Line up and wait

I heard the clearance that atc gave the aircraft a clearance to line up and wait despite there’s no planes approaching the runway.

Why don’t they just say cleared for takeoff?

many reasons for example ATC could be trying to make space between a recent departure and you. What server were you on?

Edit- my bad I didn’t realise this was on RWA I’ll let someone else answer 😂


Actually it’s not on IF. I heard the real traffic control of Narita International Airport.

1 Like

There are a few different reasons why this might happen.

The biggest one I can immediately think of is to allow for wake turbulence.


They use line up and wait IRL as a way to expedite departures.


That’s another one I was going to say

caution wake turbulence.

aircraft create something called wake turbulence when they are flying. These are incredibly unstable and dangerous turbulene “mini-sideways-tornadoes” that descend from the wingtips of planes towards the ground and can stay for up to 7 minutes. The bigger/heavier the plane, the bigger the effects are and the longer they stay. So usually a specified time gap is set in place if there is a large aircraft (i.e. B747) taking off before a smaller aircraft (i.e. A320).

1 Like

I understood. Thanks for your helpful information!

Line up wait is used for the following;

Wake turbulence caused by anything bigger than a 757.

Someone crossing the runway.

Spacing out departures.

Example: Delta 3169, winds 07 at 230, cleared for takeoff 27R. Cleared for takeoff 27R. Delta 1891, lineup and wait. Delta 1891, winds 07 at 230, cleared for takeoff 27R

Hope this helps!

1 Like

ATC can line jets up on the runway either as the previous jet is accelerating down the runway or, if landing, decelerating to their turn off point.

Some of my colleagues can be a little pedestrian in their approach to line up clearances from my experience. Hence line up and wait can be used to have them in position when the take off clearance is given.

As Bray has eluded to above there are often minimum timed spaces between jets departing in similar destinations so this is often a reason for line up and wait on an empty runway.

ATC are generally extremely good and have a very big picture on whats going on in their area! Often no need to question it unless you are directly concerned for aircraft safety IMHO.


This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.