Line up and wait


I was listening to some LiveAtc this morning and heard KJFK tower using the term “line up and wait” instead of “position and hold”. A pilot even replied “today’s the day?”.

I did a quick search online and saw that there was a plan to make this change, but couldn’t find a date.

Also, I switched to KEWR’s tower to hear if they were doing the same, but they were still saying “position and hold”.

Is today the day??


I thought July 1st was the date, but it may take up to 30 days for everyone to get trained and switch over. Personally I think this was a boneheaded change, not to mention position and hold sound more professional.


Why do they always feel the need to change everything? Maybe I am missing something because I’m not a pilot, but was there really anything wrong with “position and hold”?

EDIT: It’s to conform to international standards:


Agreed. What’s next? 121 decimal 7 and what’s the QNH? Don’t like it.


I think as one of the leading countries in ICAO it’s about time we become more conforming than say, China, all the crappy African counties etc.

Yes, I use decimal instead of point as well as other standard phraseology.
I believe that if there is a standard and you chose to not meet that standard you are an amateur. The difference between a professional is they choose meet or exceed the standards even when half-assed would get the job done.

And if you think the difference is minor then you fly in a limited region and haven’t tried getting a clearance or reroute over Africa or India where the tiny details make the difference between communication and a fighter intercept.


“Le bon Dieu est dans le detail”


While I agree with this, there are some of us amateur’s who try to meet or exceed the standards as well.


This hasn’t happened yet, nor is it going to happen anytime soon. This is is still being debated at the FAA level. This is coming from the thread over at LiveATC.


The new Taxi instructions were implemented on 6/30. This means that you will no longer hear 'taxi to ’ used by ATC. They will still use ‘taxi to’ when it comes to going to the ramp or parking area, but not in conjunction with a runway assignment. Instead, you will hear ‘, taxi via’ with explicit instructions. Plus, they will give you explicit runway crossing instructions regardless of if the runway is active or not. This is in conjunction with FAA N7110.532. also, from the FAA:

Explicit Runway Crossing Procedure Change
Beginning June 30, 2010, controllers will be required to issue explicit instructions to cross or hold short of each runway that intersects a taxi route.

  • “Taxi to”

will no longer be used when issuing taxi instructions to an assigned take-off runway.

  • Instructions to cross a runway will be issued one at a time.
    Instructions to cross multiple runways will not be issued. An aircraft or vehicle must have crossed the previous runway before another runway crossing is issued.
  • This applies to any runway
    including inactive or closed runways.
  • Changes will also be made to the AIM and AIP
    to reflect the new procedures.
  • Never cross a hold line without explicit ATC instructions.
    If in doubt ASK!
  • Reminder:
    You may not enter a runway unless you have been: instructed to cross that specific runway; cleared to take off from that runway; or instructed to position and hold on that specific runway.

For additional information, go to

Federal Aviation Administration
Air Traffic Organization Office of Runway Safety
490 L’Enfant Plaza, SW, Suite 7225
Washington, DC 20024

So what you probably heard with ‘line up and wait’ is that the pilot, unfamiliar with US procedures, didn’t understand ‘position and hold’, and interpreted it as ‘hold position’ (which happens often), so they would reply back that they are holding their position. ATC would then try to repeat their instruction with ‘line up and wait’, which they understand. This happened all weekend with the 2 daily VIR43/VIR44 flights from KLAS.



That’s not what I heard…what I heard is a controller using the statement “line up and wait” with all departing traffic. He even corrected himself several times after starting to say “position and hold”. I just listend to KJFK’s feed and they are not saying “lineup and wait” right now, they certainly were that morning.


I second this…

I never knew decimal was standard phraseology for frequencies???


It isn’t; the word is “daysimal” :smiley: .

Now repeat after me: wun, too, tree, fower, fife… niner.


No, no, no, it’s trey, trey LOL.

Or so I thought in my faux southern drawal all’y’all.


There are no notices out regarding this, let alone updating the 7110.65T for ‘line up and wait’. In fact, the last major notice that went out, was the 7110.532, and 7210.747, for the new taxi instructions and multiple runway crossings. Additionally, they aren’t using anything ‘line up and wait’ at KLAS, KLAX, KSFO, or KBOS.



Using the term “decimal” is not standard in the U.S.

FAA Order 7110.65T 2-4-17


Live right now…controller using “line up and wait” at KJFK.


Then I surmise that said controller is using improper phraseology unless some waiver or testing is being done at KJFK. The .65 has to be followed for ATC, and ‘line up and wait’ is not part of the .65.

EDIT: current time: 1755 PDT. Controllers at JFK are using ‘position and hold’.



“Line up and wait” is planned to go into effect starting September 30 nationwide with controller training beginning late this month. The US will comply with most all ICAO standards as time goes on.


Any notice or change at the FAA that documents this? Nothing in the Orders/Notices section on that, and my friends at KLAS Tower indicated that this is on the shelf still. Like I mentioned before, there is a thread over at LiveATC talking about this very thing, in which aforementioned controllers chimed in there.

EDIT: Before mentioning the Safety Briefing that came out, keep in mind what it specifically states:

At press time, this change was expected to take effect September 30, 2010.

Like with the NACO charts, ‘expect’ could be anything, as well as they understand that at the time the briefing went to print, that this was what was initially slated. This is subject to change, and more than likely will.



I’ve been issued- in to position and hold three times in the last few days


Sure they didn’t say “Assume the position…”? :smiling_imp: