Radio Procedure for Departing Centennial Airport (APA)

Departure and arrival procedures at APA are non-standard, due to the volume and nature of the traffic. Below is a typical dialog between the pilot and controllers. Read back of all runway numbers and hold instructions is mandatory. This procedure is explained in the ATIS broadcast. If you are new to APA, we recommend you listen to the ATIS several times at you leisure.
This example is for VFR flights.

Just before or after starting engine.


Listen to ATIS. Note that there are special procedures at Centennial (APA).

Prior to taxi into movement area.

(You say:) Centennial ground, Cessna one two three four five, area hotel, taxi for takeoff, north departure with Tango.

Tell Ground Control who you are, where you are, what you want to do, and the ATIS version.


(Ground control responds:) Cessna three four five, taxi to runway one seven left.

You are cleared to taxi.


(You respond:) Three four five, one seven left.

Read back the runway number and your number. Since the controller has abbreviated you call sign, you may also do so.

After run-up

(You say:) Centennial ground, Cessna three four five ready to go Alpha eighteen.

Call ground when ready to go with the intersection name. This is a non-standard special procedure at APA.


(Ground control responds:) Three four five, monitor tower at the hold line.



(You respond:) Three four five, monitor tower at the hold line.

Acknowledge and monitor the tower frequency and wait for you call.

At the hold line.

(Tower says:) Cessna three four five cleared for takeoff.

You are cleared for take off. If you are given instructions to "Taxi into position and hold", those instructions must be read back.


(You respond:) Three four five, one seven left.

Acknowledge the takeoff clearance and go.

Upon departure.


Stay on tower frequency until you hear "Frequency change approved " or until you are clear of Class D airspace.

© 1999 - 2002 George T. Palecek.
All Rights Reserved.
Last modified 07/02/02.