What is Runway Holding Position – RHP ?

Runway Holding Position (RHP) is a designated point on the taxiway at an airport from where aircraft are instructed to wait before entering the runway for takeoff or landing.

The purpose of the RHP is to ensure that aircraft remain clear of the active runway, maintaining a safe distance between aircraft on approach or departure and those waiting to use the runway. The holding position is typically marked on the taxiway with painted holding position signs and runway guard lights.

Why are holding positions important?

  • Safety first: They keep planes a safe distance apart, preventing mid-air close calls and runway collisions.
  • Traffic flow: Holding positions act as traffic lights, letting aircraft take off and land in a controlled sequence.
  • Obstacle-free zone: They ensure runways stay clear of parked planes and other vehicles, creating a safe landing path.
Runway Holding Position RHP
Runway Holding Position

The RHP will vary depending on the type of aircraft and local procedures at the airport, but they are generally positioned at a sufficient distance from the end of the runway to allow aircraft on the runway to stop if necessary. The Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) defines the location of the RHP in its airport section.

Aeronautical Information Publication

Before entering the runway, the aircraft must receive clearance from air traffic control (ATC) to do so. This clearance will include the runway designation and take-off or landing instructions. Once the aircraft reaches the RHP, the pilot will stop, apply brakes and wait for further instructions from ATC.

References and Further Reading