When ATC issues a left/right traffic

So I get that when I’m told I need to make left/right traffic I need to fly next to the left/right of the runway but when I’m on the ils for the runway but then ATC tells me to make left/right traffic do I fly over the runway maintaining my altitude then turn left/right turn? Then what do I do after that? Also what does downwind and upwind and all those other commands mean?


If you’re on the ILS: you shouldn’t be told to make a certain traffic unless in a go around.

If you are approaching an airport or are on pattern: Left/Right traffic is which side the runway is on to you, or even simpler, left traffic = left turns and the opposite.

Hope that helps.


But what do if I’m issued one? Do I fly over the runway or should I avoid it. Then after I have flown round the runway, do I keep going or do I just land?

Is this on playground?

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Yes. I was at klax on a really busy day. So I was issued to make left traffic. But I was confused. @IceBlue

That explains things. You should not be told to make a traffic pattern, for a runway that you are on final for. The only exception here of if you are told to go to a different runway, but as long as you are not on the ILS already you can just move earlier.

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What if I wasn’t on ils and they told me to make left or right traffic? @IceBlue


If told to enter on downwind, fly on the opposite direction to the runway on the left/right as told.

If told to enter on base, fly at a 90 deg angle to the runway. Left base = Left turn for runway.

If told to enter straight in, fly straight for the runway.


Thanks! Last question once. I’ve gone round, do I continue the pattern or do I just land?

If you go around, you to likely be told to enter a downwind for the runway. So fly the pattern.

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But do I land after I’ve done the pattern or do I continue the pattern?

You should land.

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Thank goodness we cleard that up finally 😅 My questions must have got very tedious! Thanks so much @IceBlue ! That really did help and now I understand. Thank you ✅


Haha no worries :)

If you go around, ATC will usually clear you to land on the downwind or base leg if the problem has been resolved that warranted a go around. If the problem hasn’t been resolved, they will say, “I’ll call your base” which means you do not turn base until told to do so.

simple explanation, well made :P


I don’t understand very well the question,are you talking about "cleared for the option,make left/right traffic?

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You will be issued this command when the pilot says “inbound for touch and go” or you have not specified if you are landing or performing a touch and go. The command “Cleared for the option” means that you are cleared for both a touch and go or for a landing. The command “make left/right traffic” means that if you choose to perform a touch and go you should turn onto left/right crosswind and continue around the pattern once you have landed and lifted off again. Don’t worry if you don’t understand

it confused me aswell


Really mate?..I know what mean CFTO,I’m IFATC,i only can’t understand what is the issue…

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How was I meant to interpret this