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Point, Decimal... ATC

Sat Apr 06, 2002 12:52 am

Can someone tell me if American controllers say "point" instead of "decimal". If you refer to CAP413 (by BAA), they state that you must not say "point "when refering to a channel (119.85,135.05...).

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RE: Point, Decimal... ATC

Sat Apr 06, 2002 1:13 am

Officially, in the UK at least, pilots must say "decimal" pronounced "dey-see-mal" (I recall the pronunciation spelling from memory of training days long past... may not be correct!).

American pilots tend to say "point" though I'm not sure officially what they are supposed to use in the USA.
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Tom in NO
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RE: Point, Decimal... ATC

Sat Apr 06, 2002 2:19 am

Most pilots and controllers over here in the US say "one-two-five-point-five", although I do in rare occasions hear "one-two-five-decimal-five", and on some occasions, pilots will simply read back "one-two-five-five" and not say either "point" or "decimal".

As an aside, we have a flight out of here, American 2601, that goes, I believe, to STL. There has been a certain pilot that in the last couple of weeks (he's been here twice that I know of), has been answering as "American twenty-sick-oh-one". Sounds kind of funny on the radio.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
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RE: Point, Decimal... ATC

Sat Apr 06, 2002 3:02 am

often on the military side we say 'dot' but usually 'decimal' of course you sometimes here 'point' as well, but it is discouraged.

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RE: Point, Decimal... ATC

Sat Apr 06, 2002 3:39 am

In the United States the FAA's publication 7110.65 (the US atc rule book) states that you must use "point" when issuing a frequency.

A) Point is succinct, uncluttered and less likely to be confused with some other word, number or phrase.

B) Most facilities in the US are too busy to be using a three syllable word instead of a one syllable word. During a normal session of working traffic at a high altitude sector at Indy Center I save 120 syllables per hour using "point" instead of "decimal".

Believe me, when you're working twenty aircraft at a time with a thousand knot closure rate that extra minute of time to think, plan, implement and react can make all of the difference.
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