Section 7. Taxi and Ground Movement Procedures

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  • Section 7. Taxi and Ground Movement Procedures

    3-7-1. GROUND TRAFFIC MOVEMENT

    Issue by radio or directional light signals specific instructions which approve or disapprove the movement of aircraft, vehicles, equipment, or personnel on the movement area except where permitted in an LOA.

    • REFERENCE
    • FAA Order JO 7210.3, Para 4-3-1, Letters of Agreement
    • FAA Order JO 7210.3, Para 4-3-2, Appropriate Subjects
    1. Do not issue conditional instructions that are dependent upon the movement of an arrival aircraft on or approaching the runway or a departure aircraft established on a takeoff roll. Do not say, “Line up and wait behind landing traffic,” or “Taxi/proceed across Runway Three-Six behind departing/landing Citation.” The above requirements do not preclude issuing instructions to follow an aircraft observed to be operating on the movement area in accordance with an ATC clearance/instruction and in such a manner that the instructions to follow are not ambiguous.
    2. Do not issue unconditional instructions when authorizing movement on a runway/taxiway for the purpose of airfield checks or other airport operations. Instructions must ensure positive control with specific instructions to proceed on a runway or movement area, and as necessary, hold short instructions.
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Airport 1, proceed on Runway 26R, hold short of Runway 18L.”
      • “Airport 1 proceed on taxi way B, hold short of Runway18L.”
      • “Airport 1 proceed on Runway 26R.” (additional instructions as necessary.)
      • NOTE:
      • 1. The following are examples of unconditional instructions and are not approved for use: “THE FIELD IS YOURS,” “CLEARED ON ALL SURFACES,” “THE AIRPORT IS YOURS,” and “PROCEED ON ALL RUNWAYS AND TAXIWAYS.”
      • 2. “PROCEED AS REQUESTED” is not approved phraseology for instructing aircraft, vehicles, equipment, or personnel to cross or operate on a runway.
    3. Do not use the word “cleared” in conjunction with authorization for aircraft to taxi or equipment/vehicle/personnel operations. Use the prefix “taxi,” “proceed,” or “hold,” as appropriate, for aircraft instructions and “proceed” or “hold” for equipment/vehicles/personnel.
    4. Intersection departures may be initiated by a controller or a controller may authorize an intersection departure if a pilot requests. Issue the measured distance from the intersection to the runway end rounded “down” to the nearest 50 feet to any pilot who requests and to all military aircraft, unless use of the intersection is covered in appropriate directives.
      • NOTE:
      • 1. Exceptions are authorized where specific military aircraft routinely make intersection takeoffs and procedures are defined in appropriate directives. The authority exercising operational control of such aircraft ensures that all pilots are thoroughly familiar with these procedures, including the usable runway length from the applicable intersection.
      • 2. Some airports publish “declared distances” for a particular runway. These are published in the Chart Supplement U.S. or the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) and there is no requirement that facility personnel be aware of them. These distances are a means of satisfying airport design criteria and are intended to be used by pilots and/or operators for preflight performance planning only. There are no special markings, signing, or lighting associated with declared distances and they do not limit the actual runway available for use by an aircraft. Therefore, they cannot be used for any air traffic control purpose. If pilots inquire about the existence of declared distances, refer them to the Chart Supplement U.S. or AIP.
      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • RUNWAY (number) AT (taxiway designator) INTERSECTION DEPARTURE (remaining length) FEET AVAILABLE.
    5. Do not use the term “full length” when the runway length available for departures has been temporarily shortened. On permanently shortened runways, do not use the term “full length” until the Chart Supplement U.S. is updated to include the change(s).
      • REFERENCE
      • FAA Order JO 7210.3, Para 10-3-12, Airport Construction.
      • FAA Order JO 7210.3, Para 10-3-13, Change in Runway Length Due to Construction.

    3-7-2. TAXI AND GROUND MOVEMENT OPERATIONS

    interpretation 6

    Issue the route for the aircraft/vehicle to follow on the movement area in concise and easy to understand terms. The taxi clearance route must include the specific route to follow. When a taxi clearance to a runway is issued to an aircraft, confirm the aircraft has the correct runway assignment.

    • NOTE:
    • 1. A pilot’s read back of taxi instructions with the runway assignment can be considered confirmation of runway assignment.
    • 2. Movement of aircraft or vehicles on nonmovement areas is the responsibility of the pilot, the aircraft operator, or the airport management.
    1. When authorizing an aircraft to taxi or a vehicle to proceed on the movement area, specify the taxi instructions/route. If it is the intent to hold the aircraft/vehicle short of:
      1. A runway: issue the route up to the runway hold short point. When issuing a runway crossing clearance, include specific instructions on where to cross the runway;
      2. Any other point along the route, issue:
        1. (a) the route up to the hold short point, or
        2. (b) the entire route and then state the hold short instructions.

      After issuing a crossing clearance, specify the taxi instructions/route an aircraft/vehicle is to follow, if not previously issued.

      NOTE: The absence of holding instructions authorizes an aircraft/vehicle to cross all taxiways that intersect the taxi route.

      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • HOLD POSITION.
      • HOLD FOR (reason)
      • CROSS (runway), at (runway/taxiway)
      • or
      • TAXI/CONTINUE TAXIING/PROCEED/VIA (route),
      • or
      • ON (runway number or taxiways, etc.),
      • or
      • TO (location),
      • or
      • (direction),
      • or
      • ACROSS RUNWAY (number), at (runway/taxiway).
      • or
      • VIA (route), HOLD SHORT OF (location)
      • or
      • FOLLOW (traffic) (restrictions as necessary)
      • or
      • BEHIND (traffic).
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Cross Runway Two Eight Left, at taxiway Alpha, hold short of Runway Two Eight Right.”
      • “Taxi/continue taxiing/proceed to the hangar.”
      • “Taxi/continue taxiing/proceed straight ahead then via ramp to the hangar.”
      • “Taxi/continue taxiing/proceed on Taxiway Charlie, hold short of Runway Two-Seven.”
      • or
      • “Taxi/continue taxing/proceed on Charlie, hold short of Runway Two-Seven.”
    2. When authorizing an aircraft to taxi to an assigned takeoff runway, state the departure runway followed by the specific taxi route. Issue hold short instructions, in accordance with paragraph a above, when an aircraft will be required to hold short of a runway or other points along the taxi route.

      NOTE: If the specific taxi route ends into a connecting taxiway with the same identifier (for example, taxiway “A” connects with Taxiway “A1”) at the approach end of the runway, the connecting taxiway may be omitted from the clearance.

      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • RUNWAY (number), TAXI VIA (route as necessary). or
      • RUNWAY (number), TAXI VIA (route as necessary) (hold short instructions as necessary).”
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Runway Three-Six Left, taxi via taxiway Alpha, hold short of taxiway Charlie.”
      • or
      • “Runway Three-Six Left, taxi via Alpha, hold short of Charlie.”
      • or
      • “Runway Three-Six Left, taxi via taxiway Alpha, hold short of Runway Two-Seven Right.”
      • or
      • “Runway Three-Six Left, taxi via Charlie, cross Runway Two-Seven Left, hold short of Runway Two-Seven Right.”
      • or
      • “Runway Three-Six Left, taxi via Alpha, Charlie, cross Runway One-Zero.”
    3. Issue a crossing clearance to aircraft for each runway their route crosses. An aircraft must have crossed a previous runway before another runway crossing clearance may be issued. At those airports where the taxi distance between runway centerlines is 1,300 feet or less, multiple runway crossings may be issued with a single clearance. The air traffic manager must submit a request to the appropriate Service Area Director of Air Traffic Operations and receive approval before authorizing multiple runway crossings.

      NOTE: Controllers should avoid crossing points that are not perpendicular or nearly perpendicular to the runway to be crossed, (for example, reverse high speed taxiways).

      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • “Cross (runway) at( runway/taxiway), hold short of (runway)”, or
      • “Cross (runways) at (runway/taxiway).”
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Cross Runway One Six Left at Taxiway Bravo, hold short of Runway One Six Right.”
      • “Cross Runway One Six Left and Runway One Six Right at Taxiway Bravo.”
      • REFERENCE
      • FAA Order JO 7210.3, Para 10-3-11 Multiple Runway Crossings.
    4. When an aircraft/vehicle is instructed to “follow” traffic and requires a runway crossing, issue a runway crossing clearance in addition to the follow instructions and/or hold short instructions, as applicable.
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Follow (traffic), cross Runway Two Seven Right, at Taxiway Whiskey”
      • or
      • “Follow (traffic), cross Runway Two Seven Right at Taxiway Whiskey, hold short of Runway Two Seven Left.”
    5. Issue a crossing clearance to vehicles for each runway their route crosses. A vehicle must have crossed a previous runway before another runway crossing clearance may be issued.

      NOTE: A clearance is required for vehicles to operate on any active, inactive, or closed runway except for vehicles operating on closed runways in accordance with a Letter of Agreement (LOA).

    6. Vehicles that have been issued a clearance onto a runway to conduct runway operations are authorized to cross intersecting runways, unless otherwise restricted. Issue hold short instructions as needed.

      NOTE: Vehicles should not normally use runways as transition routes to other parts of the airfield. These movements are not considered runway operations and the use of alternative routes is preferred.

    7. Crossing of active runway(s) by aircraft/vehicle(s):
      1. During departure operations, ensure that aircraft/vehicles intending to cross a runway do not cross the runway holding position markings until the controller visually observes the departure aircraft in a turn, or the departure aircraft has passed the point where the crossing aircraft/vehicle is located, regardless of altitude, unless authorized in FAA Order JO 7110.65, Para. 3-10-10, Altitude Restricted Low Approach.
      2. During arrival operations, ensure the following:
        1. (a) An aircraft/vehicle has completed crossing prior to the arriving aircraft crossing the landing threshold, or
        2. (b) A crossing aircraft/vehicle will not cross the runway holding position markings until the arrival has landed and either:
          1. (1) The controller has confirmed by verbal commitment from the pilot that the arriving aircraft will exit the runway prior to the point at which the crossing is intended, or
          2. (2) The controller visually observes the aircraft exiting the runway prior to the point at which the crossing is intended, or
          3. (3) The arriving aircraft has passed the point at which the crossing is intended.
    8. Request a read back of runway hold short instructions when it is not received from the pilot/vehicle operator.
      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • READ BACK HOLD INSTRUCTIONS.
      • EXAMPLE
      • 1. “American Four Ninety Two, Runway Three Six Left, taxi via taxiway Charlie, hold short of Runway Two Seven Right.”

        or

        “American Four Ninety Two, Runway Three Six Left, taxi via Charlie, hold short of Runway Two Seven Right.”

        “American Four Ninety Two, Roger.”

        “American Four Ninety Two, read back hold instructions.”

      • 2. “Cleveland Tower, American Sixty Three is ready for departure.”

        “American Sixty Three, hold short of Runway Two Three Left, traffic one mile final.”

        “American Sixty Three, Roger.”

        “American Sixty Three, read back hold instructions.”

      • 3. “OPS Three proceed via taxiway Charlie hold short of Runway Two Seven.”

        or

        “OPS Three proceed via Charlie hold short of Runway Two Seven.”

        “OPS Three, Roger.”

        “OPS Three, read back hold instructions.”

      NOTE: Read back hold instructions phraseology may be initiated for any point on a movement area when the controller believes the read back is necessary.

    9. Issue progressive taxi/ground movement instructions when:
      1. A pilot/operator requests.
      2. The specialist deems it necessary due to traffic or field conditions, e.g., construction or closed taxiways.
      3. Necessary during reduced visibility, especially when the taxi route is not visible from the tower.

      NOTE: Progressive instructions may include step by step directions and/or directional turns.

    10. Issue instructions to expedite a taxiing aircraft or a moving vehicle.
      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • TAXI WITHOUT DELAY (traffic if necessary).
      • EXIT/PROCEED/CROSS (runway/taxiway) at (runway/taxiway) WITHOUT DELAY.
    11. Issue instructions to aircraft/vehicle to hold short of an approach/departure hold area when required.
      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • HOLD SHORT OF (runway) APPROACH
      • HOLD SHORT OF (runway) DEPARTURE

    3-7-3. GROUND OPERATIONS

    Avoid clearances which require:

    1. Super or heavy aircraft to use greater than normal taxiing power.
    2. Small aircraft or helicopters to taxi in close proximity to taxiing or hover-taxi helicopters.

    NOTE: Use caution when taxiing smaller aircraft/helicopters in the vicinity of larger aircraft/helicopters. Controllers may use the words rotor wash, jet blast, or prop wash when issuing cautionary advisories.

    • EXAMPLE
    • “Follow Boeing 757, Runway Three−Six Left, taxi via Alpha, Caution jet blast.”
    • or
    • When appropriate,
    • “Follow CH−53, Runway Two−One, taxi via Bravo, Caution rotor wash.”

    3-7-4. RUNWAY PROXIMITY

    Hold a taxiing aircraft or vehicle clear of the runway as follows:

    1. Instruct aircraft or vehicle to hold short of a specific runway.
    2. Instruct aircraft or vehicle to hold at a specified point.
    3. Issue traffic information as necessary.
    • PHRASEOLOGY
    • HOLD SHORT OF/AT (runway number or specific point), (traffic or other information).

    NOTE: Establishing hold lines/signs is the responsibility of the airport manager. The standards for surface measurements, markings, and signs are contained in AC 150/5300-13, Airport Design; AC 150/5340-1, Standards for Airport Markings, and AC 150/5340-18, Standards for Airport Sign Systems. The operator is responsible for properly positioning the aircraft, vehicle, or equipment at the appropriate hold line/sign or designated point. The requirements in para 3-1-12, Visually Scanning Runways, remain valid as appropriate.

    3-7-5. PRECISION APPROACH CRITICAL AREA

    1. ILS critical area dimensions are described in FAA Order 6750.16, Siting Criteria for Instrument Landing Systems. Aircraft and vehicle access to the ILS critical area must be controlled to ensure the integrity of ILS course signals whenever the official weather observation is a ceiling of less than 800 feet or visibility less than 2 miles. Do not authorize vehicles/aircraft to operate in or over the critical area, except as specified in subparagraph a1, whenever an arriving aircraft is inside the ILS outer marker (OM) or the fix used in lieu of the OM unless the arriving aircraft has reported the runway in sight or is circling to land on another runway.
      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • HOLD SHORT OF (runway) ILS CRITICAL AREA.

      NOTE: All available weather sources METARs/SPECI/PIREPS/ Controller observations are reported ceilings and/or visibilities and must be disseminated as described in 7110.65 and 7210.3

      1. LOCALIZER CRITICAL AREA
        1. (a) Do not authorize vehicle or aircraft operations in or over the area when an arriving aircraft is inside the ILS OM or the fix used in lieu of the OM when the official weather observation is a ceiling of less than 800 feet or visibility less than 2 miles, except:
          1. (1) A preceding arriving aircraft on the same or another runway that passes over or through the area while landing or exiting the runway.
          2. (2) A preceding departing aircraft or missed approach on the same or another runway that passes through or over the area.
        2. (b) In addition to subparagraph a1(a), when the official weather observation indicates a ceiling of less than 200 feet or RVR 2,000 feet, do not authorize vehicles or aircraft operations in or over the area when an arriving aircraft is inside the middle marker, 1/2 final mile.
      2. GLIDESLOPE CRITICAL AREA. Do not authorize vehicles or aircraft operations in or over the area when an arriving aircraft is inside the ILS OM or the fix used in lieu of the OM unless the arriving aircraft has reported the runway in sight or is circling to land on another runway when the official weather observation indicates a ceiling of less than 800 feet or visibility less than 2 miles.
    2. Operators commonly conduct “coupled” or “autoland” approaches to satisfy maintenance, training, or reliability program requirements. Promptly issue an advisory if the critical area will not be protected when an arriving aircraft advises that a “coupled,” “CATIII,” “autoland,” or similar type approach will be conducted and the official weather observation indicates a ceiling of 800 feet or more, or the visibility is 2 miles or more.
      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • ILS CRITICAL AREA NOT PROTECTED.
    3. The Department of Defense (DOD) is authorized to define criteria for protection of precision approach critical areas at military controlled airports. This protection is provided to all aircraft operating at that military controlled airport. Waiver authority for DOD precision approach critical area criteria rests with the appropriate military authority.

    NOTE: Signs and markings are installed by the airport operator to define the ILS critical area. No point along the longitudinal axis of the aircraft is permitted past the hold line for holding purposes. The operator is responsible to properly position the aircraft, vehicle, or equipment at the appropriate hold line/sign or designated point. The requirements in Para 3-1-12, Visually Scanning Runways, remain valid as appropriate.

    • REFERENCE
    • AC150/5340-1, Standards for Airport Markings.

    3-7-6. PRECISION OBSTACLE FREE ZONE (POFZ) AND FINAL APPROACH OBSTACLE CLEARANCE SURFACES (OCS)

    1. Ensure the POFZ is clear of traffic (aircraft or vehicles) when an aircraft on a vertically guided final approach is within 2 miles of the runway threshold and the official weather observation indicates the ceiling is below 300 feet or visibility is less than 3/4 SM to protect aircraft executing a missed approach.

      NOTE: Only horizontal surfaces (e.g., the wings) can penetrate the POFZ, but not the vertical surfaces (e.g., fuselage or tail). Three hundred feet (300) is used because ATC does not measure ceilings in fifty (50) foot increments.

    2. Ensure the final approach OCS (e.g., ILS/LPV W, X, and Y surfaces) are clear of aircraft/vehicles when an aircraft on the vertically guided approach is within 2 miles of the runway threshold and the official weather observation indicates the ceiling is below 800 feet or visibility is less than 2 SM to protect aircraft executing a missed approach.
      • NOTE:
      • 1. The POFZ and the close-in portion of the final approach obstacle clearance surfaces protect aircraft executing a missed approach.
      • 2. Vehicles that are less than 10 feet in height, necessary for the maintenance of the airport and/or navigation facilities operating outside the movement area, are exempt.
    3. If it is not possible to clear the POFZ or OCS prior to an aircraft reaching a point 2 miles from the runway threshold and the weather is less than described in subparas a or b above, issue traffic to the landing aircraft.

      NOTE: The POFZ and/or OCS must be cleared as soon as practical.

      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • (ACID), IN THE EVENT OF MISSED APPROACH (issue traffic).
      • TAXIING AIRCRAFT/VEHICLE LEFT/RIGHT OF RUNWAY.
      • EXAMPLE
      • “United 623, in the event of missed approach, taxiing aircraft right of runway.”
      • “Delta 1058, in the event of missed approach, vehicle left of runway.”
    FIG 3-7-1 Precision Obstacle Free Zone (POFZ)
    FIG 3-7-1
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