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4 Answers

Uncontrolled Field Traffic Name

Asked by: 2350 views ,
Airspace, General Aviation

When communicating on an uncontrolled airport's CTAF, you normally say "Podunk Traffic" or whatever. How do you know what to call it? For example, for the Gulf Shores Jack Edwards Airport (JKA), would you say "Gulf Shores Traffic" or "Jack Edwards Traffic?" How do you know what to call it?

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4 Answers

  1. Nathan Parker on Sep 25, 2012

    You will likely hear both variations on the frequency, although one might be more common with the locals. If there is only one airport in Gulf Shores, I would probably start with using that, unless everyone else on the frequency was saying “Jack Edwards”. The objective isn’t being “correct”, but communicating effectively with other pilots.

    We have a local airport that bears the name of the county in which it’s located, “Marshal County”, but a lot of pilots make the radio call using the city name, “Holly Springs”. I listen for both.

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  2. John D. Collins on Sep 25, 2012

    If you are unfamiliar with what the local pilot’s use, you might consider using both names, for example “Gulf Shores, Edwards traffic”. Once you hear a local on the frequency, you can shorten it up as appropriate. At the airport I base at, Rock Hill/York County Airport, Bryant Field, in the 15 years of basing at Rock Hill, I don’t ever recall hearing “Bryant traffic” being used, If someone did use it, the locals wouldn’t associate it with traffic in the pattern. We use “Rock Hill traffic”.

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  3. Pete Kemble on Sep 27, 2012

    I had this happen on my long commercial XC a couple years back, when I headed out to KZER in PA. It’s called Schuylkill County, Joe Zerbey Airport. Approaching, I called out “Schuylkill County”…no response, no one in the pattern…next callout I used “Joe Zerbey Traffic”. Still no response. On final I used “Zerbey Traffic” feeling that was probably the preferred local term, and what the heck, it’s a weekday morning and no one was around.

    After landing a local CFI there listening over CTAF on the ground told me he wondered what I’d call it next. I asked which was the right one? The response – “Pottsville Traffic!”


    I still think they were pulling my leg though 🙂

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  4. Alex Clark on Oct 01, 2012

    You should try it around a bunch of lakes which all seem to be called different names by everyybody who flies over….
    No wonder we have planes runing into each other in what most other folks consider to be ” The Bush”

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