What is PTT on Boeing 737? (Press To Talk/Push To Talk)

The Press To Talk (PTT) or Push To Talk function on the Boeing 737 is a communication feature that allows pilots and flight crew to transmit their voice over the aircraft’s radio system. It is an essential tool for effective communication between the cockpit and the ground, as well as within the flight crew. This feature is commonly found in various aviation systems and is known by different names, such as PTT, Push to Transmit, or simply as the transmit button.

Press To Talk is a crucial component of the aircraft’s communication system, enabling pilots to communicate with air traffic control, other pilots, and ground personnel. It is used to convey important information, receive instructions, and coordinate various aspects of the flight. This feature ensures seamless communication between the flight crew and external parties, contributing to a safe and efficient flight operation.

The Functionality of Press To Talk/Push To Talk

The Press To Talk functionality on the Boeing 737 is typically located on the aircraft’s control yoke, within easy reach of the pilot’s thumb. By pressing the PTT button, the pilot activates the microphone and opens the communication channel. While holding the button, the pilot can transmit their voice commands or messages to the designated recipients. When released, the communication channel is closed, allowing others to speak.

The Press To Talk system ensures that pilots and flight crew can communicate clearly and effectively in busy and dynamic aviation environments. By using this feature, they can transmit their voice messages without interrupting ongoing radio transmissions. It prevents simultaneous transmissions from different sources, minimizing confusion and improving the overall communication quality.

The Importance of Press To Talk/Push To Talk in Aviation

The Press To Talk function plays a vital role in aviation safety and operational efficiency. Here are some key advantages of utilizing this feature:

1. Clear and Controlled Communication

Press To Talk ensures that communication transmissions are clear, controlled, and avoid interference from simultaneous transmissions. By using this feature, pilots can transmit important information or requests to air traffic control or other aircraft without interrupting ongoing communications. It helps maintain effective radio discipline, ensuring that critical messages are received and understood by the intended recipients.

Furthermore, the use of PTT allows pilots to maintain situational awareness by listening to ongoing communications while simultaneously preparing their own transmissions. This capability is particularly crucial during busy phases of flight, such as takeoff, landing, or during air traffic control instructions.

2. Efficient Crew Coordination

Press To Talk enables efficient coordination and effective information exchange within the flight crew. Pilots can easily communicate with each other, sharing critical flight-related information or discussing operational matters without unnecessarily broadcasting their conversations to external parties.

For example, during an engine start procedure, one pilot can use PTT to communicate with ground personnel, while the other pilot simultaneously communicates with air traffic control or receives the initial takeoff clearance. This division of communication tasks contributes to faster and more efficient operations.

3. Enhanced Emergency Communication

In emergency situations, the Press To Talk feature plays a crucial role in ensuring effective communication. During an emergency, pilots need to quickly transmit pertinent information and request timely assistance. By activating PTT, they can transmit distress signals, communicate their intentions, and provide updates to air traffic control or other relevant parties.

The clear and controlled communication facilitated by PTT assists in emergency response coordination, enabling ground personnel, air traffic control, and other aircraft to understand the severity of the situation and provide the necessary support and guidance. This timely and accurate exchange of information enhances the overall emergency response capabilities.


The Press To Talk (PTT) or Push To Talk feature on the Boeing 737 is a critical communication system that assists pilots and flight crew in transmitting their voice messages over the radio system. Its functionality ensures clear and controlled communication, efficient crew coordination, and enhanced emergency response capabilities. This feature significantly contributes to the safe and efficient operation of the Boeing 737 and plays a crucial role in aviation as a whole.

For more information on the Boeing 737 aircraft and its communication systems, visit the Boeing 737 official website.

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