GND controller position[PDF]


The Ground Movement Control (GND) has the responsibility of ensuring Air Traffic Control (ATC) Services within the airport movement areas. Its main task is to handle all movements on taxiways and aprons.
The GND ground controller is responsible for:
  • The aircraft push-back
  • The traffic taxiing from the apron to one active runway after start-up or push-back operation
  • The traffic taxiing from the holding point to the ramp after runway vacation
  • The security of all traffic on the ground in apron areas during taxiing

The GND controller hands off:

  • Outbound IFR traffic when released from DEL controller to obtain push-back approval
  • Outbound VFR traffic to obtain the departure clearance
  • Inbound IFR and VFR having vacated the runway to obtain the taxi clearance.
The GND controller is never responsible for:
  • Movements on active runways
  • Runway crossing without authorisation given by the tower controller
  • Aircraft line-up, take-off and landing

Ground controller tasks

Delivering departure clearance

In the large or international airport, a specific controller the delivery controller (DEL position) will deliver the IFR departure clearance. After giving this clearance, DEL controller will transfer IFR aircraft to GND controller.
Whenever the Delivery (DEL) position does not exist in the platform or the position is not opened, the GND controller must take responsibility of delivering IFR departure clearance as additional task.
GND controller should also deliver, VFR departure clearance.


The GND controller handles the aircraft push-back according to the traffic on the apron. Push-back approvals have to be given without blocking ground movements.
The GND controller shall pay attention to simultaneous push back manoeuvers of several aircraft located in the same area or apron.


After issuing departure clearances and push-back instruction, the GND controller issues the taxi clearance to the holding point and ensures aircraft security on the ground providing traffic information until the holding point.

The GND controller issues taxi clearances to inbound aircraft vacating the runway to the apron or a terminal gate.

Their security must be ensured over the whole taxi phase.
Runway operation is never under the responsibility of the GND controller. Runway operation are landing, taking-off, backtracking, taxiing, crossing.
The runway handling belongs to the TWR controller.

Runway crossing needs

In the case of runway crossing, the GND controller transfers the traffic to the TWR controller. Nevertheless, the TWR controller can instruct a runway crossing with keeping the traffic on the GND frequency. In this case, each runway crossing clearance has to be given by the TWR controller to the GND controller who transmits it to the aircraft on the GND controller frequency.

In conclusion, the GND controller shall not issue any runway crossing clearance without prior approval by the TWR controller.


The GND controller transfers traffic to the TWR controller at the latest when it has reached the runway holding point. The transfer can be anticipated if no taxi conflict will exist whether it is still taxiing or stopped.

Special IVAO procedures

All special IVAO procedures are mandatory since they fit to situations or special IVAO features which cannot happen in real life while they may occur on the network because of its proper limitations.

Flight strips

The GND controller must ensure that flight strips are correctly filled, in particular SID (in the “Cleared WP” field) and flight level (in the “Cleared FL” field), for all departing traffic. In the case of a sudden pilot disconnection, the GND controller must refill the flight strip before transferring the traffic to the tower.

Not responding pilots

The pilot of an outbound aircraft taxiing without IFR clearance and not in communication with the controller must be warned by a FORCE ACT to invite him to contact the ATC. In the case of no answer, or if the pilot does not pick up the ATIS within 1 minute, or if he pursues the push-back or taxiing, a new FORCE ACT must be sent, together with a private chat message (be careful to the use of proper language). Please check the pilot’s active frequency and communicate with other controllers of the aerodrome about his activity. If no answer from the aircraft, a supervisor can be called using the text command in COMMbox:

.WALLOP <reason of the call in English>

The GND controller should not look for contacting landing aircraft or traffic taxiing on runways. The pilot must contact the GND controller only once all runways are vacated. The GND controller may use a FORCE ACT only if the pilot pursues taxiing towards the apron after vacating the last runway.


The GND controller ensures that the transponder of all aircraft on the ground is set to STANDBY. In case of a wrong transponder mode, the GND controller shall ask the pilot to change the transponder mode accordingly.


In the absence of the TWR controller, it is the APP controller who takes care of his tasks. In the absence of TWR, DEP and APP, the corresponding CTR controller will handle the tower.

In the absence of any ATC in charge of the runways, the GND controller releases the pilot to UNICOM 122.800. The controller can issue traffic information to the departing aircraft if there is any traffic on final to land around its reception zone (5Nm).

Flight plan closure

In real life the flight plan is automatically closed as soon as the runway is vacated.

On IVAO there isn’t any system handling the flight plan closure. Taking the time of the flight plan closure falls within the competence of the pilot.

The controller never issues a flight plan closure time.

On IVAO, if the pilot asks for a closure time, the controller does his best to provide the UTC time of the runway vacating time.

To go towards more realism: “stand by for” a frequency

The GND controller may employ the expression “stand by for” a frequency. Nevertheless, this real procedure must be coordinated with the TWR controller ensuring that he agrees on its use.

If the TWR accepts to proceed by using the “stand by for” clearance, the controller should not be too demanding with pilots who eventually are unable to follow the clearance. Many pilots will likely switch to the TWR frequency and immediately contact the controller instead of monitor the frequency and wait to be contacted by the controller (this may eventually happen in real life).

Example: KLM465, stand by for Stuttgart Tower on 118.800

If the TWR does not agree, the GND controller cannot use this expression and must employ the standard phraseology for frequency transfer.

In any case, the controller should not speak stiffly to the pilots if they do not read back correctly or do not respect precisely the monitor clearance. They are not necessarily real pilots and might not have a precise knowledge of the difference between a standard transfer and a monitor clearance.

See also


  • none


  • VID 150259 - Creation


  • 03:26, 14 May 2021


  • This documentation is copyrighted as part of the intellectual property of the International Virtual Aviation Organisation.


  • The content of this documentation is intended for aviation simulation only and must not be used for real aviation operations.