Contact with ATC

Contact with ATC

Best Practice – Contact with ATC

  • If Controlled Airspace transit is required, be prepared and call ATC well in advance.
  • Use the correct phraseology to obtain the clearance you want without confusion.
  • Think about what you are going to say before you press the transmit switch.
  • Be aware that ATC may be busy even if the controller isn’t talking on the frequency at that moment.
  • Remember that the instruction “Standby” is not a clearance and you should remain outside of Controlled Airspace until a specific clearance is given.
  • Calling ATC well in advance (3 to 5 minutes flying time is regarded as the best window for most requests) will give the controller time to assess your request and will minimize your possible delay.

Cost – None


In the EUROCONTROL causal factors statistics, 7% of infringements are down to inadequate clearance. This points to either pilots relying on a clearance and not being given one or a breakdown in the communication process. The use of clear R/T requests using standard phraseology helps to eliminate confusion and EUROCONTROL have published a guide for VFR phraseology in Skybrary.

Sample Material

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