Pilot's Guide to Operating and Communication with "Easton Tower"
Welcome to Easton AirportWe, the Air Traffic Controllers here at Easton would like to welcome you to our airport. We want you to feel welcome and comfortable when you fly into Easton. We hope that you enjoy your visit and most of all; we want you to come back.
A lot of you may not have a lot of experience flying into a controlled field. Just the thought of it can be enough to scare some pilots. The information contained in this handout is not only useful for flying into Easton but into any controlled airfield.
A little homework goes a long way. Try to gather as much information about the Easton Airport prior to departing your home airport. A good briefing from Flight Service is essential. Become familiar with the layout of the airport. Keeping a copy of the airport layout with you can be a big help for both you and the Ground Controller. You can find and print airfield layouts off of the internet at sites such as Airnav, AOPA, EAA, Landings, and the FAA.
As you get near the airport, always receive the ATIS. The Automatic Terminal Information Service is available on 124.475. Along with the weather you will hear the runways in use, type of approach and other pertinent information pertaining to the airport.
According to the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), initial call up should be done 15 miles from the airport. Here at Easton we are not equipped with a tower RADAR display. We feel that your initial call should be at least 8 to 10 miles out. This way we can give you the best service possible when arriving into the Class D.
There are only four things we need to know:
- Who you are - your aircraft type and tail number.
- Where you are - your position from ESN (direction: North, South, East or West and your approximate distance in miles from the airport.)
- What you want - your intentions (full stop, touch and go, etc.)
- Current ATIS code - Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, etc.
On your initial call up the Local (Tower) Controller may be involved with other duties. If it is busy and you do not get a response, be patient. You probably have been heard.
You can not enter the Class Delta Airspace unless you have established two-way communications with the tower. If, however, it appears that the traffic has calmed and the controller has not called you, please call again.
After you have established two-way communications with the Tower you should never turn the volume down on your radio at any time while inside the Class Delta airspace. It is very important that the Tower be able to contact you so please pay attention.
You will be told which runway to use and where to enter the traffic pattern for that runway. You do not have to fly the entire pattern. If told to enter the base, proceed direct to the base. The tower will also give you a reporting point. This will happen between approximately 5 miles from the airport, depending on the type of aircraft and traffic conditions. This also gives us time to make changes to the pattern where we see fit. When you are given a clearance or control instructions, you should always repeat exactly what the Controller said.
In accordance with the AIM Paragraph 4-3-20, after you have landed you should:
- Exit the runway without delay at the first available taxiway or on a taxiway instructed by the ATC. Pilots shall not exit the landing runway onto another runway unless authorized by ATC. At airports with an operating control tower, pilots should not stop or reverse course on a runway without obtaining ATC approval.
- Taxi clear of the runway unless otherwise directed by ATC. In the absence of ATC instructions the pilot is expected to taxi clear of the landing runway by clearing the hold position marking associated with the landing runway even if that requires the aircraft to protrude into or cross another taxiway or ramp area. This does not authorize an aircraft to cross a subsequent taxiway/runway/ramp after clearing the landing runway.
- AIM Para. 2-3-5. An aircraft exiting a runway is not clear of the runway until all parts of the aircraft have crossed the applicable holding position marking.
Quick review, after you have landed you should exit the runway at the first available taxiway. NEVER STOP ON THE RUNWAY unless you are doing a stop & go. NEVER MAKE A 180 ON THE RUNWAY without the Tower's permission. You DO NOT need the Tower's permission to exit the runway. When you do exit, you will be told to contact Ground Control on 119.075. After you have exited the runway, PULL COMPLETELY past the double yellow hold short lines, HOLD YOUR POSITION and then contact Ground. You should NEVER taxi without clearance from Ground Control.
Just like your initial call to Tower, make it "short and sweet." Tell the Ground Controller your full call sign using your type aircraft, your position on the field and your destination on the airport.
Example: "Easton Ground, Skylane 747FA, clear of Runway 15 on Alpha, to Maryland Air."
If you are new to the airport or just not familiar with the field, please ask for "progressive taxi." We would much rather you get to your destination safely than have you lost or confused. If your taxi route takes you across an active runway you will be given "HOLD SHORT" instructions.
YOU MUST READ BACK ALL HOLD SHORT INSTRUCTIONS
Now it's time to leave
Your departure routine is very similar to your arrival. The first thing to do is get the current ATIS information. When you initially call Ground Control please provide your full call sign using your aircraft type, your parking location, your direction of flight on departure, and the ATIS code. The Ground Controller will then give you taxi instructions.
PLEASE DO NOT CALL GROUND CONTROL UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO TAXI
When you have reached the hold short line for the runway, hold your position. You do not need to tell Ground or have permission from Ground to contact Tower.
Before you call the tower, it is a good practice to scan the approach course for any traffic on final. This saves the Tower Controller from having to tell you to "hold short for landing traffic." If you see no traffic on final and you are ready, contact Tower 118.525.
When you contact the Tower you will either be "CLEARED FOR TAKE OFF" or told to "HOLD SHORT." If told to "HOLD SHORT" you must read back the hold short instructions.
After you have been cleared for take off you are expected to take the runway and depart without delay. We do not expect you to make your turn out prior to the departure end of the runway or make any unusual maneuvers without the Tower Controller's permission.
It is a good operating practice to remain on the Tower frequency after your departure for the purpose of receiving traffic information. In accordance with the AIM (Chapter 4, Section 3, Para. 4-3-2a) in the interested of reducing Tower frequency congestion, pilots are reminded that it is not necessary to request permission to leave the Tower frequency once outside of Class B, Class C and Class D surface areas. For those of you who would like flight following, we do not coordinate this. Contact Potomac Departure on 124.55.
We would like to thank you for taking time to read this. It is our hope that some of your questions and concerns have been addressed. We realize that it is impossible to cover every scenario so if you ever have a question please feel free to ask. If it's something we could answer for you over the frequency and traffic permits, we will.
From all of the controllers at Easton Airport,
The original document from ESN can be found here.