What should you do when parked during a gate hold?

If a long line of departures needs to be cleared or there is limited space on the taxiways, a gate hold can be used. As a pilot, what should you do when you see that there is a gate hold? To know what to do you must first know what ATC will do.

Once the controller has deemed that a gate hold is necessary, they will then add the “gate hold” remark to ATIS and a broadcast message will be sent to state that there is a new ATIS update.

As a pilot, once you hear that broadcast you would then tune to ATIS and see that a gate hold is now in effect.

If you are not parked at a stand you are free to request taxi, continue taxiing, request taxi to parking, etc.

If you are parked at a stand though you should not request pushback or taxi. If you do request pushback or taxi then the controller will send you a “hold position” command.

As long as the gate hold is still in effect and in the ATIS, the controllers will not allow anyone to pushback or taxi from a tie-down, remote parking or gate because they can’t.

So to answer the question in the title of this post, you would not need to do anything but continue to wait for the gate hold to be lifted. The controllers try very hard to keep gate holds active for as small amount of time as they possibly can, they should be limited to a maximum of 10 minutes. In extreme cases it may require a longer wait time.

Once the controller deems it’s fine to lift the gate hold, a new broadcast message will be sent stating there is a new ATIS update. If you were parked and waiting you then would be able to request pushback or taxi from your gate.

Controllers will then attempt to begin to move the aircraft that have been waiting the longest but understand that that is not always possible for us to know because when you switch between frequencies, loose connection to the server or leave your flight we may loose your ATC logs which is how we keep track of who requested what when.

Hope this clears that up for anyone who was unsure what to do! Always keep track of what is in ATIS so you can continue to stay informed and aware.


Thank you making this! As ATC on the Expert Server, I always get those pilots who keep requesting pushback repeatedly due to not knowing what to do during a gate hold.


Thanks! I know you know this but for anyone that I might have confused with the wording, I did reword it a little to make it more clear that aircraft that have already pushed back can still be cleared to taxi.

If anyone has a better way to word any portion feel free to edit the post, it’s a wiki.


This happened yesterday in Baltimore almost every aircraft was stuck at gate for about 30 minutes.

1 Like

Yeah there was a large event, that’s what inspired me to make this topic. Almost every aircraft kept requesting pushback numerous times even though there was an active gate hold. Better to wait at the gate because there was no room on the taxiways.