When is the correct time to change SID

Before pushback you typically enter SID and other route details. If the assigned runway is different after taxi clearance, when do you change the SID. Immediately? Is there a timeout after clearance to taxi to actually start taxing?


ALWAYS check your METAR and TAF information before asking for pushback; adjust accordingly.

Honestly I would hold your position and change it quickly. If there’s a line for departure. I would change it in the line


I agree with @MJP_27 as well. There have been plenty of times where I’ve had to change my SID depending on METAR or what runway ATC assigns me.

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It’s the “quickly” part I don’t like here. Typically it doesn’t take even a minute but still.

And there are plenty of occasions where this can happen. Even if you check the runways in use beforehand, which you should.

I’m going to have to defend @MJP_27 is his statement of ‘quickly’. As a pilot, it is your responsibility at any given moment to make those and many other quick decisions.

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No need to do stuff quickly, they can’t force you into the sky. Good time to do so is during stages of taxi where you can’t run into anybody and you don’t need to turn, however the best time in my opinion to add a SID is after pushback when you just got your taxi clearance. If you aren’t blocking a major taxiway, there’s nothing wrong in sitting there for a bit after getting the clearance to set your your SID


ATC may very well give you a different runway from the one you selected, and some airports have different SIDs for every runway.

I was in the same situation weeks ago on the ES when multiple RWY’s were in use and requested pushback for a specific rwy (which was suitable for departure according the ATIS and no queue) and planned a SID. I got clearance to push for another rwy and the SID was completely different so I had to adapt. (As always there was a reason I was not given my preferential rwy because of a lot of arrivals coming in)

The thing I did was, after receiving the pushback clearance, I said “stanby”, made my changes and requested again pushback with the correct rwy and this was accepted by the controller without a problem. I only say what happened in my case so maybe IFATC could reply if this could be a general solution for this situation.


During push and start, ideally, you would be starting the engines systematically. (engine 2 start, then once engine 2 is on start engine 1 if you are using a twin-jet plane)

Doing proper engine startup procedures can actually take some time so there should be more than enough time at this time to change your SID as you can’t taxi anyways.

And then, of course, request taxi when you’re ready

Many opinions, but none answer my question. It goes like this:

Active runways 34L and 34R. I enter the SID for 34R and:

Me: Request pushback
Ground: Pushback approved
Me: Pushback, starting engines, getting ready to taxi
Me: Request taxi to active runway
Ground: Taxi to runway 34L
Me: Changing the SID
Ground: Please, follow instructions
Me: Annoyed

Not a big deal, but it annoyes me.

Yes. You can’t change FPL. You are not instructed to change it. It is legal

Recommend you to read back the ATC manual

The manual doesn’t say anything about this.

I understand the concern, so I would always recommend changing the SID either during engine start (if the new runway is assigned during the pushback clearance), or while taxing as this should solve the issue. Certainly during taxiing isn’t exactly ideal in a one-person flight deck, but it the best idea in my opinion. Hope that helps, otherwise please let me know.
Also this seems to be something everyone does a bit differently as can be seen above :)

Fair enough. Thanks!

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