Rule 39C

Urgency and Safety Communications


Urgency Signal

The URGENCY SIGNAL (XXX OR PAN PAN) indicates that the calling station has a very urgent message to transmit concerning the safety of a ship, aircraft, or other vehicle, and/or the safety of personnel. It has priority over all other communications except distress. All stations which hear it shall take care not to interfere with the transmission which follows the URGENCY SIGNAL. The composition of the signal is:

VOICE – Three transmissions of the group of words PAN PAN, pronounced as the French word “PANNE”.

RATT – Three transmissions of group XXX, sent with the letters of each group and each successive group clearly separated from each other.

The URGENCY SIGNAL is transmitted before the call.

Urgency Messages

In the aeronautical mobile service an Urgency Message should:


  1. Be preceded by the Urgency Signal (XXX or PAN) preferably transmitted three times.
  2. Consist of as many of the following elements spoken distinctly and, if possible, in the following order:
  • Name of Station Addressed or “All Stations”
  • Identification of Aircraft
  • Request for Navigation Assistance (If Required)
  • Position and Time
  • Heading
  • Air speed
  • Altitude
  • Aircraft Type
  • Available Flight Time
  • Nature of Emergency
  • Captain’s Intentions

Action by Station Addressed

Within the aeronautical mobile service the station addressed will normally be the station communicating with the aircraft or in whose area of responsibility the aircraft is operating. The station addressed by an aircraft reporting an Urgency condition shall:

  1. Acknowledge the Urgency message
  2. Take immediate action to ensure that all necessary information is made available, as soon as possible, to:
  • The ATS unit concerned.
  • The aircraft operating agency concerned.
  1. If necessary, exercise control of communications concerned.

Action by all other Stations

All other stations which hear the Urgency signal are to continue to listen for at least three minutes. Thereafter, normal working may be resumed but stations are to take care not to interfere with the transmission of urgency traffic.


A station which transmits the Urgency signal or message is to cancel the state of Urgency as soon as it knows that action is no longer necessary.


Safety Signal

The safety signal indicates that the station is about to transmit a message containing an important navigational or meteorological warning. All stations hearing the Safety signal shall listen to the safety message until they are satisfied that the message is of no concern to them. They shall not make any transmission likely to interfere with the message. The composition of the Safety Signal is:

VOICE – the word SECURATE (pronounced say-cur-i-tay) spoken three times and transmitted before the call.

The safety signal and call are to be transmitted on one or more of the international frequencies refer Chapter 6) or on any other frequency which may be used in case of distress. In the aeronautical mobile service they are to be transmitted on the frequency in use at the time.

The safety message which follows the call should be sent on a working frequency. A suitable announcement to this effect should be made at the end of the call.

Urgency Call

When there is a condition concerning the safety of an aircraft or other aircraft, some person on board or in sight, which  does not require immediate assistance aircraft will report urgency condition some of the conditions requiring pan pan  call are:

  • person on board is sick/ intoxicated (in air)
  • under carriage / flaps stuck returning back
  • hydraulic pressure low controls sluggish
  • you see an ufo, auto altitude hold not  working, servo altimeter  not working.
  • squall approaching training flying going on
  • see series of red flares, see a sinking ship
  • low fuel
  • see an aircraft crashing, brakes have become bomb threat on ground
  • vor / dme not working, any minor snag

Have a look at the intention and decide in case intention is not given say landing at_______

Call will go to control incase you are in someone’s control else to radio

No raising is required

Break the call into four parts and do one thing at a time and do it well

Addressing :  from blank sheet (pan pan x 3 or xxx  whom are you calling who you are)

Condition : read straight from question paper

Intention: read straight from question paper or say landing at _______

Additional information: p f c s e p request descent priority landing and ambulance on arrival

Addressing :

pan pan  pan pan  pan pan delhi  control  indair 430


one passenger has fainted


landing at jaipur

Additional information:

position 20 nautical miles from jaipur 0430 fl 320 course 300 ETA jaipur 0500 persons onboard 250 request descent priority landing and ambulance on arrival  Indair 430


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