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When there are multiple airplanes waiting to take off at the same airport, how is a priority list created?

Our pilot answers your aviation questions.

Air Canada planePhoto: aircanada.com

When there are multiple airplanes waiting to take off at the same airport, how is a priority list created?

Jean-François Côté, Drummondville, Québec
Priority is often given on a first-come, first-served basis, so the first pilots to call for taxi instructions usually take the lead. Some flights must meet more precise departure times, in which case they may be moved to the front of the line. Other flights may be destined to airports with ground delays, so they must taxi to a holding spot and wait. Air traffic control keeps the flow going by factoring in such parameters as weather conditions and deicing requirements; even aircraft size is considered when planning departure sequencing.


Doug Morris
Doug Morris is an Air Canada pilot and captain on the Airbus A320.

Got an aviation question? Send it to askdoug@enroutemag.net and look for more Flight Deck Q&As on our blog. enroute.aircanada.com

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