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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.


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