What's the correct way to say, according to the phraseology;

I will leave the runway; I will vacate the runway; or I will exit the runway?

  • $\begingroup$ What jurisdiction? In FAA and ICAO land, it's "vacate". $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Aug 25, 2016 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ What region are you asking about? The FAA Pilot-Controller Glossary doesn't specifically define either term, but it does use phrase "exit the runway" several times while never using the phrase "vacate the runway" (though it does use 'vacate' in regards to an altitude in one place.) On the radio, though, I usually hear 'vacate.' $\endgroup$
    – reirab
    Aug 25, 2016 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ If is is possible, from FAA and ICAO, please. I am from Brazil. $\endgroup$ Aug 25, 2016 at 16:37

2 Answers 2


The correct term is to vacate a runway. The term is used several times in the ICAO Manual of Radiotelephony (Doc 9432), including the following example (among many):

4.9 After landing
Unless absolutely necessary, controllers should not give taxi instructions to pilots until the landing roll is completed. Unless otherwise advised, pilots should remain on tower frequency until the runway is vacated.

Pilot: Georgetown Ground Fastair 345 runway vacated
ATC: Fastair 345 taxi to stand 27 via taxiway alpha

And a relevant note from the same document:

Note.— The runway is vacated when the entire aircraft is beyond the relevant runway-holding position.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ More often than not though I will hear a controller say "please vacate the runway as soon as possible", and then the pilot will announce "N12345 Clear of Runway XY", I don't think I've ever heard a pilot say that they've "vacated" a runway. In fact "Clear of the runway" is in the pilot/controller glossary as such. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Aug 25, 2016 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer Where? In the USA? The FAA has a tendency to deviate quite significantly from international standards (ICAO). "Vacate" is definitely used in countries following ICAO standards - cf. Doc 9432 as well as my personal experience $\endgroup$ Aug 25, 2016 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, in the US. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Aug 25, 2016 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ Vacate is definitely used... and as for "Unless absolutely necessary, controllers should not give taxi instructions to pilots until the landing roll is completed", well - youtu.be/x23fBpxuWGM $\endgroup$
    – J...
    Aug 26, 2016 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ In our uncontrolled airport we just radio to local traffic that we are clear of the active runway. $\endgroup$ Aug 26, 2016 at 12:31

I've never heard the term 'vacate' for this, though there's no reason they cannot do so. Most controllers will say 'Exit runway when able' or at a specific intersection 'Exit at Alpha two', etc. as a pilot, I have always said that I am 'clear of the active' followed by my taxi request.


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