MaxFledgTrivia: When do I request/receive a Frequency Change (Freq Chg)

MaxSez: One requests or receives a Freq Chg on the following occasions;

a) You Request a Freq Chg Upon “Departure” from an aerodrome at a Controlled Field unless a Controlling Agency sends you one prior to arrival at or soon after the field inner circle, (workload permitting) or at first opportunity. Note; Towers Control the airspace of their fields from the Surface to FL-050 within the defining fields inner circle. Competent Tower Controllers who are not inundated or have Departure, Approach or both operational will often make the Freq Chg or a Hand Off automatically. You should Request a Freq Chg after you have past the inner circle boundary at controlled departed field if a Tower does not affect the Freq Chg or Hand off.

b) Alway anticipate Freq Hand Off’s if an ATC structure is operational. Heads up en-route, a Center may be watching you at anytime. If there present Check In and follow the Hand Off instructions up or down the ATC control chain when operational. No Center, expect Approach. No Approach expect Tower, always follow the ATC Chain up and down.

c)Review the comm menu often, once the fires lit, look for newly joined controlling Agencies en-route or in the chocks

d) An Airspace Challenge by ATC like “Your in Controlled Airspace” or “State Intention” Indicates your not following ATC Comm protocol, its poor airmanship. Remember the Pilot in Command is the Decision Maker, but he must be competent!

e)No ATC, Unicom, Pilot initiated all Freq Chgs & chg to a Unicom station to clear an active ATC Flight Strip, Same when out of active contacted airspace always clear the Strip.

That’s my take, correct me if you disagree or would like to add a novel view!


Okay, maybe not over contacting ATC when it is available is incompetent, but the controller asking for intentions as far as I am concerned, it isn’t. If an IFATC can correct me, please do, but as far as I am concerned you can just contact ATC and continue with your flight plan, at least with approach ATC, until you are told to expect vectors, given an instruction, or asked to state intentions.

I’d like to add, once given a Freq change please actually change frequency. Then you aren’t cluttering up our screens as much :)


Where do you go then if there is no other airport nearby that you have need of any significant interaction with…and there are other no other ATC around !!!

If I could like that point a hundred times I would. Please switch to a Unicom if you need be, but leave the frequency from which you’re being changed. @Maxmustang Well said, I agree. I was not previously aware of a protocol to request frequency change upon leaving the inner circle. I typically request frequency change after I’m established on my departure turn after clearing the runway. If tower is busy I may wait until they go ahead and clear me so that I’m not jamming up the comm, unless I’m approaching the edge of the airspace and haven’t already received the clearance to switch from the tower.

Caveat: Not that one has to over contact the active ATC controller but if leaving a towered field and being handed to active departure/approach for that region it is expected to make initial contact in their airspace at the minimum.

@Recxx The closest Unicom. The pilot need not have any interaction with that unicom field but it takes your name off of the controllers list. Nothing worse than half a dozen extra names on your list that are on the other side of the region.


Personally the best thing from perspective of a controller is do nothing. I’ll hand you off as soon as I feel comfortable you won’t intefer with traffic


I’m hoping that many other controllers will add their input on that specific point as well, it can only help everyone.

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@nicochile2… MaxSez: “In my opinion” is the problem with IF, everyone has an opinion, there like #####, (can’t remember right now what opinions are like but you get the idea, ). The airways are not free passage, there are rules that must be followed or somebody dies. Get you head out of your opinion pls and you can play with the big kids LOL. Gooday

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With “my opinion”, I meant what I understood. Again, if IFATC can correct me, please do. Sorry if you misunderstood what I said.

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@Recxx… in the RW you go to commen. in IF go to any Unicom Freq in order to clear a Strip on an active Controllers board if contacted. Give me a break… M

No, you should request your service. Say intentions shouldn’t have to be used


So that basically means that a as soon as you contact frequency you must state your intentions, right?

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On ground no, as you have to file FPL etc

Tower: Request takeoff when you get to the hold short line, even if it’s a back taxi

Departure/center: Request flight following or VFR in a GA plane, check in if it isn’t busy and you have a flight plan, request Radar vectors to destination (NOT requesting an approach)

Request flight following or VFR in a GA plane, check in if it isn’t busy and you have a flight plan, otherwise request an approach or radar vectors

Call inbound (or on the ILS if you’ve been vectored by approach) as soon as you are on frequency

Ground: Request taxi to parking when you pass hold short UNLESS given a hold short or cross runway commands with your exit. Otherwise, Request taxi to parking when you exit the hold short of the runway ATC made you hold short/cross


Depends. If there is a runway crossing first, request that.

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There stands to be some technical differences for certain specific situations, you’re absolutely correct. Otherwise the general guideline laid out by @Insertusernamehere is spot on.

Additional: A proactive controller (that isn’t being swamped by traffic) or otherwise quiet field should be able to grant you that crossing clearance prior to it being requested.


That’s common sense, and you shouldn’t be on tower Freq at that point anyway

I didn’t say you should be in tower…
For example EDDL. You land on runway 23R. The controller tells you to exit runway when able and contact ground. You do that. Exit runway and contact ground. If he doesn’t clear you immediately, you should taxi to the hold short line of runway 23L, and request runway crossing. After crossing the runway, you ask for taxi to parking clearance.

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@nicochile2 that was about tower. Not ground.

(Anyway at EDDL they’d likely give you a exit and hold short or exit and cross in which case you stay on tower)

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I was talking about this comment actually 👇

Also, as @Flightfan84 said, it depends on the controllers. If it is “proactive”, it will, if there’s a lot of traffic, it won’t.


Well written Max that’s pretty much the jist of it. I know the IFATCs that have commented will say different but honestly I don’t care if you remain on comm as long as you don’t keep requesting crap. Classic working departure.

Handed off by tower 500 AGL*

Initial contact 10,000 MSL request flight following

Response frequency change approved

Dont contact me at 10,000 feet asking for flight following, you’re already out of my airspace at that point

Repeated with yous and requests follow

Sure tune in and don’t state anything to anyone. When you are within 10 NM from the field and get put to the back of the line it’s no ones fault but your own. If you like to cruise down the ILS to within 5 NM go ahead but expect a 360 or go around due to your lack of planning.

In other words go ahead and fly your flight plan without saying a word we don’t care you may in the end though.

P.S. Dont request a frequency change after cleared for the ILS, fly the approach we will switch you when we feel like it. Also don’t just switch. I will onguard you, and you may be ghosted if you ignore.