Operations resources


Controlled airspace


Holding procedures AIP ENR 1.5

Pilots awaiting clearance to enter controlled airspace may choose one of the options below.


When instructed to hold in accordance with an ATC clearance, ATC will normally assign aircraft estimated to arrive first over a holding fix, or first able to commence an approach, the lowest available level for assignment.

Where a delay of six minutes or more is expected, ATC will advise an expected approach time or expected landing time.

When operationally necessary, a pilot holding must advise ATC of the latest divert time.

When an aircraft is holding because weather conditions are worse than the prescribed landing minima, ATC will nominate scheduled reporting times, normally at 15 minute intervals.

At the time or position advised, the pilot must depart from the hold. A pilot should leave the holding fix on time, or up to one minute ahead of time, and unless identified, report leaving the holding fix.

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New rules come into effect from 2 December 2021 that cover the general operating and flight rules. We are currently updating this guide to reflect the new rules. A new version will be available to download from 2 December.
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