Crossing Runway, Contact Tower or Ground?

Hi, if it happens that I need to cross runway right after exiting the landing runway, should I contact ground or stay on tower frequency?

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In the real world, Pilots contact Tower for runway crossings, however in IF, I contact ground.


contact ground but sometimes IF tower will issue a clearance to cross the runway so be ready for either instruction


if theres atc, follow atc instructions, if given exit runway right cross runway xx, contact ground on the taxiway, cross without stopping and contact ground when clear.


This has been a pretty big pet peeve of mine lately. If you get an exit instruction, do what it says. If it just says exit runway and contact ground, then contact ground after you have completely vacated the runway. If it says to cross a runway and contact ground, cross the runway then contact ground afterwards. Stay on tower until you have crossed the runway. The last thing I need is to quickly change the instruction to hold short only for you to not be on the frequency you should be on. If it says to exit and hold short, then exit the runway, hold short of the next and stay on tower. Some point after crossing you’ll be told to contact ground. Never switch to ground from tower unless told to do so. And if you don’t get an exit instruction, pilots are still expected to vacate the runway as soon as practical and remain with tower until told to switch.


Generally speaking, ground controller should never issue a runway crossing clearance for an active runway.

However in IF, especially at SFO, sometimes the tower controller will handover aircrafts landed 28R to the ground right after they’ve cleared 28R and runway crossing clearance for 28L will then issued by the ground controller. This only happened to me in TS(because I’ve never seen any controller at SFO in ES) and I’ll just ask the clearance from tower before switching to the ground.

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Just to add here, generally you’ll never need to contact Tower when crossing a runway, except from when it is a very busy airport with multiple frequencies. (E.g. 2 different people controlling Ground and Tower)

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What you do as a pilot depends on the runway exit instruction you get from Tower.



Thank you all for the great info!

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