The powerful ATIS formatting provided by VATATIS is all made possible by our config based system.
With these configs we can quickly and easily tune a new format for any region in VATSIM. Everything from tweaking individual words in the ATIS to the whole order of the ATIS.
The Airport configs are what gives us the base info needed to start processing an ATIS.
Without the airport config, we can't support an airport at all.
In the config, we start off with an airports ICAO, then we include everything from which ATIS format to use, to the airport names, the magnetic variation and even the individual approaches each runway supports.
Using these settings we can offer customization down to the individual airport level, not just the region level.
The position configs allow us to load the different ATC positions for a region into our system.
While this is an optional config for a region, it does allow the use of the For_xxx_contact_xxx Node described further down
In the config we start with the VATSIM position identifier, then add the name and frequency and we can add additional tags such as mark a position as an event only position.
The bread and butter of our ATIS system, the ATIS config is what allows us such a fine control of the output of our ATIS system.
Each config starts with an arbitrary identifier, meaning we can even have multiple configs per region to support different airports.
After that, we define the nodes to be used and the order to use them. Then inside each node we can define further options such as to break (' .. ') after that node, or to tweak different words in the node, the possibilities are almost endless.
Our Node based processing system is what allows us such flexibility in how we format any given ATIS.
By processing each different segment as a node based on the config, we can process in whatever order we want, regardless of the METAR format.
Want your Temps before your winds? Easy. QNH right at the start? No problem. Whatever you want, we can do with our node based system.
Below is a list of our current nodes that can be used in an ATIS, the options they currently support and the features they give.
All nodes support the break (Insert desired text, default is ' .. ', after the node) and force_break (Insert desired text, default is ' .. ', after the node regardless of the content or lack thereof of the node) options
This node processes the QNH or Altimier from the METAR.
Currently it has no additional options as it automatically detects QNH or Altimeter from the METAR
The approach node processes the selected IFR approaches for the ATIS.
The cloud node processes the cloud layers from the METAR. The cloud node supports all Octives (FEW, SCT, BKN, OVC) and Vertical visibility (VV). It also supports the following cloud types: CB, CI, SC, ST, TCU.
The node also supports CAVOK, NCD, NSC, SKC and CLR. Finally we can configure the Cloud node to ignore clouds above a specificed height on a per airport level.
The on contact node controls the 'on first contact' string. Currently we have 2 available formats.
The For Contact node is a very interesting node. Currently in use only in VATNZ, it inserts a string such as 'for ground and tower contact Approach 119.3' into the ATIS.
This node requires the position config to be included for the region.
It pulls the current online controllers from VATSIM and then, using the info from the Airport and Position configs, it determines who the lower and upper controllers for an airport are.
Once it knows that, it will produce the string based on the lowest available position
The info node parses the time from the METAR and grabs and processes the ATIS letter from our database.
The location node parses the name of the airport from the airport config
The runway node parses the runways in use from the URL arr and dep parameters. It automatically handles multiple runways and parallel runways.
The Arrival Runway node processes only the arrival runways. Used when you want to put a different node between the arrival and departure runways.
The Departure Runway node processes only the departure runways. Used when you want to put a different node between the arrival and departure runways. Automatically handles parallel runway ops.
The RVR node processes any RVR values in the METAR. Currently it only returns 'RVR values available on air traffic control frequency'. Future work is planned for improving this node.
The surface node parses METAR data to determine the runway condition. Currently returns either 'runway condition wet' or 'runway condition dry'
The temp node parses the temperature and duepoint from the METAR.
The text node allows any freeform text to be inserted into the ATIS, with or without additional conditions
The vis node parses the visibility from the METAR. Automatically handles detection of units, supports 9999 as an input (KM only) and supports fractions (1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/8) (SM only)
The wx node parses the weather conditions from the METAR. Supports every weather condition in the METAR format, supports multiple WX conditions, supports NSW and VC options
The wind node parses the wind conditions from the METAR. Supports wind calm (wind below 4kts), Variable wind, variable between wind, gusting wind.
The node also pulls the magnetic variation for the airport and applies it to the wind.
The 200ft wind node parses the wind conditions from the twotfw url parameter. Supports everything the wind node does.
VATATIS has done away with the manual setting of ATIS letters in Euroscope.
Instead, we maintain a rolling ATIS letter in our database and rolls over with every new METAR, 24/7.
When you request an ATIS, this letter is pulled from the database and inserted into the ATIS.
In addition to changing with new METARS, the letter will change when runways or other ops info is changed if it was changed more than 2 minutes after the latest METAR.
If desired, this system can be disabled for a specific region.
VATATIS has a built in notification system that allows us to push notifications to controllers via the ATIS text box.
When notifications are sent, requesting the ATIS again will cycle to the next notification or get the ATIS if no more notifications are available.
Currently the recording of seen notifications is done on an IP address basis. Meaning if you move to a different IP, you will see the active notifications again.
VATATIS currently has 1 method of controlling the ATIS. The URL system.
The URL system involves changing the URL parameters in Euroscope to get the desired output.
Most of the parameters are automatic, however there are some that are manual parameters whos details are described in the Docs page
By going to the METAR page on our website, you can search and get a formatted output of any VATSIM metar in the world.
You can also see the previous METAR which is useful to see what the changes were between current and previous METARS
VATATIS supports VATSIM SSO as it's sole login system.
While it is currently optional, future features will require you to be logged in via VATSIM SSO