View Full Version : ATC holding instruction

BITE System
2nd Mar 2010, 00:51
Does anyone know where I can find the reference for the following ATC holding clearance phraseology as I do not think it is correct: hold on the 180 radial in the Sothern quadrant? Is it ICAO? FAA? It is not used in the UK or Europe.

2nd Mar 2010, 03:35
AIM 5-3-7.
a pretty straight forward explanation.

2nd Mar 2010, 04:19
Welcome to the USA:}
Just wait until you get SPEED and HEADING SOUTH :eek:

2nd Mar 2010, 13:41
Indeed a strange one! Over here in Europe the 180 radial is in the southern hemisphere, but what is a southern quadrant? Presumably between the 135-215 radials?

Could not see ANY explanation in 5-3-7.

2nd Mar 2010, 14:56
Never did hear the term quadrant, and one could argue that the 180 radial is the southern hemisphere (which I interpret as being south of the equator anyway), but did use to get a clearance to something like "hold southwest of the XXX vor on the 180 radial, left turns".

The british CAP413 RT manual describes the following phraseology:

Bigjet 347, hold at North Cross FL60 expect onward clearance at time 40
Hold at North Cross FL60, request holding instructions, Bigjet 347
Bigjet 347, hold at North Cross FL60, inbound track 260 degrees turns left outbound time 1 minute

The FAA AIM part 5-3-7 describes holding procedures (http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/ATpubs/AIM/Chap5/aim0503.html) and does include
1. Direction of holding from the fix in terms of the eight cardinal compass points (i.e., N, NE, E, SE, etc.).
2. Holding fix (the fix may be omitted if included at the beginning of the transmission as the clearance limit).
3. Radial, course, bearing, airway or route on which the aircraft is to hold.
4. Leg length in miles if DME or RNAV is to be used (leg length will be specified in minutes on pilot request or if the controller considers it necessary).
5. Direction of turn if left turns are to be made, the pilot requests, or the controller considers it necessary.
6. Time to expect further clearance and any pertinent additional delay information.

Dream Land
2nd Mar 2010, 17:36
From Wikipedia:Quadrant - A sector equal to one quarter of a circle, or half a semicircle, see Circular sector.

Never heard this request. :cool:

2nd Mar 2010, 22:07
From a B767 FCOM, FMC chapter ref Holding info entry.


Quadrant/Radial (QUAD/RADIAL)

The holding quadrant and radial are entered.
Valid entry is X/XXX, XX/XXX, or /XXX (example NE/040).
Automatically changes INBD CRS/DIR to agree.

These FMCs have been around for 20 years or so and therefore the 'quadrant' idea must also have been though I've never heard it in operational use from ATC.


BITE System
3rd Mar 2010, 05:47
Thanks for you input everyone.

I cannot find a reference for this ATC phraseology and therefore think it is incorrect RT practice. As dreamland pointed out a quadrant is one quarter of a circle and therefore this clearance is assuming standard right hand turns, it is a very ambiguous clearance and IMHO should be given as “hold south east on the 180 radial right hand turns”

3rd Mar 2010, 08:50
DA-10mm - can you enlighten us on this 'quadrant' thing from your reference?

Back Seat Driver
3rd Mar 2010, 09:30
Extracted from an old Honeywell FMS Technical Newsletter (https://www.honeywellaes.com/servlet/com.merx.npoint.servlets.DocumentServlet?docid=D5F52ZU5XM0EZ SLKU23WR4NZ5M3N2S5OD)
…it is NOT RECOMMENDED to enter a holding quadrant on the HOLDING PATTERN page.
The pilot need only enter the inbound course and then verify that the quadrant is correct.

Extracted from AIM 5-3-7 (http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/ATpubs/AIM/Chap5/aim0503.html#5-3-7)
If the holding pattern is charted and the controller doesn't issue complete holding instructions, the pilot is expected to hold as depicted on the appropriate chart. When the pattern is charted, the controller may omit all holding instructions except the charted holding direction and the statement AS PUBLISHED; e.g., HOLD EAST AS PUBLISHED. Controllers shall always issue complete holding instructions when pilots request them.
......Direction of holding from the fix in terms of the eight cardinal compass points (i.e., N, NE, E, SE, etc.).

3rd Mar 2010, 20:15
Thanks, BSD - so it appears that the 'quadrant' expression exists only in the mind of someone writing a tech manual for an a/c computer system, and if required, ATC should have issued a holding octant which would have had all the drivers reaching for Google on their I-Phones.:) We therefore vote this instruction as .....................

Bite - it wasn't issued by a very young sounding voice, was it?:ouch:

PS BSD - are you someone's wife?:}

9th Jul 2020, 18:36
hi everyone!

i am looking to get my hands on this Honeywell tech newsletter advising against the use of the quadrant/radial format but unfortunately the link appears to be dead.
does anyone have an updated link or indeed a copy of the relevant document ?
i have scoured the Internet and the HOneywell website without much success.

Any and all help would be much appreciated


Extracted from an old Honeywell FMS Technical Newsletter (https://www.honeywellaes.com/servlet/com.merx.npoint.servlets.DocumentServlet?docid=D5F52ZU5XM0EZ SLKU23WR4NZ5M3N2S5OD)

Extracted from AIM 5-3-7 (http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/ATpubs/AIM/Chap5/aim0503.html#5-3-7)

10th Jul 2020, 03:54
"hold southwest of the XXX vor on the 180 radial, left turns".

“hold south east on the 180 radial right hand turns”

The "hold [octant direction]" only specifies which way the hold is relative to the fix - i.e., whether the inbound leg is toward or away from the VOR, for holds on an off-VOR fix. It eliminates an ambiguity of only 2 possibilities. (For a hold on the VOR, there is no ambiguity and that part of the clearance is redundant.) So, for the 180 radial the only possibilities are "north" and "south," there is no SE or SW.

The rest is specified by the turn direction.