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ALC-670: Tarmac Tales
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Line Up and Wait Procedures

ATC uses “Line Up and Wait” when a takeoff  clearance cannot be immediately issued due to traffic or other reasons.

Pay  close  attention  when  instructed  to  “Line  Up  and  Wait,” especially at night or during periods of low visibility.

When ATC issues intersection “Line Up and Wait” instructions and takeoff clearances, the intersection designator will be used.

If two or more aircraft call the tower ready for departure, one or more at the approach end of the runway and one or more at the intersection, the controller will state the location of the aircraft at the full length of the runway when authorizing that aircraft to taxi to Line Up and Wait or when clearing that aircraft for takeoff.

Before entering the runway, remember to:

Verify the ATC clearance.

Scan the full length of  the  runway, and Scan for aircraft on final approach or landing   roll out.

Verify that the aircraft is on the assigned/correct runway.

Turn on landing lights only  when  takeoff  clearance  is received, or  when  commencing takeoff  roll  at  an airport without an operating control tower.

Consider lining up slightly to the left or right  of  the  centerline  (approximately  3  feet) when holding in position at night so landing aircraft can differentiate your aircraft from runway lights.

When placing you into “Line Up  and  Wait,”  ATC  should  advise you of any delay in  receiving  your   takeoff   clearance, for example, wake turbulence, traffic on an intersecting runway, or the reason/condition is clearly visible.

If a takeoff clearance is not received within a reasonable time after instructed to “Line Up and  Wait,”  contact   ATC.   (90 SECONDS)


Note: There have been some collisions  and  several  incidents  involving  aircraft instructed to Line Up and Wait waiting for a takeoff clearance. The FAA’s analysis indicates that two minutes or more elapsed between the time an instruction was issued to “Line Up and Wait” and the resulting collision, land over, or go around by an aircraft cleared to land. Current guidance is to contact ATC if you have been holding in position for 90 SECONDS.