What does, "Hold for wake turbulence," mean?
Answered By AOPA
You’ve just taxied up to hold short of the runway and call tower as usual with your request for takeoff. The response from ATC is not what you expected though; they responded to your request for takeoff with hold short instructions and the phrase “hold for wake-turbulence”. Doing most of your flying from uncontrolled fields this instruction is foreign to you. You thought that it was your responsibility as PIC to determine wake-turbulence avoidance. Why is ATC assigning this to you and do you have to wait, or is there a way around this hold for wake turbulence?
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AOPA Staff Answer
It is ATC’s responsibility to provide wake-turbulence separation to departing aircraft by applying time intervals. The PIC may request to waive the wake-turbulence separation, at which point ATC will issue them a caution for wake-turbulence and clear them for takeoff (assuming no other hazards).
The PIC making a request for takeoff is not a request to waive the wake-turbulence separation, a special request from the pilot is required.