Land And Hold Short Operations (LAHSO)

| February 25, 2021 | By: Severe VFR
Piper Arrow Co-Pilot Cockpit View

Land And Hold Short Operations (LAHSO) are a set of operations that include landing and holding short of an intersecting runway, an intersecting taxiway, or some other pre-determined point on the runway, as well as the approach and departure flight paths.

When in effect, a LAHSO allows a particular airport's operational efficiency to increase and move more air traffic at one time. This increase in efficiency is the main reason a LAHSO would be used at an airport.

Weather Requirements

For a LAHSO to be in effect or active use, the following weather conditions must exist:

  • For Non-Air Carrier aircraft: Minimum cloud ceiling of 1,000ft, and visibility of a minimum of 3 miles. 
  • For Air Carrier Aircraft: Minimum cloud ceiling of 1,500ft and visibility of a minimum of 5 miles. If the landing runway is equipped with a precision approach path indicator (PAPI) or visual approach slope indicator (VASI), then the minimum cloud ceiling and visibility are reduced to 1,000ft and 3 miles, respectively. If the LAHSO configurations require a rejected landing procedure, the ceiling and visibility requirements may be different. 

The LAHSO runway's available landing distance must be dry, and the tailwind on the hold short runway must be less than 3 knots. 

Land And Hold Short Operations are not allowed if wind shear has been reported and if the control tower supervisor/controller in charge deems any situation or weather condition could adversely affect LAHSO operations. 

How To Determine If An Airport Has Implemented LAHSO

A/FD, chart supplement for madison airport highlighting LAHSO section

The only way to determine if an airport can conduct land and hold short operations is to find the airport in its respective chart supplement and the Terminal Procedures Publications. If the airport can conduct operations involving LAHSO, a section title Land And Hold-Short Operations will be published for that airport. 


Information given will include the landing runway, the hold short point, and the available landing distance.

For Madison airport, if a pilot accepted a LAHSO clearance for runway 3, they would then be cleared to land on runway 3. However, they would not be allowed to cross the intersecting runway, which is 14-32, as that is runway 3's hold short point.

Runway 3 is 7,200ft long, but upon accepting the LAHSO clearance, a pilot would only have 3,150ft available to them, as the rest of the runway is beyond the hold short point. 

Smaller airports will typically not have the ability to conduct land and hold short operations. For an airport to be granted the ability to conduct LAHSOs, the minimum available landing distance must be at least 2,500ft long, and the airport must have proper signage, lighting, and visual glide paths for specific operations. Operational requirements also change based on the time of day.

When LAHSO operations are expected to be utilized, an announcement will be made on the ATIS. Pilots can expect to hear either "LAHSO In Effect" or to expect a certain runway and hold short such as "Expect Landing Runway 22 To Hold Short Of Runway 27."

Pilots may also hear the Available Landing Distance broadcasted in addition to the LAHSO announcement. However, the Available Landing Distance is only broadcasted when determined necessary. The chart supplement must therefore remain the main source of this information. 

Airports without an ATIS, or when the ATIS is out of service, will require controllers to inform pilots that LAHSO is in effect on initial contact or as soon as possible after the initial contact. Aircraft conducting closed traffic only need to be advised that LAHSO is in effect and confirmation they have the ATIS counts as being advised. 

Pilot-Controller Responsibilities

In general, LAHSO is more for the benefit of the controller than the pilot. However, proper pilot participation is required to reap the benefits of increased airport capacity and efficiency while still maintaining a high level of safety. 

To achieve this, pilots and controllers both need to be knowledgeable and responsible for their respective roles. 

Controllers may issue a LAHSO clearance to any pilot. However, if the pilot identifies themselves as a solo student pilot, they may not issue a LAHSO clearance. Controllers must also be aware that pilots may not be able to accept a LAHSO clearance when they are less than 1,000ft AGL on the final approach, and controllers must be able to give available landing distance upon pilot request. 

Pilots have the utmost responsibility in determining if their aircraft can safely land and stop within the available landing distance. Pilots must become familiar with all available information and should have readily available for each airport of intended landing:

  • If the airport has LAHSO ability
  • The published available landing distance for every runway
  • The slope information for all LAHSO combinations
  • Knowledge of their aircraft landing performance 
  • Proper assessment of which LAHSO combinations will work and those that will not

The pilot has the final authority to accept or decline any land and hold short clearance.

Pilots are expected to decline a LAHSO clearance if they determine it will negatively affect safety if they are a student pilot or unfamiliar with LAHSO operations. Controllers must respect the pilot's decision to accept or decline any LAHSO clearance. 

A pilot who accepts a LAHSO clearance can exit the runway at the first convenient taxiway unless otherwise directed by the controller before they reach the hold short point. Otherwise, the pilot must stop and hold at the hold short point. 

Pilots should inform ATC if they would have any reason to deny a LAHSO clearance, preferably before the clearance is issued. If a LAHSO clearance is accepted, it must be adhered to just as any other ATC clearance. However, a LAHSO clearance does not prevent a pilot from performing a rejected landing or go around. 

If the pilot experiences difficulty due to wind, aircraft conditions, or cannot determine the location of the LAHSO hold short point and wishes to land on the full length of the runway, or request another runway, they must inform atc immediately. 

A pilot must be highly aware that other aircraft and vehicles may be operating beyond the hold short point during a rejected landing. The pilot must maintain a safe distance from other traffic and promptly notify the controller if a rejected landing becomes necessary. 

LAHSO Clearences

When a controller issues a LAHSO clearance, it will be in the following format: 

ATC: “(Aircraft ID) cleared to land runway six right, hold short of taxiway bravo for crossing traffic (type aircraft).”

Aircraft: “(Aircraft ID), cleared to land runway six right to hold short of taxiway bravo.”

ATC: “(Aircraft ID) cross runway six right at taxiway bravo, landing aircraft will hold short.”

Aircraft: “(Aircraft ID), cross runway six right at bravo, landing traffic (type aircraft) to hold.”

Controllers require a full read back of all LAHSO clearances, and pilots must ensure their read back includes the words "Hold Short Of (Hold Short Point)" in all LAHSO clearances. To reduce frequency congestion, pilots should make this a habit to prevent the controller from asking for a proper readback. 

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