, and some transitional aprons or intersections where
aircraft arrive having vacated the runway and departure gates. Any aircraft,
vehicle, or person walking or working in these areas is required to have
clearance from the ground controller. Most aircraft and airside vehicles have
radios. Ground control is vital to the smooth operation of the airport because
this position might constrain the order in which the aircraft will be sequenced
to depart, which can affect the safety and efficiency of the airport's
The Tower is responsible for the active runway surfaces. It clears aircraft for take off or landing and ensures the runway is
clear for these aircraft. St. Pete Tower controls the Class D airspace which
reaches out on a 5 miles radius from the center of the airport. The controller
helps to separate and
sequence all aircraft in this area, using a remote radar link from Tampa
Airport. For example, if the tower controller detects any unsafe condition, a
landing aircraft will be told to "go-around" and will be again sequenced into the
landing pattern by the tower controller. Within the tower, a highly disciplined
communications process between tower and ground control is an
absolute necessity to guarantee coordination and a smooth operation.
Tampa airport has a radar control facility that is associated also with our
airport. It's known under the name of Approach Control. It handles both,
departures and arrivals. It is also referred to as a TRACON or Terminal Radar Approach CONtrol facility. Tampa
has a Class B airspace which also overlays KPIE airport since we are only about
10 miles afar from Tampa. Approach controllers are responsible for providing all
ATC services within their airspace. Traffic flow is broadly divided into
departures, arrivals, over-flights, and VFR aircraft. As aircraft move in and
out of the terminal airspace, they are handed off to the next appropriate
control facility (a control tower, an en-route control facility, or a bordering
terminal or approach control). Terminal control is responsible for ensuring that
aircraft are at an appropriate altitude when they are handed off, and that
aircraft arrive at a suitable rate for landing.
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