I spent a few hours checking some threads and articles on the topic in question and I would like confirmation from you: according to the AIM FAA manuals which state:

4-3-6(c)(2)(c) When considering the amount of runway available for use in takeoff or landing performance calculations, the declared distances published for a runway must always be used in lieu of the runway's physical length;

4-3-6(c)(2)(d) An aircraft is not prohibited from operating beyond a declared distance limit during the takeoff, landing, or taxi operation provided the runway surface is appropriately marked as usable runway";

I would easily reckon that if ATC gives the pilot the clearance to line up and wait with backtrack from a certain holding point, then the pilot can at any time choose a shorter distance for takeoff; this is done thanks to his assessment on the runway, lining up on a different point, resulting in a take-off from a non-declared distance (shorter than any intermediate holding point/position)

i.e. -TORA 2000m (published) -intermediate takeoff 1800m (published) -actual length for takeoff being 1700m (not published)

A c150 for example could ask to line up and take off from a position that's some hundreds meters/feet beyond the starting point (reducing the TORA) thanks to its performances...

So the question is 'are published distances such as TORA meant to be used in full or just a reference for pilots to make the assessment on the sufficient distance for take-offs?'

I am in Europe and our legislation follows the dictates of EASA, but I welcome your advice and observations deriving from the FAA regulations

  • $\begingroup$ Check my new answer thanks $\endgroup$
    – giggi10
    Commented Apr 27 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ You can edit your question to include new information, which is where the info in your answer should go. I moved it there and included the question in the title. If you prefer something else, you can roll it back or modify it further. $\endgroup$
    – Pilothead
    Commented Apr 28 at 1:30
  • $\begingroup$ Much appreciated $\endgroup$
    – giggi10
    Commented Apr 28 at 5:52

1 Answer 1


Welcome to Aviation Stack Exchange.

The pilot has the option to use an intersection takeoff versus using the full length available for takeoff provided there is enough runway available from that taxiway to the end of its declared distance. Declared distances are the runway declared available and suitable from the start of the runway to the end of the distance.

The use of declared distances from the FAA are mandatory but seldom used. The reason is due to most corporate pilots taking the runway length from Jeppesen charts but those "usable lengths" values are not declared distances but a Jeppesen derived number. I can prove that Jeppesen is incorrect at least once out of every seven runways for U.S. airports.

Does Jeppesen display runway declared distances on their charts?

Declared distances are used in the preflight planning phase. Pilots are not allowed to takeoff with a weight that will cause their accelerate-go distance to be greater than the listed TORA or TODA value. They also cannot takeoff if the accelerate-stop distance is greater than the ASDA value. The actual landing distance calculation cannot be greater than the LDA value.

Once the pilots am in the airplane, they can use the full length of the runway to stop. If they did the preflight planning correctly using correct declared distances, they will be afforded standard airport safety design features to keep themselves, their passengers, other people and property and their airplane safe. If they didn't follow the declared distances for the runway, they will lose those airport safety design features.

Here is a post I wrote discussing airport design safety standards and how declared distances are calculated.

How do pilots use stopway, EMAS, clearway and displaced threshold?

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the clarification... I am just referring to the simple situation where the pilot is authorized to line up and wait reporting the ability to take off beyond any declared distances, thus requesting a clearance for takeoff... Does it ever happen that the ATC approves such request under the pilot's discretion and responsibility? $\endgroup$
    – giggi10
    Commented Apr 24 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ For example the pilot requesting to use 2/3 of the rwy taking off far from the published starting point (Tora) since his aircraft performances allows it (i.e. a small piper or cessna) $\endgroup$
    – giggi10
    Commented Apr 24 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ @giggi10, a controller does not approve/deny a clearance based on aircraft performance. The published values are distances, measured from a starting point. That doesn’t imply you must use that starting point. Furthermore, theses declared distances only matter if you are operating under rules/policies that require you follow them. $\endgroup$
    – Timbo
    Commented Apr 29 at 9:13
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks indeed @Timbo $\endgroup$
    – giggi10
    Commented May 1 at 14:48

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