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Airport Holding Markings: You Can Fool Some of the People... - Rod Machado
Here's the scenario: From your present position shown in the graphic above ATC says, "....taxi to Runway 19R via taxiway Whiskey, hold short of Runway 19R at Whiskey Eight." (The beginning of Runway 19R is located at the far, north end of Taxiway W where W8 is also found.)

As you taxi, you come across a set of yellow solid-double and dashed-double hold markings directly ahead of you, as shown in the picture above. What are you required to do?


A. Hold and ask for a clearance to cross the solid double-yellow lines.
B. Nothing. You may cross these lines without an ATC clearance.
C. Cross these lines, then stop. If ATC doesn't say anything, keep going.

If you picked answer A, that would be incorrect. The correct answer is "B."

Wait! Don't go all Hong-Kong Kung-fu on me. Let me explain.

First, I asked what you are required to do. I didn't ask what you should do or what would be reasonable to do. The holding markings you see in front of you (solid double bars on your side in the graphic above) are known as taxiway holding position markings, not runway holding position markings (which prevent the unauthorized entry onto a runway). When taxiway holding position markings are located next to a runway sign showing the letters "APCH" on it, then you are only required to stop if ATC specifically instructs you to hold short of these markings. This is one of the more confusing aspects of runway signage foisted on unwary pilots, especially student pilots.

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