PAN PAN PAN – Urgency Call

PAN PAN PAN calls take priority over every other calls on the radio except MAYDAY calls and should be used when someone is not in grave an imminent danger and does not require immediate assistance, but has an urgent situation.

Examples of when to use PAN PAN PAN, irrespective of whether you should be in these situations or not:

  • Passenger has a heart attack or stroke
  • Passenger goes into labour
  • Require ambulance or police upon landing
  • You spot a boat, vehicle or aircraft needing urgent assistance
  • You get lost or need navigation assistance
  • When you need to break rules to stay safe

Your PAN PAN PAN call would go something like this:


Brisbane Center or Melbourne  Center  (depending where you are)

Foxbat 1234

Co Pilot unconscious

Landing as soon as possible at YPMQ

Require ambulance to meet at main terminal


When you hear a PAN PAN PAN call

  • Maintain radio silence
  • Make notes of callsign and any details, especially location
  • If someone is ignoring radio silence they may not have heard, and a pilot can impose radio silence by saying “Stop transmitting – Pan “
  • or ATC may say “All Stations – stop transmitting – Pan”
  • Ground station may ask all other aircraft to change to a new frequency
  • If ground station does not respond an aircraft should relay the message to Brisbane or Melbourne Center