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Requesting Voice/Radar Tapes From Air Traffic Facilities

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posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 03:56 PM
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following several requests from other members for information on the faa's procedures reference tapes, and after reading some of the responses on different threads, i thought i would post a thread which explains how to go about requesting those tapes.

first a little background. all air traffic facilities, regardless of whether they are military, dod, contract or faa, are required by federal law to record all voice communications and radar data (in the case of radar recording, it is as equipment capabilites permit, but most facilities in the continental united states now have that capability). also by federal law, it is a requirement that those tapes be held for 15 days, after which they are erased and reused (the term "tapes" is becoming a misnomer, as the faa is rapidly transitioning to electronic recording...but in the cases of facilities that are operating with computerized recording equipment, a majority of facilities in the US at this point, the procedures still remain the same). there are several instances in which said tapes are required to be held indefinitely, some of those being accidents, incidents, and tapes that are requested via foia procedures.

except for incidents involving national security (such as 9/11...and even those tapes are eventually released), tapes are accessable through a freedom of information act request (foia). the procedures for a normal citizen requesting air traffic tapes are as follows:

remember, time is of the essence, as the tapes will be erased in 15 days.

first, call the facility in question and ask for information on how to contact the office responsible for foia requests. those offices are usually located at the various regional headquarters, and the facilities will know who exactly to contact for that request, or you can find the representative on the faa website here. call the point of contact and make your request verbally. they may then direct you to put it in writing. all of the information you need to put into your request is here. you can download the form that the processing official will use to process your foia request here. if you have trouble reading or downloading that form, you can find it at faa.gov. before you get off the phone with them, insure that they are going to order the tapes to be held pending your written request. if not, then insure that you get your request to them as quickly as possible as they must, by federal law, order said tapes to be held upon written notice. also find out how much it is going to cost you (yes, there is a fee for this service...most of the fees are on the form i linked for you to download, but i would verify the cost with your point of contact in the foia office).

now, i can not stress the following enough:

keep records of the time, day, and person to whom you talked to. additionally, send your written request via BOTH certified return receipt mail and fax.

the certified mail with return receipt will insure that you have a traceable paper trail, along with the name of the person who signed for the package. the faa is a federal agency, which means it is full of red tape. the very first thing i learned upon joining the faa was to keep copies of everything i received with my name on it, and every piece of paper that i signed....trust me, it has saved me from a huge headache more than once.

now, after having sent the request out, wait a day or two and call the facility you are requesting the tapes from to insure that the order was given to retain the tapes....like i said, we're combating red tape here, and it pays to be persistent. keep calling your point of contact in the foia office at least once a week until you receive the tapes. keep in mind that it may take weeks or even months to get your copy of the tapes, but as long as you follow the steps i have outlined here, the tapes will be held and you will receive them.

and thats pretty much it. i hope this information helps you guys and gals with your quest to deny ignorance! any other questions, please feel free to ask here, or u2u me.



edited to amend the procedures as i just noticed that they have changed recently.


[edit on 7-1-2007 by snafu7700]




posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 02:18 PM
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Wow - Thanks! - a most informative post!!

I was very curious about this in light of the recently exposed O'Hare incident.




posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 12:45 PM
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Masqua,

It appears on the recent post list that you are the last poster on this thread, but I see no post from you. Is it just a glitch or what happened to your post?



posted on Jan, 12 2007 @ 01:12 PM
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It was a "bump".
Note: I've added this link to the stickied thread for reporting UFOs, as this could be valuable reporting info.



posted on Jan, 12 2007 @ 01:19 PM
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Thanks for the explaination, I value Masqua's contribution to the board and when I saw he was the last poster I was interested, so when I saw nothing here...................

My experience with ATS is that it has been very conducive for exploring contact or possible contact in many threads and with open minded discussion.

Sorry for the slight derail.



posted on Jan, 12 2007 @ 04:19 PM
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I reread the information contained in this post and the first thing that struck me was fear. It would be very powerful and effective to gain access to the records of the ones who are recording first hand any unusaul occurances but I had to wonder what status your FBI file would take after such requests were made.

Then again, to live in fear is to be dead already



posted on Jan, 13 2007 @ 09:46 AM
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interestedalways,

Yes - indeed - it is a Catch-22.

Make too much noise and you are suddenly on a no-fly list.

Try to remain silent and secret and those at the top only increase their power (and their abuse thereof)

We, like astronomers, and even civil-rights activists, before us, must remain brave and steadfast - and we must realize that their are real physical dangers to doing the right thing.

In the end - however - I believe it is worth it - if we can contribute positively to mankind (and maybe even one day to other alien races)

Of course - my faith - guides me often through my times of doubt.

"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

- Matthew 10:28



posted on Jan, 13 2007 @ 09:58 AM
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Hey thanks for the explanation, appreciate it alot

all the best



posted on Jan, 13 2007 @ 11:09 AM
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Originally posted by interestedalways
I reread the information contained in this post and the first thing that struck me was fear.


if you knew anything about faa management, the only thing you would fear is incompetence. trust me, requesting tapes isnt going to put you on any lists. if it scares you too much to take a chance, then you will never really know, now will you? what does strike me as suspicious, and is one of the reasons i decided to put this thread together, is that every time sitings are reported, the groups that are supposedly out there to collect sightings data and investigate them never seem to bother requesting air traffic tapes. if they are serious about their investigations, then they must already know everything i posted here. so why dont they do it? the chicago incident was reported within one week of its taking place. were any tapes requested? no. but it's the faa that's covering up the incident? whatever. they were just following normal procedure: nobody requested any tapes, so they were erased and reused.

so the real question, IMHO, is why didnt nuforc request the tapes? i have perused their site several times, and have as of yet to come across an incident in which said tapes were requested. seems to me you folks are blaming the wrong people for the coverups.

[edit on 13-1-2007 by snafu7700]



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