If I am at a towered airport in class delta airspace and I'm departing VFR and tell the ground where I want to go, is it implied to the controller that I'm requesting VFR flight following?

Let's say I'm at the Chandler Municipal airport (KCHD), and I'm headed to the Scottsdale airport, which is in another class delta, and I probably need to transit the Phoenix bravo airspace.

I call Chandler Tower up and say:

"Skyhawk 283JS with information sierra, FBO, north departure to Scottsdale airport"

Will the tower controller coordinate flight following for me and assign a squawk based on this request? Or do I need to specifically request "VFR flight following" if I want it?


2 Answers 2


It is not. You must explicitly add

Requesting VFR Flight Following

Depending on the airport in question the tower may simply tell you to contact approach once in the air to request flight following. Other towers may set it up for you.

The notation of your destination is extraneous. When departing you generally tell the tower you direction of departure not your destination.

Flight flowing is also not an implied bravo clearance, you will need to request that once in the air. If you are taking off from a towered field you can ask for a handoff when requesting your clearance, this may help facilitate your clearance request as well as your flight following request.

  • $\begingroup$ For me (class C controller) if a pilot on the ground explicitly mentions their destination airport I query to confirm they want flight following. They do more often than not. I would imagine this is correlated even stronger at class D airports where VFR departures are normally not given squawk codes unless requesting flight following. $\endgroup$
    – randomhead
    Commented Feb 2, 2021 at 0:50

The VFR flight following is not implied even if the controller assigns you a squawk code. You have to explicitly ask for it as Dave mentioned in his answer above.

  • $\begingroup$ Got it. Any idea on how the controller remembers which squawking flights have flight following, and which do not? $\endgroup$
    – slantalpha
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ No, I don't. I guess when you request a flight following they make a note somewhere or mark it in some way. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 22:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ They tag your code with a destination; for "local" flights, they'll put their own code--and if you leave the area (no longer "local"), they'll drop you. If you request FF, they'll put your actual destination in, and when you leave the area, they'll try to hand you off. Also, they have different blocks of codes for different purposes, so if you know the area, you can predict if/where you'll get dropped based on the first digit or two. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Commented Dec 7, 2018 at 15:58

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