Ask FLYING: Takeoff Versus Departure

What do you say to air traffic control when you’re ready to go?

Q: After lineup for takeoff, what do we say to ATC (air traffic control): “A-BCD is ready for departure” or “A-BCD is ready for takeoff”?

A: The Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) contains a great deal of guidance on what to say and when in Chapter 4. While it doesn’t come right out and state: “use ‘departure’ before you get on the runway” and “‘takeoff’ when you are on the runway,” it can be inferred through the example given in 4-3-10:

“Cleveland Tower, Apache Three Seven Two Two Papa, at the intersection of Taxiway Oscar and Runway Two Three Right, ready for departure.”

When working with ATC — presumably the tower — use takeoff when acknowledging a clearance:

“Cessna 1234, cleared for takeoff, Runway One Seven.”

Do you have a question about aviation that’s been bugging you? Ask us anything you’ve ever wanted to know about aviation. Our experts in general aviation, flight training, aircraft, avionics, and more may attempt to answer your question in a future article.

Login

New to Flying?

Register

Already have an account?