If my destination airport is closed, or if I decided to land on a different airport I have requested on my FPL, should I use: Request to DIVERT to or ALTERNATE to?


1 Answer 1


"Alternate" is not a verb.1. You don't say "I am alternating to...". "Divert" is a verb. You do say "I am diverting to...".

If you are flying to airport A, but you have a backup plan that if the weather is bad you will land at airport B, then B is your "alternate" airport. If there is a weather concern at A you might tell ATC: "My alternate is B", meaning that if the weather gets worse you will go to B, and letting ATC know in advance that you might require a clearance to B. As soon as you decide to go to B, whether because of weather or because you feel like it or some other reason, then you say "I am diverting to B".

Note 1: There is a verb "alternate", but it has a completely different meaning and isn't relevant here.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also note that (at least in the USA) there is no requirement that you divert to your planned alternate. You certainly may, but if another airport makes sense instead that's fine too! $\endgroup$
    – randomhead
    Commented Jan 5 at 15:05

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