Say Intentions

When ATC says Say Intentions, how should I respond? What if I just want to cruise at my current level and speed and I have no intentions of any change? Am I allowed to not respond?

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Stand by, maybe?

request VFR flight?

Depends on the situation. Based on your phrasing, I’ll assume you’re on an approach frequency. In that case, they want to know whether you want Radar Vectors, ILS Approach, Flight Following, etc.

(And, yes, respond.)


You should always respond to an air traffic controller no matter what the circumstances are at the current time. In the case of cruising you can always request to fly VFR on any frequency besides the main tower line. If you are connected to the tower frequency rather than any other you would just send the adequate response present in the situation you are in at that specific time of communication.

Simply request flight following flying VFR.


Yup, if you don’t want vectors just ask for a flight following , either to a certain airfield or VFR

If Tower ask for intensions, request Departure to N/E/S/W or Transition (if passing trough tower’s airspace)

Just DON’T say Going around!

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Generally, if tower is asking for intentions it is for the following reasons:

  1. You’re sitting at the hold short line but haven’t requested takeoff. (Response: Request Takeoff)

  2. You’re inbound for landing but haven’t called inbound to request a landing or touch and go. (Response: Request one of those)

  3. You requested a takeoff Remaining in Pattern but are flying…not that.

If overflying, generally if you’re above 5k feet AGL, tower won’t worry about you. If you do plan to fly low over the airspace, request transition.

Regarding departure requests:

These do not need to be made if you requested takeoff departing wherever.

Departure requests are used after you’ve done a touch and go or several patterns to let the tower know you intend to depart the airspace and a frequency change can be granted. (Again, this is not needed on a typical takeoff.)


For those saying Request VFR if he’s in a jet and not a GA, id be questioning this!

If your above 20,000 feet and you don’t have a flight plan to a destination, no frequency should be on guarding you,**unless **you are going to interfere with traffic they have on there frequency.

Comes down to the circumstances at the time.

Use some common sense, look around the map for any other aircraft and then if it’s clear request frequency change and jump onto the nearest Unicom

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