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3 Answers

Exiting Runway at Towered Airport

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FAA Regulations, General Aviation, Private Pilot

When exiting the runway after landing at a towered airport is it a requirement or best practice to tell the tower or ground when you've cleared the runway? 

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3 Answers



  1. Catfish on Feb 21, 2017

    No, it is not a requirement to report clearing the runway (to tower)…unless in very low visibility, that the tower directs you to “report when clear of Runway xx”.

    Additionally, making a call like this (to tower) would not be a best practice because it would be an unnecessary radio transmission on a possibly busy tower frequency.

    If not directed otherwise by tower, you should check in on ground frequency with your location (taxiway) and where you are parking / destination on the airfield.

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  2. Jjinpine on Feb 22, 2017

    That’s a good question, I’ve wounded that myself. I have been told once the tower tells you what taxiway to exit. You switch to ground after passing the hold short markings of that taxiway. But I feel like I should say something to the tower first?

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  3. Mark Kolber on Feb 25, 2017

    Jjinpine, you are asking a different question. No, you do not switch to Ground until Tower tells you to. See AIM 4-3-14, “A pilot who has just landed should not change from the tower frequency to the ground control frequency until directed to do so by the controller.”

    There are a number of reasons for this, but the most basic one is that the different stations at a control tower are just ways to divide labor. And there are multiple ways they can divide that labor? At airports with parallel runways, Tower often controls the taxiways between them. When things are very quiet, all tower functions, CD, Ground, Tower, might be on one frequency or you might be instructed to stay with Tower all the way to parking. I’ve even been to airports where Approach was also on the same frequency as CD, Ground, and Tower.

    Sound a bit confusing? It’s really not. It would be confusing if, every time we landed, we had to guess how they are dividing the labor any any given time at any given airport. But we don’t have to guess. We don’t change frequencies until they tell us to.

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