What is Clearance Delivery in aviation?


Clearance Delivery is a service provided by air traffic control (ATC) at airports to deliver pre-departure clearances to pilots. The primary purpose of clearance delivery is to ensure that aircraft receive their route clearances and necessary instructions before departure. This helps streamline the departure process and contributes to the efficient and orderly flow of air traffic.

Here's how the Clearance Delivery process typically works:

  1. Before Engine Start: Before starting the aircraft's engines, pilots contact Clearance Delivery on a specific frequency. This is usually done while the aircraft is still at the gate or parking area.
  2. Requesting Clearance: The pilot provides relevant information to the Clearance Delivery controller, including the aircraft's call sign, type, destination, and sometimes the initial altitude assignment. The controller then issues a pre-departure clearance, which includes the route the aircraft is cleared to fly, the initial altitude, and any other relevant instructions.
  3. Reviewing the Clearance: The pilot carefully reviews the clearance, ensuring that the assigned route, waypoints, and altitudes are understood. If there are any discrepancies or if the pilot needs clarification, they can request further information from Clearance Delivery.
  4. Clearance Copy: Once the pilot has received and confirmed the clearance, they read back the instructions to the Clearance Delivery controller. This readback is crucial for ensuring that both the pilot and controller have a mutual understanding of the clearance.
  5. Taxi and Departure: With the pre-departure clearance received and confirmed, the pilot can then taxi to the runway and follow the specified route during departure.
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Clearance Delivery plays a key role in avoiding congestion and delays on the ground and in the air. By issuing clearances before departure, controllers can better manage the flow of traffic and ensure that aircraft follow designated routes and altitudes, contributing to overall safety and efficiency in air traffic operations.

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