FAA Adopts ICAO’s ‘Line Up and Wait’ Terminology

AINalerts » August 12, 2010
August 12, 2010, 11:30 AM

Current FAA terminology for an air traffic controller’s instruction for a pilot to taxi onto the runway and await takeoff clearance is “position and hold.” However, this will change on September 30 to “line up and wait,” which is the standard terminology under International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines. The FAA’s decision comes 10 years after the NTSB recommended that the FAA adopt and require the use of standard ICAO phraseology for airport surface operations. In addition, the FAA’s air traffic procedures advisory committee has also requested the agency revise U.S. policy to require the use of “line up and wait” rather than “position and hold.” And the FAA runway safety call to action committee has issued several recommendations to address improving runway safety across the National Airspace System. In response to these recommendations, the FAA’s ATO Terminal Services convened a safety risk management panel to identify and assess the risks associated with changing the current phraseology from “position and hold” to “line up and wait.” The panel cleared the change, and next month it will take effect. Transport Canada made an identical move to the new phraseology in March 2008.

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