Problem at London Luton regarding Back Taxis

Hello I am reaching out because it seems that when I wanted to back taxi RWY 25 I was instead given takeoff clearance which was not at all what I wanted. I did not want a intersection departure so I am actually legitimately confused on how to communicate with tower to request for back taxi with the limited requests I can give and am actually surprised given how old IF is that it still doesn’t have any sort of request for a back taxi…

As far as I know, a take-off clearance also allows you to back-taxi if I’m not wrong.


You´re right, a back-taxi prior to departure can not be requested. However a takeoff clearence allows you to back-taxi before departing. At some airports it´s not necessary for all planes to back taxi in which case the command isn´t used.


Yes but I was given the command to immediately takeoff despite my wishes… I don’t know if tower would’ve been happy with me if I decided to backtaxi when I was cleared for immediate takeoff

Nah, don’t worry. IFATC can’t report you for back taxiing on the T/O clearence. However, in busy situations, I suggest that no, since you’ll have traffic on short final.

Honestly, it may have been a mistake. The best thing is to PM your controller and ask them. We do not have all the facts about the airspace, where you were, what plane you were in, the weather, etc to make an educated guess.


Which aircraft were you flying?

Airbus 320

So i think he gave you immediate takeoff clearance because even without back taxi you had enough takeoff distance, might be wrong tho.

I was taking off with Maximum Landing weight so I wanted a safe departure.

Isn’t that over MTOW?

Which is why PMing the controller is the best course of action. As stated clearance means you can do what you need to do in order to take off. However, as a pilot you should always be looking at the radar to see if your actions might break separation rules or not. The controller may have given you that instruction assuming you were going to take off from your spot. But if there was a plane on short final and you did not have adequate time to perform your back-taxi if you felt you needed it is fine to hold short.


No, I meant over MLW

Okay, I already have reached out to him, but he isn’t online yet😑

Yeah I completely agree… Are you sure I can’t get reported for continuing to hold short after given clearance for takeoff

I guess saying “Stand By” and hold short to wait for the arriving traffic is the best option

It happens all the time and controllers work around it. Controllers can’t see your load or know how heavy you are. Now if you are holding short for 30 minutes and backing everyone else up that is a different story.


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