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What You Should Know About Standard Taxi Routes

Just like SIDs and STARs published for traffic arriving and departing from busy airports, standard taxi routes help ATC direct aircraft around busy airports. Here's what you need to know.

Standard Taxi Routes - The SIDs/STARs Of The Ground

Airports with standard taxi routes generally have a high volume of airline traffic and dozens of double-letter taxiways sprawling across the airport. These taxi routes simplify taxi instructions, and reduce frequency congestion for long taxi route read-backs. Think of them as the SIDs or STARs of ground taxiing.

Even if you're not an airline pilot, you might be asked to follow a standard taxi route when flying into a busy airport, so it's important you understand how they work and where to find them.

Boldmethod

Let's look at the "NORTH" taxi route for Los Angeles, KLAX. It reads:

Taxi towards taxilane Tango (T) taxi northbound on taxilane Tango (T), and at check-point 1 contact Ground Control on frequency 121.65, hold short of taxiway Delta (D). Note: Taxilane Tango (T) is not visible from the Air Traffic Control Tower.

Jeppesen

Where You Can Find Standard Taxi Route Charts

Before you arrive or depart a large airport, check to see if there are standard taxi routes. Familiarize yourself with the route names and procedures. Try using the textual explanation of the route to draw a highlighted route on your taxi diagram once you've been assigned a ground clearance.

If you're using the Jeppesen charts on an EFB, they're usually located in the same place as the airport diagram (10-9).

If you're using ForeFlight, here's how to find standard taxi routes: "Go to DOCUMENTS > CATALOG > FAA > NOTICES TO AIRMEN."

"Once downloaded, open the Notices to Airmen publication. Use the SEARCH button in the upper right and search for "Standardized Taxi Routes." The results should guide you to the airport you need Standardized Taxi Route information for" (ForeFlight).

ForeFlight

Specific information about airports that use coded taxiway routes is included in the FAA's Notices to Airmen Publication (NTAP).

Company-Specific Documents

Many airlines and large flight schools have their own standard taxi route publications, and they may not be available to you as a transient visitor to the airport. So, don't panic if you can't find standard taxi route charts when other aircraft on ground frequency are being cleared with route names you don't recognize. Depending on where you are, these procedures may not apply to you at all. Each airline or school works directly with the FAA and ATC facility at the airport to develop these routes.

contri

What If You Can't Comply?

According to the FAA's Instrument Procedures Handbook, "It is the pilot's responsibility to know if a particular airport has preplanned taxi routes, to be familiar with them, and to have the taxi descriptions in their possession." If for some reason you can't locate the chart or you're unable to comply with the instructions, you must advise ground control on initial contact.

Additionally, "if for any reason the pilot becomes uncertain as to the correct taxi route, a request should be made for progressive taxi instructions. These step-by-step routing directions are also issued if the controller deems it necessary due to traffic, closed taxiways, airport construction, etc."

Boldmethod

Have You Ever Followed Standard Taxi Routes?

Tell us about times when you were cleared for a standard taxi route. Were you confused about anything? Did you have trouble locating the charts? Tell us in the comments below.

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at swayne@boldmethod.com, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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