ATC Takeoff Procedures

Hey IFC,

I have my IFATC Written Test later today and is just one thing I am unsure about. When ATC clears an aircraft for takeoff, when is that controller allowed to clear the next the next plane? I’m pretty sure it’s 3 miles to avoid wake turbulence, but i have seen closer separation at my local airport. If anyone knows, please let me know.


IFATC does not consider wake turbulence when clearing planes for takeoff, you just have to consider the time it will take for the aircraft behind to line up and start rolling, when the aircraft behind starts rolling the aircraft in front should be airborne.

We also consider, for example, if a C172 takes off and an A380 is behind, then we need to give a bit of time so the C172 doesn’t get eaten by the A380.


For real life ATC, it really depends on aircraft size, inbound aircraft, certain SIDs that aircraft are using, etc. However, I do not know of a a firm policy on this, other than using common sense.

It’s in the manual:

Here’s the departure tutorial:

We can’t provide you with the test answer directly.


If you’re talking real world, the FAA is big on spelling everything out. There most certainly is policy regarding vertical separation, lateral separation, wake vortex separation, etc.

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Thanks! Do you know the name of these policies or have a link to check out? I am interested in reading up.

I also would be interested in seeing the TCCA procedures, I have seen some really close calls (landing/arriving aircraft conflicting) at CYYZ, so maybe theirs is different than the FAA’s.

You can start here:

It will most likely reference specific FAR/AIM numbers. If not, I can try to find those as well.

Edit: some more on separation minima:

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have u ever been driving to go to KORD it feels like there is bareley 3nm distance between inbound aircraft even when taking off in the winter I have seen IMMEDIATE takeoffs happen like its standard Procedure :)

I don’t think wake turbulence is a big deal for larger aircraft. The ATC will say “Caution, possible wake turbulence ahead with the X aircraft,” to alert them so there’s no surprise ahead for them.

There is no wake turbulence in IF, so not sure why it would be taken into consideration.

depends bro u are completely right about there is no wake turbulence in IF but there still is separation required between aircraft in IF more on expert and on casual and TS1 it doesn’t exist lol

It isn’t as of yet, and though there are feature requests for it I sincerely doubt we ever see it without C/D. No one would ever depart or land on FNF.


You can kind of anticipate it, but don’t give it too early. ATC gave the aircraft behind me a rushed takeoff clearance when I was rolling at reduced thrust, forced me to go 95% N1 to get out of the way XD

For me, I would give clearance once the aircraft in front has crossed the other end of the runway.

As a IFATC, if the aircraft is holding short of the runway I will usually give the aircraft clearance to takeoff once the aircraft that is on it’s takeoff role has reached 100kts, as the time it takes for the aircraft to line up on the runway and takeoff the other aircraft will be airborne.

If the aircraft is lined up and waiting behind the aircraft on the takeoff role, you must wait until the aircraft is airborne before sending the clear for takeoff message.


He’s asking for the test. There are answers in the manual and in the tutorial. The test answers will be based upon those, not everyone’s independent opinion or preference.

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