Some larger airports in the US use land-and-hold-short (LAHSO) operations, meaning you're cleared to land, but only if you're able to do so without going beyond specific point (usually an intersecting runway) on the roll-out.

What if you're forced to go around just before touch-down, perhaps even with the mains hitting the pavement, you will inevitably head straight for, and cross, that intersecting runway. Would there be a risk of colliding with aircraft operating on the intersecting runway?


2 Answers 2


The AIM contains guidance on LAHSO operations and specifically says (in bold; I didn't add the emphasis in this case) that the clearance does not stop you from going around, but if one becomes necessary, the pilot should avoid other aircraft and vehicles and notify ATC as soon as possible:

AIM 4-3-11 Pilot Responsibilities When Conducting Land and Hold Short Operations (LAHSO)

5. If, for any reason, such as difficulty in discerning the location of a LAHSO intersection, wind conditions, aircraft condition, etc., the pilot elects to request to land on the full length of the runway, to land on another runway, or to decline LAHSO, a pilot is expected to promptly inform air traffic, ideally even before the clearance is issued. A LAHSO clearance, once accepted, must be adhered to, just as any other ATC clearance, unless an amended clearance is obtained or an emergency occurs. A LAHSO clearance does not preclude a rejected landing.

6. A pilot who accepts a LAHSO clearance should land and exit the runway at the first convenient taxiway (unless directed otherwise) before reaching the hold short point. Otherwise, the pilot must stop and hold at the hold short point. If a rejected landing becomes necessary after accepting a LAHSO clearance, the pilot should maintain safe separation from other aircraft or vehicles, and should promptly notify the controller.

And because I hear some pilots get the readback wrong, the next paragraph covers the proper way to read back a LAHSO clearance:

7. Controllers need a full read back of all LAHSO clearances. Pilots should read back their LAHSO clearance and include the words, “HOLD SHORT OF (RUNWAY/TAXIWAY/OR POINT)” in their acknowledgment of all LAHSO clearances. In order to reduce frequency congestion, pilots are encouraged to read back the LAHSO clearance without prompting. Don't make the controller have to ask for a read back!

If there is any doubt, don't accept the clearance in the first place. If something happens after you have accepted it and you aren't positive that you will be able to hold short, go around as early as possible to maintain as much separation from whatever may be crossing your runway.

There is a lot more guidance in that section of the AIM which I would highly recommend that any pilot flying in to a large airport reads.


There's always a risk with LAHSO and pilots can always say "unable"; student pilots are not even permitted to accept a LAHSO clearance. You can always go around if you deem it necessary; you're the pilot in control and empowered to make all decisions affecting the safety of your flight, and the fact that you're landing on a LAHSO clearance is just a factor you need to take into account. Making the decision to go around is, in my estimation, much safer than landing and potentially crossing the hold short line (due to the reaction time others have to deal with the situation).

While there is that risk, the tower is watching and at any sign of trouble they will call other landing aircraft off. The two runways aren't being landed on at the same moment such that normal operations would cause them to collide at the intersection if one didn't hold short.

According to this interesting article on the subject, there were 20 LAHSO incidents between 1994 and 1999.


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