In the air, concept of right of way does exist.

Does it also exist for ground operation as well? Possible conflict might come from where taxi ways intersect each other. Do pilots have to agree with each other who goes first or ground controllers do this for them?


At a controlled airport, ground maneuvering, taxi routing and sequencing, etc., will be assigned to you by ground controllers after you make contact with them and enter the controlled areas of the field. Even here the rules below will apply when aircraft are maneuvering in non-controlled areas of the field e.g. parking aprons, hangar spurs, refueling areas, etc.

Pilots are generally courteous and conscientious people and will usually try to be helpful to both parties.

At a uncontrolled airport or an uncontrolled area of a controlled field, the following right of way rules are going to apply to maneuvering on the ground:

  • When two aircraft are approaching head on, or approximately so, each shall stop or where practicable alter its course to the right so as to keep well clear.
  • When two aircraft are on a converging course, the one which has the other on its right shall give way.
  • An aircraft which is being overtaken by another aircraft shall have the right-of-way and the overtaking aircraft shall keep well clear of the other aircraft.
  • An aircraft taxiing on the manoeuvring area shall stop and hold at all runway-holding positions unless an explicit clearance to enter or cross the runway has been issued by the aerodrome control tower.
  • Emergency vehicles proceeding to the assistance of an aircraft in distress shall be afforded priority over all other surface movement traffic.

Source: EASA (pdf pages 53-54)

  • $\begingroup$ Should not be to difficult to remember, that's the same rules as a drivers license... $\endgroup$
    – jwzumwalt
    Jun 14 '18 at 6:19

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