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Can a turnpad also be used as a runway holding position?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Since you're asking about regulations, please update your question to add which country and/or regulations you're interested in. This question has already been asked for the US, for example. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Jun 26 '17 at 12:47

No, since you must have been cleared to enter the runway to be on the turn pad. It is part of the runway.

From the point at which an aircraft is cleared to enter the runway, until it reports vacated or departs, the runway is occupied.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure if ATC clearance would be the legal impediment; I've seen multiple a/c cleared onto the active in lots of small/crowded/strange airports (BVA,LTN) . I would think the lack of a holding marker on the ground would be a bigger issue, as I have effectivelly no reference of a line where my a/c will not inteferere with the one on arrival $\endgroup$ – Radu094 Jun 25 '17 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Radu094 Since you can't hold on an active runway, once cleared to enter, you must either vacate, take-off or abort. Regardless of how many aircraft, one or more means the runway is occupied. $\endgroup$ – Simon Jun 25 '17 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ well that's exactelly what (for instance) LTN does: with a clear to enter, backtrack, lineup and hold, then clear for intersection t/o for a second a/c behind us. Not sure of the legal implications, I was suprised originally, but now it seems common practice $\endgroup$ – Radu094 Jun 25 '17 at 13:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Radu094 Are you sure it's line up and hold, not line up and wait? That sounds like a recipe for an accident. $\endgroup$ – Simon Jun 25 '17 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ from memory :" ..via Alpha clear to enter, backtrack, line-up and hold, there is departure ahead" ...I need to pay more attention to the radio... $\endgroup$ – Radu094 Jun 26 '17 at 8:27

Not withstanding Simon's answer, the answer would be that it depends on the runway. The runway in the picture above has a displaced threshold and what appears to be a hold short (runway exit) line separating the runway from the turn pad.

The hold short line would indicate that the turn pad can be used as a place to hold while waiting for clearance for departure. With or without the displaced threshold, ATC could clear you to backtaxi onto the runway in order to reach the turn pad. Once there, you would begin holding short once the entire plane is beyond the hold short (runway exit) line. Holding there would not be an impediment to either arriving nor departing aircraft.

For departing aircraft, ATC could use the turn pad as extra room when having multiple aircraft performing Line Up And Wait maneuvers, preparing for departure. A scenario with a displaced threshold would put aircraft on the turn pad far away from the start of the Landing Distance Available.

Without a hold short line, ATC would not be able to hold the aircraft on the turn pad. Although, they could still issue a LUAW instruction by having the aircraft back taxi on the runway. It would probably then be up to the pilots discretion on where to perform a 180 turn around and where to hold as long as it is before the AER demarcating the beginning of the LDA.


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