FAA Removes ‘Taxi To’ From Controller Vocabulary

New Phraseology Goes Into Effect June 30th
Beginning at the end of this month, Air Traffic Controllers will no longer be using the phase “Taxi To” when clearing aircraft to an assigned takeoff runway.

The change establishes the requirement that an explicit runway crossing clearance be issued for each runway (active, inactive, or closed) crossing and requires an aircraft or vehicle to have crossed the previous runway before another runway crossing clearance may be issued. At airports where the taxi route between runway centerlines is less than 1,000 feet apart, multiple runway crossings may be issued after receiving approval by the Terminal Services Director of Operations. Aircraft will no longer automatically be authorized to cross all runways and taxiways which the taxi route intersects except the assigned runway.

In the amended taxi and ground order procedures, controllers are instructed to issue the route for the aircraft or other vehicle to follow on the movement area in concise and easy to understand terms. The taxi clearance must include the specific route to follow. When a taxi clearance to a runway is
issued to an aircraft, controllers should confirm the aircraft has the correct runway assignment. A pilot’s read back of taxi instructions with the runway assignment can be considered confirmation of runway assignment.

Movement of aircraft or vehicles on nonmovement areas is the responsibility of the pilot, the aircraft operator, or the airport management. Controllers are told that when authorizing either to proceed on the movement area, or to any point other than assigned takeoff runway, specify the taxi instructions. If it is the intent to hold the aircraft or vehicle short of any given point along the taxi route, routes should be issued followed by holding instructions. The absence of holding instructions authorizes an aircraft/vehicle to cross all taxiways that intersect the taxi route.

Under the new procedure, an authorization for an aircraft to taxi to an assigned takeoff runway should include the departure runway followed by the specific taxi route. Controllers are instructed to issue hold short restrictions when an aircraft will be required to hold short of a runway or other points along the taxi route.

Finally, the new procedures say that aircraft or vehicles must receive a runway crossing clearance for each runway that their taxi route crosses. An aircraft or vehicle must have crossed a previous runway before another runway crossing clearance may be issued.

The FAA Runway Safety Call to Action Committee issued several recommendations to address improving runway safety across the NAS. In response to the Committee’s recommendations, the ATO convened a Safety Risk Management Panel to evaluate the safety of the Committee recommendations. These are two of the recommended changes from the Call to Action Committee.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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