What does departing north, south, east, west or straight out mean?

I will get infinite flight pro in a few weeks and i’ve been preparing. I watched a ton of tutorial videos on ATC and that stuff, but I have no idea what the departing directions mean. And i’m guessing the take off and climb procedures are the same regardless of the departure direction. I’m really sorry if this question is hard to understand, it’s really hard to put into words what i’m thinking haha.


It’s to indicate to the other pilots on Unicom or ATC (if they are active) what direction you will be exiting tower’s airspace after taking off.

To add to that, “departing straight out” mean you’re going to takeoff and fly runway heading and not turn before the end of the ILS cone. (that red cone at each airport)


Thanks guys!

Hello! I know some users may not understand it, so I made an IFATC Education Group post about it.

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As Trio said the main point to bear in mind is the part about the airport airspace (the circle around the airport on rhe map). It’s the direction you will be leaving that airspace that matters, not your overall general route heading.

So if you’re departing Zurich and going to Vienna, then your overall route is heading east…but the first part of your flightplan, eg a SID, might initially turn northerly after the runway, before you start to head east. So in that case you announce “departing north”.

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Departing East

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What about in these scenarios with a ton of airports with so many circles and lines? I cant really see KLAX airspace

Don’t focus on finding the airspace, just use whichever direction you’ll be departing the airport

If your flight plan does not follow runway heading until the end of the cone, heres a small example.Screenshots_2021-10-03-21-31-50

Straight Out departure:


Ah I see, thanks for the help man :)

You’re welcome! Glad I could help 😁

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usually the inner-most shape that surrounds the airport. It might come in unusual sizes but it is what it is

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Not everyone has the time to google the airspace, its best to just find which way your departing. If your following tbe cone, its straight-out and so forth.

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