Air Traffic Controller Discussion With a Global Perspective
By Peter Armstrong 1230152

In some parts of Europe, the controller instructs the pilot to “push back facing N/W/E/S etc.,

In USA recently, a student instructed the pilot “Contact the company for push back”

Jo_7110.65x states:-

Movement of aircraft or vehicles on non−movement
areas is the responsibility of the pilot, the aircraft operator,
or the airport management.

Does this mean “push back and/or start at pilot discretion”? Or, does it mean “contact the company for this procedure”?

I always use the phraseology “Read back correct, push back and/or start at pilot discretion, advise when ready for taxi”
By Andreas Fuchs 810809
#527127 Hi Peter,

in some parts of the world, ANY movement on the airport, that includes the apron, needs prior approval by local ATC. In other parts of the world, aprons are excluded from the official movement area that is controlled by ATC.

As a rule of thumb, in the US (and Canada??) aprons are excluded from ATC and once you have your IFR clearance you can start and push on own discretion. However, there may be exemptions, so if you are not sure, ask ATC. If you don't need their clearance for start and push, they will let you know: "contact your company" or "on own discretion" are the same in this context. In the real world those aprons are owned by the airlines and a pilot of United would contact the ground staff of United to be pushed back, for example.

In Europe and probably in most parts of the world you will require a clearance for any movements at airports.

Basically, to sum it up: if in doubt, call and ask for it. That is far better than moving on your own and upsetting ATC.
By Kirk Christie 956763
#527153 Some clarification, on Apron movements, yes you are right that aircraft can move on the Apron with out ATC permission.

The clarification is, A push back needs approval (not a clearance) if the push back is going to end on a Taxiway.
By Andreas Fuchs 810809
#527166 ...depending on the country and on the setup of apron responsibilities. In Europe you pretty much need a clearance for picking your nose!
Last edited by Andreas Fuchs 810809 on Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Josh Jenk 1383451
Lindsey Wiebe 1101951 wrote:I think it's airport specific. Here in Vancouver CYVR you request push and start from ground controller and they control it all.

Hmmm... I don't think so. Being a controller at Vancouver myself (on Vatsim that is), I have been told that the ramp is uncontrolled. When a pilot reads back his clearance, I usually respond with, "readback correct. Push and start at your discretion. Report when ready to taxi." That doesn't mean the ground (or tower/terminal/center) can't advise a pilot about movements on the apron. E.g. "Push and start at your discretion. Caution the WestJet 737 pushing back from the gate on your right." As Kirk previously mentioned, the ground controller can, however, hold or approve a pushback if the pushback will end up on a taxiway. Also, at large events, for example, cross the pond, an airport may have a ramp controller to help organize the flow of aircraft at the apron. However, if I am correct, the ramp controller can only advise aircraft on their movements in the ramp area. However I am not 100% sure as I have never controlled that position.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents :D