ID #1023


 New to the area? Here are tips for operating at and around Gallatin Field, provided by the tower manager during a public safety meeting. (Original attached at end of FAQ.)


Source: 2012 Runway Safety Action Team Meeting, October 11th, 2012, at Gallatin Field.


Bozeman Federal Contract Tower
660 Gallatin Field Road
Belgrade MT 59714

Mitch Robison
Manager, Bozeman Tower
BZN Air Traffic Manager


Work - 406-388-9082
FAX – 406-388-1950
Cell – 406-600-9699


A runway incursion is defined as: Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take off of aircraft. 


  • First thing s first, once you’ve run all your pre-taxi checklists, listened to the ATIS and are ready to taxi, when you call ground control remember the three W’s, Who are you, Where are you, What do you want to do.  Remember anytime you are inbound or outbound we must insure you have the ATIS, this is the first question asked anytime there is an aircraft incident.


  • Taxi instructions: You must receive a runway crossing clearance for RWY’s 03/21 when taxiing to rwy 30 from the back hangers or GA ramp. You must receive a rwy crossing clearance for rwy 21, when you’ll be coming from the east ramp or south east hangars and taxiing to rwy 12.  Example;” RUNWAY 12 TAXI VIA ALPHA” or “RUNWAY 12 TAXI VIA ALPHA CROSS RWY 21” or RUNWAY 30 TAXI VIA ALPHA, HOLD SHORT/CROSS RWY 03/21”.


  • When you’re taxiing out and you would like an intersection departure, let us know; don’t just show up at Bravo/Charlie/Delta/Echo.


  • “LINE UP AND WAIT”:  Due to FAA minimum requirements we are not able to continuously use this procedure; our staffing level does not allow us.  So to eliminate the possibility of an operational deviation or operational error during single controller operations, we have decided not to use this; we may be setting ourselves up for failure, accidentally using it when not correctly staffed. 


  • What you may see or hear is, “START YOUR TAXI ONTO THE RUNWAY”.  If you do hear this, this means by the time you taxi onto the runway and are lining up for departure you will receive a “TAKE OFF CLEARANCE”.  This is one way of expediting our departures when it gets a little busy.  Maybe in the future, staffing permitting, we will start using “LINE UP AND WAIT”.  But until then, hold short of that runway until ATC approves you on it.


  • We are required to ensure Pilot read backs are correct.  In order to reduce excessive or multiple transmissions, please ensure you read back ATC instructions correctly; you must use your call sign.  When issued hold short of RWY instructions, you must read back, “CALL SIGN, HOLD SHORT, AND WHICH RUNWAY NUMBER YOU ARE HOLDING SHORT OF”, all in the same transmission.  Avoid lazy or inappropriate communications as much as possible, especially when the airport is busy.  It’s much quicker to say something slower and correct once, than to repeat it two maybe three times.


  • When inbound/outbound, communicate to ATC your intentions example: inbound from sw/w/nw/n/ne/e/se/s, full stop, staying in the pattern, requesting a runway other than what is advertised on the ATIS, etc…  Let us know in enough time for it to be useful.  If you don’t do this, when the time comes, we will clear you to land.  Often aircraft come back and say we’d like a touch and go, stop and go, full stop taxi back, low approach, etc… We are not mind readers, the more we know what you want the more we can plan for it, remember, there are other aircraft in the airspace besides yours.


  • There has been an increase in student pilot training in the past few years.  This results in an overall decrease in local pilot experience and proficiency.  Instructors remember, you are the PIC; if your students don’t do something correctly, make sure you correct it, whatever it is, in a timely manner.


  • “LAND AND HOLD SHORT” (LAHSO): RWY 12 has 6,841 ft available landing distance; you may here it rounded down to the nearest 50 ft.  A few years ago we implemented LAHSO procedures in order for us to keep traffic moving and be more expeditious.  This allows us to use RWY 03/21 simultaneously with RWY 12 arrivals; this is for aircraft operations and can be used during daytime VFR conditions only.  We are not allowed to use this for any Jet aircraft, or Scheduled Airliners inbound for the Terminal.  The acft we are allowed to use LAHSO operations with must be in a LAHSO group of 7 or below.  We can’t use it with a tailwind or with any student solo pilots, however, student pilots with an instructor is authorized.


  • Vehicle traffic: In order to reduce and lower the possibility of a runway incursion, we ask all vehicle operators authorized on movement areas to use available access roads as much as possible.  If an aircraft in tow requires the use of Alpha taxiway to or from the East Ramp or West Ramp, that is perfectly acceptable, other wise limit your requests on any movement areas.  During winter months when de-icing is in progress on the East de-ice pad, we can accommodate trucks using Alpha as long as there is two way radio communications with the Tower.


Airport movement area “Hot Spots”:  A location on an aerodrome movement area with a history or potential risk of collision or runway incursion and where heightened attention by pilots/drivers is necessary.


  • Any runway TDZ is obviously an area to be extremely vigilant.  This is where we have a lot of problems with aircraft crossing runway hold short lines.  Airport Management has recently painted all hold short lines in with a RED background and WHITE numbering, with yellow dash lead up lines to help identify, you are approaching a runway and a runway hold short line.


  • The intersection of Alpha Taxiway and RWY 03/21 is Gallatin Fields most common runway incursion area.  When pilots are instructed to hold short of RWY 03/21, while taxiing to RWY 12/30, somewhere along the way they forget.  Also when aircraft are issued taxi instructions for a departure from RWY 21 @ Alpha, they often taxi onto the runway for departure before they have contacted Tower or have been cleared for Take-Off.  There has been multiple times when aircraft landing RWY 03/21, have had to go-around.  ATC can’t keep a constant eye on every aircraft operating on the airfield, all of the time.  ATC has to continually scan the airfield and the airspace for multiple aircraft.


  • TURF RWY 11/29:  There are three ways to get to and from RWY’s 11/29.  Charlie TWY, Echo TWY, and a third option is near the approach end of RWY 21.  A big thank you goes out to the airport for paving Charlie and Echo connecting taxiways.  New hold lines have been painted for RWY’s 12/30 and RWY’s 11/29.  This has almost eliminated any confusion for Pilots taxiing to or from RWY 11/29.  There is new SOD added to portions of these taxiways.


  • Runway exiting: Try to get in the habit of using minimum time on the runway after landing.  When exiting any runway, do not stop until you have crossed the runway hold short lines on the taxiway leading from the runway.  If a problem arises that prevents you from completely crossing the hold short line, advise the Tower immediately.  Also be aware of other aircraft exiting on the same taxiway as not to prevent them from being able to completely cross the hold line, don’t stop just on the other side of the hold line.


  • Glider staging: Most of you have seen these operations; this does not close RWY’s 03/21.  We will coordinate on a case by case basis, with the glider personnel, of any arriving or departing aircraft.


  • RWY 03/21:  Due to the close proximity of the back hangers, and the amount of vehicular traffic, there is always that possibility an unfamiliar or unauthorized vehicle will proceed onto RWY’s 03/21.  Any aircraft operators using this runway keep your eyes open, we are not in contact with most operators on the non-movement areas of the airport.


  • Run-up areas/De-ice pads:  There have been several questions about these areas.  If you cross the movement area line (Alpha Taxiway) into a de-ice pad, and you’ve completed your checklist/run-up, contact tower on 118.2 for taxi instructions, or take-off clearance.  Let tower know you are in the de-ice area and ready for departure, which ever runway you are using.  If you pull off Alpha Taxiway but do not cross the non-movement area line, traffic permitting you may proceed toward RWY 12/30, hold short and contact Tower.


  • Pilots: Please remain vigilant in regards to radio transmissions, control instructions.  There are too many repeat transmissions being made or several attempts to make contact, resulting in increased workload. 




What is an airborne pilot deviation?  The actions of a pilot that result in the violation of a Federal Aviation Regulation while in flight. Such deviations could result in a loss of separation between your airplane and another or with the next mountain peak!
Why do pilot deviations happen? Pilots don’t start off the day by saying, “Today I’m going to go out and commit a pilot deviation.” We don’t say, “I’m going to fly through some airspace that I’m not supposed to.” No, pilot deviations occur because of poor technique, inattention, or failure to plan properly.
The FAA Safety Team wants airmen to be aware of this problem, and encourages pilots to increase their awareness and skills so that aviation safety is enhanced.
Types of IFR Deviations (Listed in order)

  • Altitude violations - Failure to maintain the assigned altitude
  • Course clearance violations
  • Airspeed violations
  • Missing a compulsory reporting point

What can be done about it?

  • First, have a method to remember and record directions and/or clearances from ATC, and second, execute the action. For example,
    • Write it down,
    • Input it into an altitude alerter or avionics system, or
    • Index the heading bug
  • Use current directories, charts, approach plates, and data bases
  • If ever in question, call ATC and confirm

Types of VFR Deviations (Listed in order) 

  • Airspace violations - Flying into airspace such as class B, C, D, prohibited, restricted or TFR’s without communication and/or clearance
  • Flying VFR into IMC conditions
  • Low level flight
  • Required aircraft equipment is not installed or operating

What can be done about it? 

  • Improve flight planning - Know the route and requirements
  • Have only current directories, charts and data bases onboard
  • Obtain better/complete weather briefings
  • Obtain the NOTAM’s and TFR’s for your route of flight

Plan ahead and be precise in your preparation for flight and in your actions while operating the aircraft. Don’t become complacent or make assumptions. Always be alert and aware and continually processing the situation. Ask yourself, “Do I really have everything correct?”



Pilot:  “Bozeman Ground, Yellowstone 29, ready to taxi from the GA ramp, with Bravo, departing to the SW”.


Tower:  “Yellowstone 29, runway 12 taxi via alpha”, (may be asked to use the left or right side of taxiway alpha).



Pilot:  “Bozeman Tower, Yellowstone 29, holding short RWY 12, ready for take-off”.


Tower: “Yellowstone 29, Bozeman Tower, hold short RWY 12”.  (This is what you will get if a take-off clearance can not be issued).


Tower: “Yellowstone 29, Bozeman Tower, right turn out approved, RWY 12 Cleared for Take-off”, or “Yellowstone 29, Bozeman Tower, Fly straight out/make a left downwind departure/etc…,  RWY 12 Cleared for Take-off”.




Pilot:  “Bozeman Tower, Yellowstone 29, 10 miles south west inbound for touch and goes/option/full stop/full stop taxi back, with Alpha”.


Tower: “Yellowstone 29, Bozeman Tower, enter right base/midfield downwind/straight in etc, report three miles out, when able ident”.



If we are very busy, you may be instructed to remain outside the Bozeman class “D” airspace.  Remember, there may be a lot more going on in the Tower than most Pilot’s are aware of, even with outstanding situational awareness we may be busy or task saturated.  Ensure you establish two way radio communications BEFORE entering the airspace.

ATTACHMENTS ------------->>>>>>> : 2012 Pilot Briefing.doc

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