A Complete Manual for Conducting International Flight Operations

Call For Engine Start

Call For Engine Start

Most International airports have "call for engine start procedures". The intent of these procedures is to minimize ground congestion, noise and increase overall system efficency. For that reason it is always advisable to ask ATC in advance if a call for engine start is required if no procedure is published. At some of the more complex airports which utilize SLOTS, the handler will receive a SAM, Slot Allocation Message, and will know your CTOT and EOBT times. It is expected that the flight crew will not call for clearance until within 15-30 minutes of the EOBT. It should also be noted that many international airports require pushback and for that reason engines are not started until push-back and start is approved.

To simplify the process somewhat, the flight crew shall contact clearance delivery 15 minutes prior to the TOBT (Target Off Block Time) at which time passengers should be on board and ready to go. The flight crew shall be aware of the TSAT (Target Start-up Approval Time). If the engine start time is the same as the TOBT, the aircraft will be told to start engines. If the TSAT is later than the TOBT the flight crew will be told to contact delivery closer to the TSAT and to standby for an improvement in the target off block time.

For information on current European delays, review the strategic Network Operations Portal.

As a flight crewmember it is advisable to have passengers loaded, the tug connected for pushback, and ready to start engines well before the estimated off block time (EOBT). For ATC purposes, it is assumed that the engine start and pushback procedure takes about 5 minutes. When the initial clearance is requested a time may be given (Generally the Calculated Takeoff Time), however, most controllers will not state whether that time is an EOBT or a CTOT. If you are unsure make sure you clarify what the time represents so you can plan accordingly.


What if you have passengers on board the aircraft and due to delays your EOBT is 2 hours in the future. If this occurs the flight crew should have the handler or clearance delivery send a "Ready" message, or a RFI "Request for Improvement" message. Only those aircraft that have submitted a "Ready or Request for Improvement" will be considered for slot time improvements. For more specifics, view the complete ATFCM manual.

For a complete list of Abbreviations & Acronyms, click here.



If a crewmember needs assistance in obtaining slots, or coordinating slots, the FMD Helpdesk shall be contacted.


The phone number for the helpdesk is:

++(0) 2 745.19.01. or Tel: 00-32-2-745-1901)

Looking at LFPG the specific engine start procedures are as follows:


Revision date: July 29, 2015

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