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5 Ways To Prepare For Flying Into Busy Airports

Thanks to Bose for making this story possible. Check out the full series here. And if you want to know why we fly with Bose, learn more about their headsets here.

Before you go, make sure you have a plan.

1) Get familiar with the procedures

If there are specific arrival procedures or reporting points, make sure you're familiar with them. And if ATC asks you to report a local waypoint that you can't locate, ask if you can report a radial/DME distance from the airport instead.


2) Bring another pilot

Flying into busy airspace can be very demanding. Have another pilot tag along to help complete checklists, run radios, and scan for traffic. And before you go, make sure you brief the flight so everyone knows what their role will be.


3) Consider going IFR

Because the IFR world is more structured, consider filing an IFR flight plan before you go (if you are instrument rated, of course). Going IFR makes flying through busy airspace more simple and straightforward.


4) Write down clearances

Finding a break in radio transmissions at busy airports can be a task in itself. When you get a clearance, write it down so you don't forget.


5) Use a taxi diagram

Once you pick up ATIS on your way in, have a plan of what runway(s) you're most likely to land on, and how you'll get to parking. Pull up a taxi diagram in your EFB, and make a mental note of the direction you'll need to go. Then, when you get your taxi clearance from ground control, draw it out with your finger to make sure you know where you're going, and what taxiways/runways you'll need to cross to get there.


Curious about the new Bose A30 headsets? Learn more and read the reviews here.

Corey Komarec

Corey is an Airbus 320 First Officer for a U.S. Major Airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota, and he's been flying since he was 16. You can reach him at

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