Ask Elton
Your Flight Training & Ground School Specialist

Instructor » Flight Training » Vacating the Circuit



To vacate the circuit at either an uncontrolled or controlled aerodrome, in accordance with the various applicable procedures.


1.  Layout of the Aerodrome Traffic Circuit

2.  Vacating the Circuit

Uncontrolled Aerodromes

  • From any of the circuit legs or overhead
  • or maintain runway centreline to 1500 ft AGL

Controlled Aerodromes

  • Can be done from any leg.
  • Always need ATC approval.
  • A clearance to turn in the opposite direction to the published circuit may be given by ATC, or requested by the pilot. 
  • If a non-standard clearance is required, keep a good lookout and request it before takeoff.

3.  Departures

The pilot of an aircraft must make all turns in the direction of the traffic circuit, unless:

  • otherwise instructed by ATC in controlled airspace; or
  • the aircraft is laterally clear of the circuit area or is not less than 1500 ft above the aerodrome level.

4. Radio Calls

Unattended Aerodromes

Controlled Aerodromes


  • Plan ahead
  • Aircraft in the circuit have Right of Way



  • Blind spots
  • Closure rates

Information Processing

  • Mental models


1.  Vacating an aerodrome