The True Meaning of "Clear of All Runways"

I’ve seen the situation countless times:

(and too many times at the event I just departed from in Boston)

An aircraft has exited the runway from landing, they have one or more runways to cross to get to parking.

They exit the runway from landing

“[Airport name] Unicom, [callsign] is clear of all runways”

They approach their first runway to cross

"[Airport name] Unicom, [callsign], crossing runway XX]

They clear the runway

"[Airport name] Unicom, [callsign] is clear of all runways]

They approach their second runway to cross

The above process repeats until they have cleared all the runways they will cross

This is NOT what should be happening. Clear of all runways has a key word in it, “all.”

Definition of “All”



predeterminer · determiner · pronoun

Used to refer to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing.

This is the first definition, however, seeing that means the entirety of a group, it should mean, given the context “Clear of ALL Runways”, it means that once the pilot has no more runways to cross, they should use this command.

Using it every time you exit a runway clogs up the frequency, blocking any important transmissions on UNICOM. The only time it should be used multiple times at one airport by one user is in the event of a rejected takeoff, then it should only be sent twice, but I’ve heard it sent 16 times by one person before, however they were weaving through a runway, so without a troll, I’ve heard it 4 times by one user.

A Correct Example:

The user exits the runway

The user approaches the first runway to cross

“[Airport name] Unicom, [callsign] is crossing runway XX”

The user exits the runway and taxis to the next one to cross

“[Airport name] Unicom, [callsign] is crossing runway XX”

The user exits the runway

The process is continued until the user exits the last runway they will cross

“[Airport name] Unicom, [callsign] is clear of all runways”

It is not a difficult concept to understand, as “all” is a word many of us learned in pre-school, or kindergarten.


Clear of all runways is a message that should be sent on UNICOM only once, when the pilot is clear of all of the runways they will enter.


that’s how you know that someone is SERIOUS


I had to include it because that key word should make the phrase easy to understand, but apparently it isn’t easy to understand.

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Yeah, thanks for posting this, This is something else that was needed to be cleared out…

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Perhaps they can change this command to “Callsign is clear of runway X” to avoid any confusion.

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This is extremely misleading and incorrect. The whole purpose of unicom is to inform other aicraft of your position. If you announce “crossing runway xx” and wait 5 minutes to report clear of all runways, nobody will know what you’re doing. Did you stop on the runway? Are you inching across at a snails pace?

Not to mention, the purpose of “clear of all runways” is to make clear that you are no longer in conflict with any runway, hence the “all”. Not once you are clear of all runways you intend to cross.

Even though the phraseology suggests you must be clear of “all” runways, there is nothing prohibiting you from sending this message more than once and there is no part of this command that suggests you must be clear of all runways you intend to cross to send this command.

Unless you have a legitimate source on this, please don’t mislead pilots on how to utilize ATC and UNICOM.


I understand where you’re coming from, but if a pilot is awaiting a departure from the runway you just landed on, then I always appreciate a Clear of all runways.

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Posted that from wrong account.

I would announce clear after crossing each individual runway because other planes might be trying to use the runways (aka aircraft on final while you cross).

If someone were crossing in front of me, I would love for them to announce clear.

I guess each to their own, my personal preference is to do what you said not to.

Well then does that not contradict the point of it being ALL runways? It is that way for a reason.

Read this please.


Clear of ALL runways is not contradictory at all. It is literally saying you’re not on any runway. What’s wrong with saying that after exiting each runway? You’re telling people you are not a hazard to operations by saying it.

Shouldn’t be anything confusing about this


Lets try to make sure what we’re posting is accurate and not misleading. Likely best to leave this sort of clarification to ATC and others who know with 100% certainty what they’re saying is correct. Thanks