What is G/A OR GA in Aviation? (Go-Around)

In aviation, a go-around refers to the procedure in which an aircraft, during its landing approach, discontinues the landing and begins climbing again. It involves aborting the landing and initiating another approach to the runway. A go-around can be called by the pilot or air traffic control (ATC) for various reasons, such as poor weather conditions, runway obstructions, an unstable approach, or if the pilot is not satisfied with the landing configuration.

Go-arounds are essential safety measures that allow pilots and ATC to prioritize safety over a successful landing. Although the aim of every landing is to touch down smoothly and safely on the runway, sometimes unforeseen circumstances or pilot judgment may require a go-around for optimum flight safety.

The abbreviation for go-around is G/A or GA, and it is a widely recognized term in the aviation industry.

The Need for a Go-Around

There are various situations that can prompt a go-around in aviation. Let’s explore some of the most common reasons:

Poor Weather Conditions

One of the primary reasons for executing a go-around is poor weather conditions. If the visibility drops below a certain limit or if there is a sudden change in wind speed or direction, the pilot may decide it’s not safe to continue with the landing. Similarly, if the runway is covered in snow, ice, or standing water, the pilot may choose to abort the landing and try again later or at an alternate airport.

Adverse weather conditions can affect the aircraft’s control, maneuverability, and ability to safely touch down on the runway. In such cases, a go-around ensures that the aircraft climbs away from any potential hazards and waits for improved weather conditions or a clearer runway.

Unstable Approach

An unstable approach is another common reason for initiating a go-around. During the landing approach, the aircraft needs to be adequately configured, flying at the correct speed, and on the right trajectory. If the pilot realizes that they are not properly aligned, the speed is too high or too low, or the glide path is not being maintained, they may choose to go around.

An unstable approach increases the risk of a hard landing, runway overshoot, or veering off the side of the runway. By opting for a go-around, the pilot gets another chance to set up a stable approach and execute a safe landing.

Runway Obstructions

If there are any runway obstructions, such as debris, wildlife, or another aircraft on the runway, a pilot will immediately initiate a go-around to avoid any potential collision. Runway incursions can pose a severe threat to landing aircraft as they increase the risk of a runway excursion or collision.

By going around, the pilot ensures a safe distance from the obstruction while air traffic control handles the situation and clears the runway for a safe landing on the subsequent attempt.

Executing a Go-Around

The procedure for executing a go-around involves specific steps to ensure a safe transition from landing approach to climbing away from the runway. Let’s take a look at the general process:

Power Application

When a go-around decision is made, the pilot immediately applies full power by increasing the throttle or advancing the engine power levers. This rapid increase in thrust generates the necessary lift to climb away from the runway.

The prompt application of power is crucial to overcoming any loss of lift that may occur due to the reduction in angle of attack experienced during the landing flare. It helps the aircraft regain a positive rate of climb and ensures a safe upward trajectory.

Positive Rate of Climb

As the thrust is increased, the pilot simultaneously pitches the nose of the aircraft up to establish a positive rate of climb. This means that the aircraft is gaining altitude with each passing second.

Establishing a positive rate of climb is crucial to ensure terrain clearance, especially in the vicinity of the airport where obstacles, such as buildings or hills, may be present. A positive rate of climb also ensures that the aircraft can safely maneuver in case it needs to avoid any other traffic.

Flaps and Landing Gear Retraction

Once the aircraft is safely climbing away from the runway, the pilot gradually retracts the flaps and landing gear. Retracting the flaps reduces drag, allowing the aircraft to maintain or increase its climb rate.

Retracting the landing gear also reduces drag and improves the aircraft’s overall performance during the climb. It streamlines the aircraft’s profile and allows it to climb more efficiently.

The exact timing for retracting the flaps and landing gear may vary depending on the aircraft type and manufacturer’s recommendations. However, it is generally advisable to ensure a positive rate of climb before initiating these retraction procedures.


A go-around, also known as a GA, is an essential safety procedure in aviation that allows pilots to abort a landing and initiate a new approach. It is primarily used in situations where safety may be compromised due to poor weather conditions, an unstable approach, or runway obstructions.

By promptly executing a go-around, pilots prioritize the safety of the passengers, crew, and aircraft above all else. It allows for a reassessment of the situation and provides an opportunity to safely approach the landing again.

Aviation is an industry that values safety above all else, and the go-around procedure is a testament to that commitment. It ensures that even in unforeseen circumstances, pilots have the necessary tools and procedures to make the safest decisions for everyone on board.

For More: What is ANPT in Aviation? (Aeronautical National Pipe Taper)