Situational question about a progressive taxi.
Answered By AOPA
You’ve just landed at an airport you’ve never been to before, and because of the wind and runway configuration you know that you’re about as far from the General Aviation ramp as you can get. To make it worse, the airport is under construction, so there are about 27 different NOTAMs that you reviewed during your briefing for runway and taxiway closures. You were confident you could get to where you need to be on the airport, but after you called ground and received your taxi clearance, you came to the conclusion that you were wrong.

Is there anything you can do to remedy this? You definitely don’t want a runway incursion and neither does the ground controller.
1 Replies
AOPA Staff Answer
When in doubt or at an unfamiliar airport ask for progressive taxi instructions. The definition of what progressive taxi is appears in the Pilot/Controller Glossary (
“PROGRESSIVE TAXI- Precise taxi instructions given to a pilot unfamiliar with the airport or issued in stages as the aircraft proceeds along the taxi route.”

It is also mentioned in a FAA brochure “A Best Practices Guide to Operations and Communications” (; it states:

“If you become uncertain about your location on the airport movement area, make sure you are clear of any runway and STOP THE AIRCRAFT. Advise ATC and, if necessary, request progressive taxi instructions.”

Requesting progressive taxi is not an admission that you’re unprepared or that you don’t know where you are. You’re just asking ATC for help getting safely from point A to point B without incident, kind of like flight following or radar services. And it is not only for student or new private pilots, so don’t let your pride get in the way of avoiding a violation/runway incursion.