Be patient at a busy airport

When you’re at a busy airport on ground, be patient after you issue a request. Most controllers will set a timer after issuing a command asking you to wait. Commands I use this on include hold position, line up and wait, exit runway and hold, hold short… you get the idea. The timers have a 1 minute resolution, so even though the reason you weren’t granted your request has passed, the controller may be off handling other situations requiring immediate responses, and when you’ve got a few timers running, it’s easy to get caught up handling the immediate requests. Rest assured, when the timer fires, and the controller returns to your frequency you’ll get handled. What’s a minute or two or three when you’re at the beginning of a long flight.

I use timers when I need to hold off as short as 10-15 seconds because in that time I may be able to take care of 3-4 other requests that don’t need to be delayed. Like I said, the minimum timer is 1min, so you may think “hey, it’s clear” and send another request. Instead, be patient. We will get back to you.


Yes! That’s exactly how I feel when staffing airports.


Good advise!

It also makes the whole experience more realistic as well. Those seconds or minutes we are held, it makes the path ahead for taxiing aircraft nice and clear, and more straightforward as well.

I’m always happy to wait 😊

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Thanks for sharing this. I actually did not know about the system capability you guys as ATC have to get back to pilots after certain time.

Would you say that after waiting 10 minutes it would okay to resend the request?

Nice Topic @GHamsz !

I Can’t Disagree With You !!

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Yeah, 10 minutes should be more than enough time.

Unless there are a ton of aircraft on ground, I’d say 5 minutes is good.

We use another technique when we are bombarded with more commands than we can handle. We work from the bottom of the flightstrip since those people have been waiting patiently. Every time someone repeats a command, the system automatically puts that person at the top of the list. Therefore the ones at the bottom have been waiting the longest.


Brilliant explanation, I do this too!

Also another thing I would add is just because the area to pushback into is clear controllers may still hold your position. This is not because they have forgotten but could be because long takeoff queues are at the airport and the controller may wait slightly longer on your pushback to ensure that taxiway network doesn’t get blocked!

Thanks @GHamsz for the great explanation


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