Air Traffic Control Will Stop Using The Term Position And Hold


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Air Traffic Control Will Stop Using The Term Position And Hold

Eddy Metcalf

September 11, 2010 - Analysis by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed that differences between FAA and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) air traffic control phraseology contribute to runway incursion risks.  

In July 2000, the National Transportation Board (NTSB) recommended that FAA phraseology be amended to require the use of standard ICAO phraseology for airport surface operations to further reduce the risk of runway incursions.

In addition, the Air Traffic Procedures Advisory Committee requested FAA revise U.S. policy to require the use of the ICAO phrase, ?line up and wait?, rather than ?position and hold.?


The FAA conducted a safety risk analysis and determined that the use of the words, ?position and hold,? are found in a number of air traffic surface instructions, which potentially misleads pilots when only partial communications are heard. Adoption of the ?Line up and Wait? phraseology provides a unique instruction for pilots to position their aircraft onto a runway from a holding position. 

In accordance with its Safety Management System procedures, the FAA Air Traffic Organization conducted a safety analysis of this recommendation. FAA implemented mitigations to ensure a safe transition from the old phraseology to the new.  

Beginning on September 30, 2010, the words ?Position and Hold? will no longer be used to instruct a pilot to enter the runway and await takeoff clearance. Under the new ?Line Up and Wait? phraseology, the controller will state the call-sign, state the departure runway and state ?Line Up and Wait?. 

Be aware of the phrase "Traffic Holding in Position" will continue to be used to advise other aircraft that traffic has been authorized to "Line Up and Wait" on an active runway. 

Remember you may never cross a hold line without explicit ATC instructions. You may not enter a runway unless you have been instructed to cross or taxi onto that specific runway, cleared to take off from that runway, or  instructed to "Line Up and Wait" on that specific runway.

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