Sundance Flying Club
Special Newsletter, Feb 1 2007

New FAA Procedure for Position & Hold

We have been advised by the KPAO tower that beginning Monday, Feb 5, 2007, the FAA will be using new procedures for Position and Hold operations. Effective from Monday, when an airplane is cleared to land (or cleared for the option etc.) no other airplane can be instructed to taxi into Position and Hold.

This means that at Palo Alto we may get to 1 mile to 1/2 mile out on final before receiving a clearance to land. Sequencing of airborne aircraft will be stated as N12345, you are number 1, aircraft in position, continue.". This is not a landing clearance.

A landing aircraft that has been cleared to land may have its clearance rescinded using words such as N12345, cancel landing clearance, continue..

In both cases, N12345 is expected to continue its approach to land, but is not cleared to land. It will be given a landing clearance once the airplane on the runway has departed.

When informing Sundance of this change, the tower stressed that if you have not received your clearance to land by the time you are on a 1 to 1/2 mile final you should request a clearance from the tower.

We believe that this change will mean that the tower frequency (118.6 MHz) will become even busier than it already is. Further attentiveness and courtesy will be required of all pilots. By working with our controllers and other pilots in the airspace we can minimize the added workload from this procedural change at Palo Alto.

As the change to Position and Hold is system-wide, expect unfamiliar procedures to be in place at other airports. Again, attentiveness and courtesy will ease the uncertainty.

As we obtain other material resulting from this change we will advise you.