Runway crossing on Unicom

I have two questions regarding communication on Unicom when it comes to runway crossing.

Question 1: Let’s say I’m at KLAX and I am crossing runway 25R. As an example I would announce for instance, “American 1562 crossing runway 25R”, but once crossed is it necessary to announce clear of all runways?

Question 2: Let’s say I’m at an airport with multiple parallel runways, like KSFO or KMDW (we will use KMDW as an example) and I want to cross the following runways:

(Red circle indicates where you are, yellow line indicates the path. And yes, I’m aware the taxiways of KMDW have you not cross like that, but it’s just for the example 😂)

Would it be okay if I were to just announce that I was crossing 31L and not the other runways since it is the last one crossed? I’ve had IFATC issue me that before when KMDW was active, but I’m just wondering if it’s okay in Unicom.

Thanks! A response would be appreciated.

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I would always indicate that I’m crossing each runway, even if there are multiple ones. I also announce when I have vacated. IFATC clearly were not behaving correctly in your case, don’t let it give you the idea that it was correct, it’s them either being lazy or making a mistake.


KMDW was very busy at the time, so I’m assuming they did that to save time. I wouldn’t really blame them, seems pretty tedious IMO

On the other hand, they should have probably cleared me for ALL the runways

You should always announce for every runway you are about to cross. By you saying you are going to cross 31L, People will expect that you are just about to cross it and not that you will cross 2 runways before.


Thank you @Hamza.N and @Chatta290 it really helps!

If you haven’t received permission to cross a runway then you shouldn’t enter it, 31L is not 31R. They could then ghost you if it interfered and what would you say to that?

“So then…did you get clearance to cross 31R?”

You - “Ummmm no”
“Ghosting upheld, good day”

Might seem tedious but it’s not proper controlling in my opinion. I would make these sorts of things aware to supervisors and they can act on it if there is an issue


That’s true, but when I did it, the ATC didn’t ghost me, so my 50 cents was that it was just laziness as you mentioned above.

But thankfully that scenario didn’t happen, that would have SUCKED.

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Need to announce crossing for EACH runway. You can announce clear after you cross runways before taxiing.

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1: you have to report runway vacated since the unicom is not only for the aircrafts that can see you, but also the approaching aircrafts that can’t see you.
They’ll have to make their call whether to continue or go around, so it’s necessary to let them know if you are still on the runway or not.

2: you have to announce crossing for the runway you are going to cross. In this case, both runways. In real life at SFO, when aircrafts are taxiing to 28L/R from the ramp, tower will issue a clearance like this : CALLSIGN cross runway 1L and 1R. Or CALLSIGN cross runway 1L, hold short of 1R.


And that answers question one and two! Very helpful @Henrylzy and @jonspacepilot I appreciate it.

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It is a bit inconvenient for ATCs to give out runway crossing clearance in IF for parallel runways that close like SFO or MDW. But still, it’s crucial to give out clear instructions on what to do and what not to do, instead of making pilot confused.

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Yeah, I was very confused indeed when given that instruction 😆

I would assume there is a rule against ATC trying to get pilot to break a rule to ghost an annoying pilot. Or is there not?

I think for 1 he was refering to crossing two runways in a row without stopping and there wouldn’t physically be enough time to announce clear and crossing.

ATC should have given 2 consecutive “cross runway” instructions simultaneously, rather than “being lazy” and only giving one.

I’m referring to ATC not properly controlling and thus an issue arises where in the pilot ends up being ghosted for doing something without permission. 50-50 blame

If the ATC was actually intending to issues multiple clearences at once here, no way it should be a ghost. There would be no conflict, and ATC would not actually recognize the mistake. The only way I can see a ghost coming out of this is if ATC confuses two aircraft or something like that.

I believe he is. However, this will have the pilot confused about whether the ATC has cleared him to cross both 31R and 31C or if the ATC is aware that he needs to cross 31R and 31C before crossing 31L. In this case, the ATC has to issue three consecutive clearances for crossing three parallel runways instead of just one. And in IF, it’s really inconvenient since it has to be three separate commands due to the design.

In real life, if the aircraft is not going to hold in between those three runways, the instructions is going to be like this: CALLSIGN cross runway 31R, cross runway 31C, cross runway 31L(or combined those three runways together: cross runway 31R, 31C and 31L), hold short runway 4R(or contact ground at FREQUENCY).

It’ll never be just a clearance for one runway if there is two or more that needed to be crossed.

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I know how it works. I just don’t see why it would cause some kind of ghosting.

Well let’s say if it’s 31L you requested to cross and you were cleared to cross 31R even though that’s the second runway you need to cross does that not seem confusing to you? And in actual terms you have no permission to even enter 31L. So how would you know if the controller is being serious (lazy or utilising improper techniques) or made a mistake? You won’t. And if let’s say an aircraft was on final or set thing and you crossed 31L, it would be you who entered without permission so yes you would receive some issues there. It could be reversed but the point still stands, this sort of thing should not be happening all because the controller didn’t want to send two clearances