4-6-1. CLEARANCE TO HOLDING FIX
Consider operational factors such as length of delay, holding airspace limitations, navigational aids, altitude,
meteorological conditions when necessary to clear an aircraft to a fix other than the destination airport. Issue the
- Clearance limit (if any part of the route beyond a clearance limit differs from the last
routing cleared, issue the route the pilot can expect beyond the clearance limit).
- EXPECT FURTHER CLEARANCE VIA (routing).
- “Expect further clearance via direct Stillwater V-O-R, Victor Two Twenty-Six Snapy intersection, direct
- Holding instructions.
- Holding instructions may be eliminated when you inform the pilot that no delay is expected.
- When the assigned procedure or route being flown includes a charted pattern, you may omit all holding
instructions except the charted holding direction and the statement “as published.” Always issue complete
holding instructions when the pilot requests them.
NOTE: The most generally used holding patterns are depicted on U.S. Government or commercially
produced low/high altitude en route, area, and STAR Charts.
- CLEARED TO (fix), HOLD (direction), AS PUBLISHED,
- CLEARED TO (fix), NO DELAY EXPECTED.
- EFC. Do not specify this item if no delay is expected.
- When additional holding is expected at any other fix in your facility's area, state the fix and your best
estimate of the additional delay. When more than one fix is involved, state the total additional en route
delay (omit specific fixes).
NOTE: Additional delay information is not used to determine pilot action in the event of
two-way communications failure. Pilots are expected to predicate their actions solely on the provisions of
14 CFR Section 91.185.
- EXPECT FURTHER CLEARANCE (time), and if required,
- ANTICIPATE ADDITIONAL (time in minutes/hours) MINUTE/HOUR DELAY AT (fix),
- ANTICIPATE ADDITIONAL (time in minutes/hours) MINUTE/HOUR EN ROUTE DELAY.
- 1. “Expect further clearance one niner two zero, anticipate additional three zero minute delay at
- 2. “Expect further clearance one five one zero, anticipate additional three zero minute en route delay.”
- When additional holding is expected in an approach control area, state the total additional terminal delay.
- EXPECT FURTHER CLEARANCE (time),
- and if required,
- ANTICIPATE ADDITIONAL (time in minutes/hours) MINUTE/HOUR TERMINAL DELAY.
- . When terminal delays exist or are expected, inform the
appropriate center or approach control facility so that the information can be forwarded to arrival aircraft.
- When delay is expected, issue items in subparagraphs a and b at least 5 minutes before the aircraft is
estimated to reach the clearance limit. If the traffic situation requires holding an aircraft that is less
than 5 minutes from the holding fix, issue these items immediately.
- 1. The AIM indicates that pilots should start speed reduction when 3 minutes or less from the holding
fix. The additional 2 minutes contained in the 5-minute requirement are necessary to compensate for
different pilot/controller ETAS at the holding fix, minor differences in clock times, and provision for
sufficient planning and reaction times.
- 2. When holding is necessary, the phrase “delay indefinite” should be used when an accurate estimate of
the delay time and the reason for the delay cannot immediately be determined; i.e., disabled aircraft on
the runway, terminal or center sector saturation, weather below landing minimums, etc. In any event, every
attempt should be made to provide the pilot with the best possible estimate of his/her delay time and the
reason for the delay. Controllers/supervisors should consult, as appropriate, with personnel (other
sectors, weather forecasters, the airport management, other facilities, etc.) who can best provide this
- DELAY INDEFINITE, (reason if known), EXPECT FURTHER CLEARANCE (time). (After determining the reason for
the delay, advise the pilot as soon as possible.)
- “Cleared to Drewe, hold west, as published, expect further clearance via direct Sidney V-O-R one three
one five, anticipate additional two zero minute delay at Woody.”
- “Cleared to Aston, hold west on Victor two twenty-five, seven mile leg, left turns, expect further
clearance one niner two zero, anticipate additional one five minute terminal delay.”
- “Cleared to Wayne, no delay expected.”
- “Cleared to Wally, hold north, as published, delay indefinite, snow removal in progress, expect further
clearance one one three zero.”