Remaining in the Pattern

Just a quick question: When should I tell a pilot to make left or right traffic when they are remaining in the pattern? Before or after takeoff?

You include it in the takeoff clearance. If a pilot requests to stay in the pattern, when you clear them for takeoff you can select make left/right traffic. E.G. “N1TJ, runway 5, cleared for takeoff, make left traffic”.


Thank you. I struggled with this recently while controlling. Thanks a lot!

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A helpful tip is that if you are working at a airport with 2 runways, for example 23R and 23L, 90% of the time you want pilots on 23R making right traffic in the pattern and pilots on 23L making left traffic.

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Okay, thank you for the help. I need all I can get! Thanks, my friend.

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But an inbound aircraft can also do touch and goes. Then you simply give the pattern entry, runway, sequence and instead of clearing for landing, you clear for the option. L/R traffic included.

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Got it. Thank you so much for the help. Good day!