So I was on tower at LAX a little while ago on training. There were 5 aircraft lining up, waiting to take off from a certain runway. I told the next plane in line (let’s call him United 876, not his real name), to hold short, as I had another plane on final. However, he entered the runway without permission, at which point I told him that he did not have clearance to enter that runway and he needed to exit the runway, and to expedite because I had traffic on final. He then started to move forward to the first available exit, but instead of exiting the runway, he went full throttle and took off. The incoming aircraft landed without incident. Now, by how United 876 communiticated afterwards, he seemed to be unaware that he was in any wrong, even after I told him that he was not cleared, he just said “thank you, good day.”
I’m not complaining or anything, this was training, I get it. However, my question was, does taking off count as exiting the runway, because then, technically, he was right. Or does he have to exit on the ground?