air traffic clearance
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air traffic control clearance
Authorization for an aircraft to proceed under conditions specified by an air traffic control unit (ICAO). This is to prevent collisions between known aircraft. The pilot-in-command of an aircraft must not deviate from the provisions of VFR (visual flight rules) or IFR (instrument flight rules) air traffic clearance except in an emergency or unless an amended clearance has been obtained. Additionally, the pilot may request a different clearance if he or she has information available that makes another course of action more practical or if aircraft equipment limitations or company procedures forbid compliance with the clearance issued. Pilots may also request clarification or amendment, as appropriate, any time a clearance is not fully understood or is considered unacceptable because of safety. Controllers should, in any such instance and to the extent of operational practicality and safety, honor the pilot's request. The pilot is responsible for requesting an amended clearance if ATC issues a clearance that would cause him or her to deviate from a rule or regulation, or, in the pilot's opinion, would place the aircraft in jeopardy. Normally, only the word clearance is used, and it may be prefixed by words such as start-up, taxi, takeoff, departure, approach, or landing to indicate the particular portion of flight to which the ATC clearance relates. Also called an air traffic clearance.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved