SPECIAL REFUELING REQUIREMENTS
10-6-1. PROVISIONS FOR SPECIAL
The U.S. Military/FAA agreement for the conduct of aerial
refueling operations embraces the concept of maximum use of published
tracks/anchors. However, in recognition of the requirement for
flexibility, the following special provisions are incorporated.
a. Where published tracks/anchors are inadequate
for special mission/sortie, a special track/anchor may be
established. Special tracks/anchors shall not be published in the
DOD FLIP planning document, but may be described in letters of
b. Special tracks/anchors may be established for
one time use by direct coordination with the appropriate ATC facility.
c. Special tracks/anchors for other than one time
use require approval of the major military command concerned and
coordination with the military regional representative.
10-6-2. RESPONSIBILITY OF REQUESTING
Except when special tracks/anchors are requested in
accordance with paragraph 10-6-6 ,
the requesting unit shall be responsible for obtaining approval to transit
a. SUA/ATCAA from the using agency. Assurance
must be obtained from the using agency that no other activity is
scheduled in the area at same time/altitudes.
b. A published refueling track or anchor from the
assigned scheduling unit.
c. An MTR entry or exit, including associated
tracks, from the designated scheduling unit.
Notification of such approval is not
required by FAA.
10-6-3. OPERATIONS WITHIN AN ALTRV
Missions operating in an approved altitude reservation
(ALTRV) may conduct refueling operations within the ALTRV airspace.
10-6-4. OPERATIONS OUTSIDE AN
Missions not operating in an ALTRV may conduct refueling
operations along special tracks/anchors within airspace approved for use
a. Units shall submit an approval request directly
to the ATC facility concerned at least 12 hours in advance, or as soon
as possible, to permit coordination and receipt of approval.
b. The approval request shall specify the
1. The portion of the route where refueling
operations will be conducted.
2. ARCP patterns or rendezvous points if an En
Route Cell Rendezvous is planned.
3. Altitudes requested.
4. Lateral dimensions of the airspace required.
5. Duration of operation.
6. Control times.
7. Any other information deemed necessary or
c. The requirements for establishing special
tracks/anchors are not applicable for refuelings conducted between
aircraft operating as an en route formation.
10-6-5. IN-FLIGHT REQUESTS
The tanker commander is responsible for coordinating all
in-flight requests with other aircraft in the refueling operation prior to
the submission of such request to ATC. The provisions of MARSA
remain in effect during the execution of approved in-flight vectors unless
separation responsibility is specifically assumed by the approving ATC
facility. In-flight requests for radar vectors or alternate routes
or altitudes to avoid weather or for emergency refueling may be approved
only at the request of the tanker commander as follows:
a. Radar vectors or changes of altitude may be
approved at any time.
b. Nonradar routes may be approved only after the
refueling aircraft have passed the ARCP.
Special tracks/anchors may be established for use during
planned exercises to meet a specific mission requirement. This will
be accomplished through a letter of agreement with the appropriate ATC
facility and requires the approval of the major military command(s)
concerned and coordination with the military regional representative.
10-6-7. ISSUE NOTAM
NOTAM/D's shall be issued for special tracks/ anchors
outside Class A airspace so as to define the refueling area as
specifically as mission security will allow.
10-6-8. VFR HELICOPTER REFUELING
Headquarters United States Air Force/Navy/ Marine Corp/Army
have stated a requirement to conduct VFR helicopter in-flight refueling
operations at altitudes from 4,000 feet AGL down to 1,000 feet AGL at
speeds below 150 knots.
10-6-9. VFR REFUELING TRACK
a. Military units may request establishment of a
VFR helicopter refueling track when a determination has been made:
1. By appropriate military headquarters (major
command/type command) that other alternatives have been explored;
e.g., use of existing MOA's, restricted areas, or other published
2. That coordination with the scheduling agencies
of other military airspace/routes has been accomplished to develop
mutually acceptable deconfliction criteria/procedures.
3. That the number of tracks shall be kept to the
absolute minimum required to meet mission requirements.
b. The originator of the track shall obtain a route
designator for use during coordination from NIMA/MCBB, Mail Stop L-27,
3200 South 2nd Street,
St. Louis AFS, Missouri 63118, by letter,
message (NIMA ST. LOUIS AFS MO/MCBB) or telephone (DSN 693-4636 or
commercial 314-263-4636) or
FAX (DSN 693-4993 or commercial
314-263-4997). The number in the designator provided by NIMA will
be prefixed by an "X"; e.g., AR X800V, to indicate the number to be used
for coordination purposes only. The prefix "X" will be deleted
when published in FLIP planning. The suffix "V" has been added to
indicate a visual or VFR helicopter refueling track.
c. VFR published refueling tracks shall:
1. Be operationally flight evaluated for the
entire track to ensure compatibility with VFR obstacle clearance.
2. Be depicted on DOD FLIP AP/1B charts.
Following MAJCOM/TYCOM and FAA
approval (reference paragraph 10-4-7,
the regional military representative will forward the route
description to NIMA for publication in FLIP.
3. Be depicted on appropriate aeronautical
The regional Air Traffic division in
whose area the route originates is responsible for submitting the
route description for publication. A charting request shall be
submitted to the NFDC.
10-6-10. REFUELING TRACK
a. Track width - In all cases, the refueling track
shall be of sufficient size to contain all planned activities.
Normally, VFR refueling tracks will be 4NM either side of centerline
unless otherwise specified.
b. Track length - Normally 50-100 NM.
c. Track alignment - Track alignment criteria shall
be as follows:
1. Track widths shall be designed to permit
refueling aircraft to avoid Class B, C, D, airspace and Class E
surface based areas below
3,000 feet AGL, scheduled air carrier
airports, and high-density general aviation airports.
2. All VFR refueling tracks to be flown at/below
1,500 feet AGL should be designed to permit aircraft flying the track
to avoid charted, uncontrolled airports by 3 NM or 1,500 feet.
Where it is impracticable to comply with this criteria, procedures
shall be established to minimize conflict with airport traffic by
maintaining liaison with airport owners/operators.
3. Avoid known VFR flyways.
4. Tracks should be aligned to minimize
disturbance to people or property on the ground.
10-6-11. OPERATING PROCEDURES
a. The scheduling unit shall notify the tie-in
AFSS/FSS in advance of all planned refueling track usage on a daily
basis. This shall include route designator, time period, and
altitude if other than published.
b. Appropriate ATC facilities (en route and
terminals), wherein radio and radar coverage exist along the VFR track,
shall provide radar advisory service (reference Order 7110.65) to tanker
c. The tie-in AFSS/FSS shall transmit a NOTAM/D via
data communications systems to all AFSS/FSS's in accordance with FAA
Order 7110.10 and
d. AFSS/FSS's shall include pertinent VFR refueling
activity in pilot briefings in accordance with FAA Order 7110.10.
e. Tanker aircraft pilots scheduled to operate
within VFR refueling tracks shall advise the AFSS/FSS nearest the entry
point 5 minutes prior to entering and the AFSS/FSS nearest the exit
point, upon exiting.
10-6-12. FLIGHT PLAN
a. Pilots departing on IFR clearance en route to a
helicopter refueling track are required to file to the
fix/radial/distance of their entry/alternate entry point of the track.
b. Pilots transitioning to IFR upon exiting the
helicopter refueling track are required to have on file a previously
filed IFR flight plan from the appropriate fix/radial/distance of their
Except in Alaska, composite IFR-VFR-IFR
flight plans may be filed with appropriate AFSS/FSS and BASEOPS.
Stereo flight plans could be an advantage in flight planning.
10-6-13. WEATHER MINIMUMS
Operations on VFR refueling tracks shall be conducted only
when the weather is at or above
10-6-14. ADHERENCE TO REFUELING
Pilots operating on VFR refueling tracks shall be
responsible for remaining within the lateral and vertical confines of the
VFR refueling tracks.
10-6-15. FAA COORDINATION
a. Proposals for establishing VFR refueling tracks
shall be submitted in the format and with the data depicted in FIG
10-4-1 to the appropriate ARTCC/CERAP with a copy to the appropriate
regional military representative. In those airspace areas not
under the direct jurisdiction of FAA, the theater command headquarters
shall develop procedures for coordination and approval of proposed
tracks and anchors.
b. The ARTCC/CERAP which received the request for
establishment of an aerial refueling track shall assume the
responsibility for FAA internal coordination as necessary.
Following ARTCC/CERAP comment/concurrence, the originating unit will
forward the final proposal to the military major/type command for
approval. The military major/type command will forward the
proposal to the regional military representative for final review,
coordination, and publication.
c. FAA regional Air Traffic divisions shall review
each proposed VFR helicopter refueling route and coordinate it with
other interested FAA divisions. The regional review will include
a determination that the proposed VFR refueling tracks are consistent
with the criteria contained in this part. Terminal Air Traffic
facilities will be included in the development of tracks transiting
d. Unusual requirements, not in accordance with
this criteria, for limited/onetime-use VFR tracks, will be coordinated
directly with appropriate military headquarters.
The military shall designate a scheduling activity for each
VFR refueling track. (See