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Runway Incursion, Taxi to Holding Position

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Category: Safety Alert Safety Alerts
Content source: EUROCONTROL Safety Alerts EUROCONTROL

Safety Warning Message

Runway Incursion, Taxi to Holding Position

Date: 11 January 2005 Safety Warning Message.gif

What We Experienced

  • Recent SISG discussions have identified that Runway Incursion continues to be a key risk area. Two specific concerns have been raised regarding the misinterpretation of communications:
  1. mis-interpretation of the “HOLD SHORT” instruction, and
  2. mis-interpretation of the “TAXI TO HOLDING POSITION” instruction.

An ANSP provided a voice communications record from a recent incident illustrating the second example.

ICAO Procedure

The European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Incursions provides: “The most common phraseology problem for non European based flight crew, is the fundamental difference between:

  • the North American phraseology: “TAXI INTO POSITION AND HOLD” (which has the same meaning as the ICAO standard phrase “LINE UP [AND WAIT]”), and
  • the standard ICAO phraseology: “TAXI TO HOLDING POSITION” (which means taxi to, and hold at, a point clear of the runway - Instrument Landing System (ILS) Cat 1, 2/3 etc).
Listen carefully to the instruction. If unsure - ASK.


© European Organisation for Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) January 2005. This alert is published by EUROCONTROL for information purposes. It may be copied in whole or in part, provided that EUROCONTROL is mentioned as the source and to the extent justified by the non-commercial use (not for sale). The information in this document may not be modified without prior written permission from EUROCONTROL. The use of the document is at the user’s sole risk and responsibility. EUROCONTROL expressly disclaim any and all warranties with respect to any content within the alert, express or implied.