Study Guide:Ground

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This study guide is still work in progress. Stay tuned for further chapters.

Working Ground Positions

Ground is responsible for all movements of aircraft on ground, except the movements on the runway. Ground takes over responsibility for Delivery if he is not online.

Start-up clearance
Start-up clearance can be given if no other aircraft is taxiing behind the starting-up aircraft and if the take-off is expected in 20 minutes or less.

Austrian 125, start-up approved, (Temperature Minus 3)

Push-back clearance
Push-back clearance can be given if no other aircraft is passing behind and the parking position requires push-back (i.e. position at the gate, … [refer to charts])

Austrian 125, push-back approved”

Combination of both phrases
During low traffic you can use these two phrases together

Austrian 125, start(-up) and push(-back) approved

Taxi Instructions

The pilot pushes back and starts the aircrafts engines. As soon as he is ready for taxi he will call you:

AUA125:AUA125, ready for taxi.

Depending on traffic you can give him the taxi instruction to his departure runway:

GND:AUA125, taxi to holding point Rwy 16 via taxiways Exit 4, L and F, QNH 1019.
AUA125:Taxiing to holding point runway 29 via L and F, AUA125.

Sometimes it is necessary to hold an aircraft in front of another taxiway:

GND:AUA125, hold short of taxiway L.
AUA125:Holding short of L, AUA125.

When an aircraft is approaching its assigned holding-point (and clear of possible traffic-conflict) a hand-off to next higher position (i.e. TWR) shall be initiated as soon as possible.

GND:AUA125, contact now Salzburg Tower on frequency 118.10, bye bye!
AUA125:contacting Tower on frequency 118,10 bye!

Air-taxiing is the Movement of a helicopter / VTOL above the surface of an aerodrome, normally in ground effect and at a ground speed of normally less than 20 KT (37 km/h). Please Note: The actual height may vary, and some helicopters may require air-taxiing above 25 FT (8 m) AGL to reduce ground effect turbulence or provide clearance for cargo sling loads.

OEATD: request air taxi to Runway 29.
GND: OEATD, air taxi to Runway 29 via Exit 13 and M.

Ground Traffic Management

To organise the traffic on ground different techniques are available, some of them relying on the pilots seeing each other. Generally you should avoid clearing two aircraft onto crossing pathways, unless you are sure they will never meet each other. To achieve this you should instruct aircraft to hold short of taxiways in the way stated above. Consider the following situation:

You are the Ground Controller at Vienna Airport. Runways active are 34 for landing and 29 for departure. DLH6KM has vacated rwy 34 and requests taxi to its parking position. LZB421 is ready for taxi at stand 7Q.
GND:DLH6KM taxi to stand 40 via taxiways D and L, QNH 1019.
DLH6KM:Taxiing to stand 40 via D and L, DLH6KM.
LZB421:Wien ground LZB421 stand 7Q, ready for taxi.
GND:LZB421, taxi taxiway W, hold short of taxiway L.
LZB421:taxiing via W holding short of L.
The aircraft are now both approaching the intersection L/W.
GND:LZB421, give way to the DLH B737 crossing left to right on L, thereafter continue
taxi to holding point runway 29 via taxiways Exit 2, M and A1.
LZB421:Giving way to the 737 from left to right, then continuing taxi to holding point
runway 29 via Exit 2, M and A1.

Of course you have to make sure that this instruction is unambiguous, so there shouldn't be two DLH B737s in the area. Also in low visibility operations this procedure might not work very well, in this case you might have to give the aircraft the instruction to continue taxi when the other aircraft has passed. In some cases it is also useful to let one aircraft follow the other:

GND:LZB421, follow the Austrian DASH 8 crossing you right to left on M to holding point runway 29.
LZB421:following the DASH 8 crossing us right to left on M to holding point runway 29.

Intersection departure

Some flights do not need the whole length of their given departure runway so they might request takeoff from an intersection somewhere down the runway. This procedure is called a intersection takeoff. You should only grant this in coordination with Tower and if traffic situation permits. Also at some airports intersections are used to be more flexible in the departure sequence (see section Departure Seperation).

Special Situations (High Traffic, Slots, ...)


In case the above mentioned slot regulations are in force ground has the responsibility to set up a departure sequence in a way that the aircraft do not miss their slot.

Opposite runway operations

At some austrian airports it is very common to use opposite runway configurations (departure and arrival runway are opposite to each other). In these situations it can happen very fast that you have two aircraft facing each other nose to nose. Special attention should be paid to avoid this situation.