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RTC – MOD-02 – Pt.09 – Standard Words and Phrases

The following words and phrases shall be used in radiotelephony communications as appropriate and shall have the meaning given:

ACKNOWLEDGE – Let me know that you have received and understood this message.


APPROVED – Permission for proposed action granted.

BREAK – Indicates the separation between messages.

BREAK BREAK – Indicates the separation between messages transmitted to different aircraft in a busy environment.

NOTE: The phraseology “BREAK BREAK” may be confused with an instruction to an aircraft formation and should be used with caution.

CANCEL – Annul the previously transmitted clearance.

CHANGING TO… (unit) (frequency) – I intend to call. . . (unit) on. . . (frequency).

CHECK – Examine a system or procedure. (Not to be used in any other context. No answer is normally expected.)

CLEARED – Authorised to proceed under the conditions specified.

CLIMB – Climb and maintain.

CONFIRM – I request verification of: (clearance, instruction, action, information).

CONTACT – Establish communications with… (your details have been passed).

CORRECT – True or accurate.

CORRECTION – An error has been made in this transmission (or message indicated). The correct version is…

DESCEND – Descend and maintain.


FREECALL Call. . . (unit) – (your details have not been passed – mainly used by military ATC).

HOLD SHORT – Stop before reaching the specified location.

NOTE: Only used in limited circumstances where no defined point exists (e.g. where there is no suitably located holding point), or to reinforce a clearance limit.

I SAY AGAIN – I repeat for clarity or emphasis.

MAINTAIN – Continue in accordance with the condition(s) specified or in its literal sense, e.g. “Maintain VFR”.

MONITOR – Listen out on (frequency).

NEGATIVE – No; or Permission not granted; or That is not correct; or Not capable.

NEGATIVE I SAY AGAIN – May be used if repeated incorrect readbacks are given by the pilot and additional emphasis is required.

PASS YOUR MESSAGE – Proceed with your message.

READ BACK – Repeat all, or the specified part, of this message back to me exactly as received.

RECLEARED – To be used only in relation to routings and NOT for instructions to climb or descend.

REPORT – Pass requested information.

REQUEST – I should like to know… or I wish to obtain…

ROGER – I have received all your last transmission.

NOTE: Under no circumstances to be used in reply to a question requiring a direct answer in the affirmative (AFFIRM) or negative (NEGATIVE).

SAY AGAIN – Repeat all, or the following part of your last transmission.

SPEAK SLOWER – Reduce your rate of speech.

STANDBY – Wait and I will call you.

NOTE: No onward clearance to be assumed. The caller would normally re-establish contact if the delay is lengthy. STANDBY is not an approval or denial.

UNABLE – I cannot comply with your request, instruction or clearance. Unable is normally followed by a reason.

WILCO – I understand your message and will comply with it (abbreviation for will comply).

WORDS TWICE – As a request: Communication is difficult. Please send every word twice.

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