Rights of Way


Right, Right and Right…..The aircraft ‘on the right is in the right’, if two aircraft’s are converging it is for the aircraft who is not on the right hand side to give way or take appropriate measures to avoid collision.

If approaching head-on, both aircraft’s should manoeuvre to their right hand side to avoid collision

When overtaking, the aircraft being overtaken has right of way.  The overtaking aircraft must keep clear and perform the overtake by manoeuvring to the right hand side of the aircraft being over taken.

Right of Way Order of Precedence

  1. Aircraft Taking Off or Landing
  2. Vehicles Towing Aircraft
  3. Aircraft
  4. Vehicles.

Note: Being under Air Traffic Control (ATC) direction, does not alleviate the Pilot In Command (PIC) of responsibility of avoiding collisions.   Even under ATC guidance the PIC is responsible for avoiding collisions and the rights of way still apply…….as with all instructions from ATC, if you cannot comply – tell them and don’t!


Under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), flights will have a tendency to follow natural/major land marks (e.g. railway lines, rivers etc.).   When doing so the aircraft must fly on the right hand side of that feature (thus keeping the railway or whatever on their left).

This aims to ensure that if two planes are following the same feature in opposite directions, that a head-on collision would be impossible.

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