IFR to KXXX Clearance on Request?

IFR to KXXX Clearance on Request?

Postby NightFury » Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:31 pm

I have been taught and used "IFR to KXXX, Clearance on Request" for the past 30+ years since pilot training, heard most if not all of the other pilots I've flown with use this phrase, and even found an AOPA article saying 3 times to do use "Clearance on Request", but no reference to back it using it.

One of the PilotEdge ATC controllers corrected me saying to drop the "Clearance on Request".

I've scoured all through the AIM, IFR handbooks and AC's with no luck of a clear reference saying to only say "IFR to KXXX". Can anyone help with a reference. I'm eager to do it properly if anything has changed, but want to have a reference if I correct students.

Thank you,
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Re: IFR to KXXX Clearance on Request?

Postby Keith Smith » Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:53 am

"Clearance on request" is used by ATC to advise a pilot that they have heard their request and that it is in process. It's used in lieu of a controller being ready to issue an IFR clearance. You will occassionally hear pilots use it (clearly a different context where they mean "we have a clearance on request to [destination].")

Functionally, requesting an IFR clearance from a controller usually just involves saying exactly that "IFR to [destination] with [atis]." A destination is specified in cases where mutiple plans might have been filed, or as a simple sanity check, or as another method for the controller to visually locate the strip ("oh yeah, the Orlando strip, that one's over here...")

The phrase "clearance on request" doesn't appear in the PC/G, so you'll have to determine it's usage in the field. Our experience is that it's controller oriented. Out in the wild, I've heard it just once or twice from an airline guy doing his own thing while 99% of the other pilots call with their destination only, or dest+atis. I hear it from ATC on a regular basis, often shortened to "on request, number [sequence]," to advise them that they're in the queue.
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