In Canadian aviation, ATIS stands for Automatic Terminal Information Service. It’s a service that provides up-to-date information to pilots about weather, runway conditions, and other relevant information at an airport’s terminal area.
The ATIS system operates using a pre-recorded message that is updated as weather conditions and other information changes. These updates are usually completed at the top of each hour and then assigned a letter of the phonetic alphabet (ATIS weather information Alpha). Each new recording after that is assigned the next letter in the Phonetic Alphabet. Pilots can access the message by tuning their radio to the appropriate frequency and listening to the broadcast.
The information provided by the ATIS system can be critical for safe flight operations. Pilots need to know the runway conditions and visibility to determine whether they can safely take off and land. They also need to be aware of any potential hazards or other issues that may affect their flight.
The ATIS message typically includes information such as the time of the ATIS recording, current weather conditions, wind speed and direction, altimeter reading, visibility, cloud cover, and temperature. It also includes information about the runway in use, any changes to taxiway routing or other airport procedures, and any other relevant information that pilots need to know before taking off or landing.
In a manned, towered airport (Controlled airport) the ATIS is generally recorded by the tower controller. Other airports may use an automated voice recording system.
You will get used to being told to get the “weather” or ATIS before every flight during your training. You will always get the ATIS before entering the control zone of any controlled airport in Canada.