Did you know your airplane has a phone for
calls to AFSS or Clearance Delivery?
by Michael Lenz
Reprinted with permission from FAA Aviation News
If you have a radio, you have a phone (in a
manner of speaking) that can be used at airports that have installed ground
communications outlets or GCO's. The GCO gives a pilot on the ground at an
uncontrolled airport a means to communicate with the IFR Air Traffic Control
facility and/or the Flight Service Station. This offers an opportunity for a
last minute weather-update right before departure. GCO's offer clear
communications as opposed to trying to hear your cell phone over the engine
noise and they also beat having to rush from a pay phone to the airplane after
picking up your IFR clearance.
The Airport/Facility Directory
shows the facilities available from a GCO. Where
clearance delivery service is available, the GCO frequency is depicted on
instrument approach procedures charts.
Michael Lenz is a Program Analyst in Flight
Standards' General Aviation and Commercial Division.