• 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.


  1. Sector Config / Auto Track Config
  2. Abnormal Frequencies
  3. Adjacent ATC
  4. Special Use Airspace Status
  5. TMU Restrictions in effect
  6. Non-RVSM Aircraft
  7. Pointout’s and other coordination
  8. Weather / Lowest Usable Flight Level
  9. Airport Configurations
  10. Current Traffic

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.