General RTF Rules & Prosedure’s


This radio telephony trainings-document is written for IVAO Indonesia and it explains in general and sometimes more specific the Radio Telephony Procedures (RTF). this document can be used generally as reference.


The emphasis should be put on the bold written part.

Letter Notation Pronunciation

  • A Alpha Al-pha
  • B Bravo Bra-vo
  • C Charley Char-lee
  • D Delta Dell-tah
  • E Echo Eck-oh
  • F Foxtrot Foks-trot
  • G Golf Golf
  • H Hotel Hoh-tell
  • I India In-dee-ah
  • J Juliet Jewlee-ett
  • K Kilo Key-low
  • L Lima Lee-mah
  • M Mike Mike
  • N November No-vem-ber
  • O Oscar Oss-cah
  • P Papa Pah-pah
  • Q Quebec Keh-beck
  • R Romeo Row-me-oh
  • S Sierra See-air-rah
  • T Tango Tang-go
  • U Uniform You-nee-form
  • V Victor Vik-tah
  • W Whiskey Wiss-key
  • X X-ray Ecks-ray
  • Y Yankee Yang-key
  • Z Zulu Zoo-loo

The letters O and V are in reality pronounced as Oscar and Victor.


  • 0 Zero Zero
  • 1 One Wun
  • 2 Two Too
  • 3 Three Tree
  • 4 Four Fow-er
  • 5 Five Fife
  • 6 Six Siks
  • 7 Seven Sev-ven
  • 8 Eight Ait
  • 9 Nine Nin-er

In reality ‘4’ is pronounced as four.


The words HUNDRED and THOUSAND may only be used with ALTITUDE, CLOUD height, VISIBILITY and RUNWAY VISUAL RANGE (RVR). In all other situations the numbers are given separate of each other.


  • 21200 lbs two one two zero zero pounds
  • 21200 ft two one thousand two hundred feet
  • Squawk 4500 squawk four five zero zero
  • Overcast at 3000 ft overcast at three thousand feet
  • RVR 700 m runway visual seven hundred meters
  • Flightlevel 100 flight level one zero zero
  • Heading 300 heading three zero zero
  • 10 nm one zero nautical miles
  • QNH 1000 QNH one zero zero zero
  • Speed 220kts speed two twenty

A point in RT is called Decimal (Day-see-mal) except in the US and is not used in time declarations as well as in coordinates. In the latter the letters N, E, S and W are called out as North, East, South and West.


  • 124.3 one two four decimal three
  • 10.17 UTC one zero one seven UTC (you-tee-see)
  • 55.12 N 03.54 E five five one two North zero three five four East


  • Distances in navigation and position confirmations Nautical Miles NM
  • Short distances as with runway length Meters m
  • Altitude, elevation, heights Feet ft
  • Horizontal speed including wind speed Knots Kt
  • Vertical speed Feet per minute ft/M
  • Wind-direction for take-offs and landings Degrees Magnetic degrees MAG
  • Altimeter-calibration Hectopascal hPa
  • Temperature Degrees Celsius degrees C

Aircraft that are within the wake turbulence category “heavy” must on initial radio contact with Approach or Tower mention the phrase “heavy” after their call sign. The following aircraft types have the WTC “heavy”:A310, A340, B747, B757, B767, B777, L101, MD11. For example: GIA2008 heavy.


As a result of tragedies like the Tenerife accident a lot of expressions are changed, standardized and internationally fixed. Even today the different phrases that are used are being fixed and modified. This document tries as much as possible to give insight in the present standards.

  • AFFIRM Yes
  • BREAK Provides separation between different parts within a message.
  • BREAK, BREAK Provides separation between different messages between different stations.
  • CHECK Review a certain procedure or system
  • CONFIRM Have I received this message (clearance or instruction)correctly?
  • CONTACT Make contact with …..
  • CORRECT Is true or understood correctly
  • CORRECTION There is a mistake in message, should be …..
  • DISREGARD You can consider the last message as not send
  • GO AHEAD Start or proceed with your message (only used in context of communication!)
  • HOW DO YOU READ How do you receive me?
  • I SAY AGAIN I repeat to emphasize or clear something
  • MAINTAIN Proceed on previous instructed conditions
  • MONITOR Listen out on (passive) frequency
  • NEGATIVE No, request not approved, that is not correct or not able…
  • READ-BACK Repeat last message as received (command)
  • RECLEARED Last received clearance changed
  • REPORT Pass the following information
  • REQUEST A request to or for ……
  • ROGER Have received last message in full
  • SAY AGAIN Repeat the whole or part of message
  • SPEAK SLOWER Reduce speaking speed
  • STAND-BY Wait a moment, I’ll call you back, listen out
  • UNABLE Cannot perform or confirm your request or instruction
  • WILCO Message received and will comply
  • WORDS TWICE As request when connection is bad. Repeat all words two times. As acknowledgement that every word will be repeated twice.


The demands for read-backs and confirmations of transmissions are laid down for flight security and safety. Strict following of these procedures will result in a safe and efficient flow of the radio traffic. It provides both controller and pilot the insurance that instructions are understood and will be
followed as meant and expected.

Clearances concerning taxiing, landings, start-ups, take-offs and crossings of and backtracking on a taxi or runway should be repeated in full. The words TAKE-OFF may only be used in actual TAKE-OFF clearances or when this clearance is revoked. In all other cases the words DEPARTURE or AIRBORNE are to be used. So READY FOR TAKE OFF is absolutely not done, but should be READY FOR DEPARTURE.

For Example:

  • A/C : Tower,GIA2008, ready for departure
  • ATC : wind 275 at 6kt, Qnh 1009, clear for takeoff rwy25R

Because often it is hard to determine when ROGER or WILCO should be used or the whole transmission should repeated here are some rules. In general one should use ROGER when information is received and WILCO should be used with instructions.

For example:

  • ATC GIA2008, taxi slower, due opposite taxiing traffic
  • A/C Slowing down, roger, GIA2008
  • ATC GIA2008, report passing exit NP1
  • A/C Wilco, GIA2008

Have fun!

Credit goes to sir Vitalis!

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