Radio Calls at Non-Towered Airports

Topic Progress:

How to Talk on the Radio:

In this topic, we are going to cover primarily how to talk on the radio at a non-towered airport, although much of the basic phraseology is interchangeable between talking to ATC and simply “self-announcing”.

Watch the video above for examples of calls to make in the traffic pattern at a non-towered airport.  Remember: the base of the call will remain the same every time you make a call, all you have to think about changing is the “where you are/what you want to do” part of the call.

The Four Parts

The four parts of any radio call are:





(the fifth part that only applies to making calls at a non-towered airport) : WHO YOU CALLED


Ex. “Venice Traffic, Cessna one two three Alpha Bravo, 10 miles south of Venice Airport, inbound landing, Venice Traffic”


While we say every radio call only has four parts, the first part gets repeated at non-towered airports just so it is clear what non-towered airport you are actually talking about.  When you are out there flying, you will find many non-towered airports share the same frequency and are relatively close to each other, thus you have to be clear about what airport you are referencing when you make your call, otherwise other pilots may think you are at an airport 40 miles away and not near the same one they are at.


When talking with ATC, your radio calls will only have FOUR parts.  We’ll talk A LOT more about talking to ATC later in this course.

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