• The contents, methods, and practices used for position relief and briefings vary among personnel, and pertinent information is often forgotten or incompletely covered. Major problems occur whenever there is a heavy reliance upon memory, unsupported by routines or systematic reminders. This SOP addresses the complete task of transferring position responsibility and the associated relief briefing.
  • Position relief unavoidably provides workload for specialists at the time of relief. The intent of this FD is to make the transfer of position responsibility take place smoothly and to ensure a complete transfer of information with a minimum amount of workload. The method takes advantage of a self-briefing concept in which the relieving specialist obtains needed status information by reading from the Status Information Area/s to begin the relief process. Up to the moment information related to the control of aircraft or vehicular movements requires verbal exchanges between specialists during the relief process. The method also specifies the moment when the transfer of position responsibility occurs.
  • In the final part of the relief process, the specialist being relieved monitors and reviews the position to ensure that nothing has been overlooked or incorrectly displayed and that the transfer of position responsibility occurred with a complete briefing.


  • Specialists involved in the position relief process should not rush or be influenced to rush.
  • Extra care should be taken when more than one specialist relieves or is being relieved from a position at the same time; e.g., combining or decombining positions. Such simultaneous reliefs should be approached with caution.


  • The relieving specialist must be responsible for ensuring that, prior to accepting responsibility for the position, any unresolved questions pertaining to the operation of the position are resolved.
  • The relieving specialist and the specialist being relieved must share equal responsibility for the completeness and accuracy of the position relief briefing.
    Note – The “sharing” of this responsibility means that the specialist being relieved is obligated to provide a complete, accurate briefing and the relieving specialist is obligated to ensure that a briefing takes place and is to his/her total satisfaction.

The following procedures are required to be complied with prior to controlling any position within ZLC.

RS = Relieving Specialist
SR = Specialist Being Relieved.
SIA = Status information Area. – Manual or automatic displays of the current status of position related equipment and operational conditions or procedures. (For ZLC purposes, this is the Change Log)
Written notes – Manually recorded items of information kept at designated locations on the position of operation. They may be an element of the Status Information Area/s.
Checklist – An ordered listing of items to be covered during a position relief.



Review the Position

  1. RS – Follow checklist and review the SIA.
  2. RS – Log-in with appropriate callsign and frequency for facility per the Facility Callsign and Frequency Info page.
    1. If relieving a controller that is currently signed onto the network with the standard callsign format, the relieving controller (regardless of position) will now use the last character of the sector designation (ID) followed by an “R”. Position / Frequency Info page displays the relieving callsign for clarity.
  3. RS – Observe position equipment, operational situation, and the work environment.
  4. RS – Listen to voice communications and observe other operational actions.
  5. RS – Observe current and pending aircraft and vehicular traffic and correlate with flight and other movement information.
  6. RS – Indicate to the specialist being relieved that the position has been previewed and that the verbal briefing may begin.

Verbal Briefing

  1. SR – Brief the Relieving Specialist on the following
    • Abnormal status of items not listed on the Status Information Area(s) as well as on any items of special interest calling for verbal explanation or additional discussion.
    • Adjacent Facility/Sector Status (Online/Combinations)
    • Reported weather and other weather related information.
    • Traffic if applicable.
    • Communication status of all known aircraft.
  2. RS – Ask questions necessary to ensure a complete understanding of the operational situation.
  3. SR – Completely answer any questions asked.

Assumption of Position Responsibility

  1. RS – PRIM the frequency and make a statement or otherwise indicate to the specialist being relieved that position responsibility has been assumed.
  2. SR – Release the position to the relieving specialist, un-PRIM the frequency, and mentally note the time.

Review the Position

  1. RS – Check, verify, and update the information obtained in the first two checklist.
  2. SR – Check position equipment in accordance with existing directives.
  3. SR – Review checklist, Status Information Area/s, written notes, and other prescribed sources of information and advise the relieving specialist of known omissions, updates, or inaccuracies.
  4. SR – Observe overall position operation to determine if assistance is needed.
  5. SR – If assistance is needed, provide or summon it as appropriate.
  6. SR – Advise the appropriate position regarding known Status Information Area(s) omissions, updates, or inaccuracies.
  7. SR – Sign off the position in accordance with existing directives or otherwise indicate that the relief process is complete.


NOTE: In order to ensure a section does not get skipped and to allow the receiver of the briefing to keep information organized in their head, state the section of coordination you are starting prior to starting ex: “Sectors”, “Sectors around you”, “Equipment”, “Auto-Track”, “Weather”, “Airports”, “Status Board”/”SIA”/”The Board”.

  • The configuration of the sector that is being transferred.
    • “Sectors: You are taking over Area C, D and sector 4 shelf”
  • Status of sectors adjacent to the position being transferred.
    • “Sectors around you: ZOA and ZSE open. Canada and ZMP closed. ZDV open and split 17 and 35. 35 is (freq) and south of the OCS split line; everything else to 17. LA closed. S56 at Stockton. Tower on at BOI.”
  • The status of equipment and resources we use for controlling.
    • “Equipment: AFV server has been having issues and is scheduled for a server restart at 2300z. Automated handoffs is down with ZMP. The ZLC website just restarted due to some glitches that were happen, not sure if they are still a problem or not.”
  • Auto-Track status
    • “Auto-Track: I coordinated with BOI Local to allow them to Track departures so they can get practice. Everything else is normal.”
  • ATIS letters and status, as appropriate.
    • “Weather: Boise Bravo, west VMC. JAC Charlie, south IMC. I am running JAC, I will take it down now so you can put yours up. Advise when up.”
  • Lowest usable flight level, as appropriate.
  • Ride reports, ceilings below 5,000, etc…
  • Pertinent status of airports in the jurisdiction of the position being transferred.
    • “Airports: SLC North VMC. Boise is in the hold due to emergency aircraft, expecting another 10min.”
  • Anything in the “Status Information Area” that should be reviewed for clarity.
    • “ZDV TMU requests 10MIT but they said they can take stacks for DEN arrivals south of PUC until 2100z”
  • Status the status of any military operation going on even if it is a normal flight.
    • “Military: You are speaking to RONIN24 overflight. The R6404 complex, R6402A, and White Elk MOA are all hot with THUG21 and accompanying fighters, details in THUG21 remarks.”
  • The status of all aircraft the position being transferred has separation responsibility for along with the voice status, if not obvious.
    • “Traffic: DAL1234 is pointed out with ZDV descending to FL340. AAL998 is approved descending to 14,000 with Stockton but I haven’t issued it yet. N3AB, FDX1256, and SKW1122 are all on ZSE. You are speaking to everyone else you have a track for and traffic as displayed.”


SECTORS, you are taking over Salt Lake Center Combined.
Denver and Oakland are open. Boise Local on below you.

EQUIPMENT, no issues.

AUTO-TRACK, BOI Local is tracking departures for practice, you have everything else.

WEATHER, I have SLC ATIS Bravo current, VMC North. Andreas has BOI with Charlie, VMC West.
Rides, no complaints.
Altimeters are high.

AIRPORTS are on the board, SLC is North, Boise west.


TRAFFIC, DAL123 is with ZSE, everything else as displayed.