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I have a question to ICAO Doc4444, Chapter 12.3.4.7, Taxi procedures for departure, c).

My question is how to interpret the following, knowing that words in parentheses are mandatory, and words in square parentheses indicate optional additional words.

TAXI TO HOLDING POINT [number] [RUNWAY (number)] [HOLD SHORT OF RUNWAY (number) (or CROSS RUNWAY (number))] [TIME (time)];

I assume that this can be exploded to 12 variants (not including TIME at the end of each variant which would give another 12 variants).

  1. TAXI TO HOLDING POINT
  2. TAXI TO HOLDING POINT A1
  3. TAXI TO HOLDING POINT A1 RUNWAY 09
  4. TAXI TO HOLDING POINT RUNWAY 09
  5. TAXI TO HOLDING POINT HOLD SHORT OF RUNWAY 30
  6. TAXI TO HOLDING POINT CROSS RUNWAY 30
  7. TAXI TO HOLDING POINT A1 HOLD SHORT OF RUNWAY 30
  8. TAXI TO HOLDING POINT A1 CROSS RUNWAY 30
  9. TAXI TO HOLDING POINT RUNWAY 09 HOLD SHORT OF RUNWAY 30
  10. TAXI TO HOLDING POINT RUNWAY 09 CROSS RUNWAY 30
  11. TAXI TO HOLDING POINT A1 RUNWAY 09 HOLD SHORT OF RUNWAY 30
  12. TAXI TO HOLDING POINT A1 RUNWAY 09 CROSS RUNWAY 30

My questions are:

  1. Is my number of variants correct?

  2. All variant are instructions to taxi to a holding point, in case 1, holding point is obvious to the pilot due to runway in use? Correct?

  3. In all cases, the instruction gives clearance to taxi to a holding point without follow up by any other clearances, but for case 5, 7, 9, 11 the pilot must wait at holding point short of runway 30 (for stopbar light etc. to be opened). Correct?

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  • $\begingroup$ Before I answer, is it correct to presume that on your fictional airport: 1.) To get to RW 09 you will always be required to cross RW 30? 2.) To get to RW 30 you will always be required to cross RW 09? 3.) You will never taxi to the reciprocal runways, i.e. RW 27 or 12? $\endgroup$ – Michael Hall Mar 13 at 20:42
  • $\begingroup$ P.S. It might be helpful if you could provide a little more context in the form of a quote or link. I tried looking for ICAO Doc 4444 for reference and it looks like I would have to buy a copy for $390! $\endgroup$ – Michael Hall Mar 13 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ Hi. Yes, this is a fictional airport and yes, in my example I will always be required to cross RW 30 to get to RW09. I don't want to taxi to RW27 or 12 in my case. Just want to know if I this is the correct way to interpret this taxi procedure. Regarding the document, one must by a copy so I cannot provide a link, sorry. $\endgroup$ – lem2015 Mar 14 at 11:45
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Below are my answers to your specific numbered questions.

  1. I believe there are 4 variations of taxi clearance you might expect to receive in your scenario:

    a. Taxi to RW 09

    b. Taxi to RW 09, hold short RW 30

    c. Taxi to RW 30

    d. Taxi to RW 30, hold short RW 09

  2. This is incorrect. You will never receive taxi clearance to an undefined “holding point”.

  3. Basically correct, but there are no traffic lights or stop bars on any taxiways I have ever seen.

Regarding #1, those are the four possible combinations of a basic clearance, i.e. you are either allowed to cross the off-duty runway or you are not, and there are but two runways. However, that doesn't mean that you might not hear variations to this. While pilots and controllers strive for standardization there is some variety. For example, while not required to do so, it isn't unheard of for a controller to say "taxi to RW 09, cleared to cross RW 30."

To provide some additional context, clearance to taxi to an active runway clears the pilot to cross any off-duty runways that may intersect the taxiway. If the pilot is cleared to taxi but told to hold short of an intersecting runway, further clearance to cross and continue taxiing will be made on the radio.

The actual words “holding point” (in my experience) are never used. Clearance to taxi to a runway presumes the pilot will taxi right up to the painted hold-short line and stop there before switching frequencies and requesting takeoff clearance from the tower controller. The tower controller will then clear the pilot to either take off, line up and wait, or continue holding short.

At most airfields serving general aviation aircraft there is widened section of the taxiway in the hold short area for performing engine run-ups and final takeoff checks. However, the ground controller will never clear you to this “holding point”, but will instead clear you to the runway in use. It is up to the pilot to use this area as needed, and then taxi up to the hold short and switch to tower frequency when ready for take off.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi. Thanks a lot for your complete reply. $\endgroup$ – lem2015 Mar 21 at 8:55
  • $\begingroup$ Taxiway G @ BIRK has traffic lights half-way $\endgroup$ – Florian Mar 21 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ Also at BIRK you first get a clearance to an engine run-up area and then from there following a new taxi clearance to the RWY once the run-up is complete. $\endgroup$ – Florian Mar 21 at 18:54
  • $\begingroup$ Some airports have multiple holding points (US: intersections) along a runway, so they need to specify which one unless they want you to go to the end (the default). Likewise, they need to specify the runway number unless the ATIS lists only one as active or the choice is blindingly obvious from the winds. $\endgroup$ – StephenS Mar 21 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ "there are no traffic lights or stop bars on any taxiways I have ever seen" Then you clearly haven't been to very many airports $\endgroup$ – J. Hougaard Apr 20 at 19:30

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