New terminology from air traffic controllers coming Sept. 30

Pilots will hear new terminology from air traffic controllers as they wait for takeoff clearance beginning Sept. 30. Instead of “position and hold,” pilots will hear “line up and wait.” The new instructions were recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board and conforms to international terminology.

The phrase “traffic holding in position” will continue to be used to inform landing traffic that aircraft are in position on the active runway.

A safety analysis conducted by the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization Terminal Services determined that adopting the new terminology will eliminate confusion, particularly among pilots who fly overseas, and further reduce the risk of runway incursions.


  1. says

    This will be an easy transition for professional pilots who are used to the phrase (anyone flying into Canada is already familiar with the phrasing). My concern is that not all general aviation pilots will be informed about this latest change, causing some initial confusion.

    Airlines have charter companies are distributing an FAA-issued INFO on the topic. What means, other than an AIM revision or press release, will GA pilots have to learn of this change?

  2. Joe Aviator says

    Just another example of the FAA capitulating to unrelenting pressure from ICAO to change the American Aviation lexicon. What is harder to say in English as a “non-English” speaker? “Taxi into position and hold” or “Line up and wait?” The former is more easily said due to the word position being easily said in many languages. Can you imagine an Asian pilot trying to say the word “Line?”

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