Transitions and cleared for option

Hi! I’m in the IFATC recruiting process and there are a few topics I’m confused about, if anyone would care to answer.

I have been getting perfect scores on everything besides these topics, and I want to make sure I’m confident in them before taking the ATC test for the 2nd time tonight.


I don’t understand what they are exactly: What do they do, and why does the specific altitude matter So much?

Cleared for the option vs cleaned for landing:

What is the difference and when should they each be used?

Also, is it okay to clear an aircraft changing runways for straight in on another when on 5 mile straight in? Just want to clarify!

Thank you so much! I understand this is a lot of questions, I would greatly appreciate answers!


Transition is approval to fly through active tower airspace. This altitude must be high enough to provide 1000’ vertical separation with aircraft in the pattern. Jet Aircraft pattern is 1500’ AAL so transition is 2500’ above AAL, rounded to the nearest 500’ level above; IF only allows 500’ altitude increments for ATC.

Option allows for pattern work, touch and goes, stop and go, or full stop. Landing is a clearance for a full stop only.

If operationally necessary, side-steps can be issued but it’s not a very common thing in IF


Thank you so much!! Wish me luck on the exam. :)

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Good Luck 🍀

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Thank you @Metier! One more thing regarding training:
The ATC manual says that you must do 15 training sessions at a minimum, though I have heard of people doing less- which is the case? Also, what does training entail of and do you recommend it?

Our ATC training program offers Tower trainees a maximum of 15 sessions in total (Depending on how fast you understand feedback and your dedication, you could pass training with less than that). After reaching 15 sessions, your progress will be reviewed by the training team, to determine if you are ready to test, need additional sessions, or if training needs to be terminated.

Indeed, It’s highly recommended that you take training to guarantee passing your practical test with success, but it’s also not required for Tower recruitment. Your recruiter will offer you the option, but it’s in your hands to decide if you want to take training or go directly to the test. More information can be found on this topic ATC Training

Hope that answers your questions!

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This video may help you understand it well.

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