Section 4. Arrival Procedures


5-4-1. Standard Terminal Arrival (STAR), Area Navigation (RNAV) STAR, and Flight Management System Procedures (FMSP) for Arrivals

a. A STAR is an ATC coded IFR arrival route established for application to arriving IFR aircraft destined for certain airports. RNAV STAR/FMSP procedures for arrivals serve the same purpose but are only used by aircraft equipped with FMS or GPS. The purpose of both is to simplify clearance delivery procedures and facilitate transition between en route and instrument approach procedures.

1. STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP procedures may have mandatory speeds and/or crossing altitudes published. Other STARs may have planning information depicted to inform pilots what clearances or restrictions to “expect.” “Expect” altitudes/speeds are not considered STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP procedures crossing restrictions unless verbally issued by ATC.

The “expect” altitudes/speeds are published so that pilots may have the information for planning purposes. These altitudes/speeds shall not be used in the event of lost communications unless ATC has specifically advised the pilot to expect these altitudes/speeds as part of a further clearance.

14 CFR Section 91.185(c)(2)(iii).

2. Pilots navigating on STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP procedures shall maintain last assigned altitude until receiving authorization to descend so as to comply with all published/issued restrictions. This authorization will contain the phraseology “DESCEND VIA.”

(a) Clearance to “descend via” authorizes pilots to:

(1) Vertically and laterally navigate on a STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP.

(2) When cleared to a waypoint depicted on a STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP, to descend from a previously assigned altitude at pilot's discretion to the altitude depicted for that waypoint, and once established on the depicted arrival, to navigate laterally and vertically to meet all published restrictions.

1. Air traffic is responsible for obstacle clearance when issuing a “descend via” instruction to the pilot. The descend via is used in conjunction with STARs/RNAV STARs/FMSPs to reduce phraseology by not requiring the controller to restate the altitude at the next waypoint/fix to which the pilot has been cleared.

2. Air traffic will assign an altitude to cross the waypoint/fix, if no altitude is depicted at the waypoint/fix, for aircraft on a direct routing to a STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP.

3. Minimum en route altitudes (MEA) are not considered restrictions; however, pilots are expected to remain above MEAs.

1. Lateral/routing clearance only.
“Cleared Hadly One arrival.”

2. Routing with assigned altitude.
“Cleared Hadly One arrival, descend and maintain Flight Level two four zero.”
“Cleared Hadly One arrival, descend at pilot's discretion, maintain Flight Level two four zero.”

3. Lateral/routing and vertical navigation clearance.
“Descend via the Civit One arrival.”
“Descend via the Civit One arrival, except, cross Arnes at or above one one thousand.”

4. Lateral/routing and vertical navigation clearance when assigning altitude not published on procedure.
“Descend via the Haris One arrival, except after Bruno, maintain one zero thousand.”
“Descend via the Haris One arrival, except cross Bruno at one three thousand then maintain one zero thousand.”

5. Direct routing to intercept a STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP and vertical navigation clearance.
“Proceed direct Mahem, descend via Mahem One arrival.”
“Proceed direct Luxor, cross Luxor at or above flight level two zero zero, then descend via the Ksino One Arrival.”

1. In Example 2, pilots are expected to descend to FL 240 as directed, and maintain FL 240 until cleared for further vertical navigation with a newly assigned altitude or a “descend via” clearance.

2. In Example 4, the aircraft should track laterally and vertically on the Haris One arrival and should descend so as to comply with all speed and altitude restrictions until reaching Bruno and then maintain 10,000. Upon reaching 10,000, aircraft should maintain 10,000 until cleared by ATC to continue to descend.

(b) Pilots cleared for vertical navigation using the phraseology “descend via” shall inform ATC upon initial contact with a new frequency.

“Delta One Twenty One leaving FL 240, descending via the Civit One arrival.”

b. Pilots of IFR aircraft destined to locations for which STARs have been published may be issued a clearance containing a STAR whenever ATC deems it appropriate.

c. Use of STARs requires pilot possession of at least the approved chart. RNAV STARs must be retrievable by the procedure name from the aircraft database and conform to charted procedure. As with any ATC clearance or portion thereof, it is the responsibility of each pilot to accept or refuse an issued STAR. Pilots should notify ATC if they do not wish to use a STAR by placing “NO STAR” in the remarks section of the flight plan or by the less desirable method of verbally stating the same to ATC.

d. STAR charts are published in the Terminal Procedures Publications (TPP) and are available on subscription from the National Aeronautical Charting Office.


1. All public RNAV STARs are RNAV1. These procedures require system performance currently met by GPS or DME/DME/IRU RNAV systems that satisfy the criteria discussed in AC 90-100A, U.S. Terminal and En Route Area Navigation (RNAV) Operations. RNAV1 procedures require the aircraft's total system error remain bounded by +1 NM for 95% of the total flight time.

2. For procedures requiring GPS, if the navigation system does not automatically alert the flight crew of a loss of GPS, the operator must develop procedures to verify correct GPS operation.

5-4-2. Local Flow Traffic Management Program

a. This program is a continuing effort by the FAA to enhance safety, minimize the impact of aircraft noise and conserve aviation fuel. The enhancement of safety and reduction of noise is achieved in this program by minimizing low altitude maneuvering of arriving turbojet and turboprop aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds and, by permitting departure aircraft to climb to higher altitudes sooner, as arrivals are operating at higher altitudes at the points where their flight paths cross. The application of these procedures also reduces exposure time between controlled aircraft and uncontrolled aircraft at the lower altitudes in and around the terminal environment. Fuel conservation is accomplished by absorbing any necessary arrival delays for aircraft included in this program operating at the higher and more fuel efficient altitudes.

b. A fuel efficient descent is basically an uninterrupted descent (except where level flight is required for speed adjustment) from cruising altitude to the point when level flight is necessary for the pilot to stabilize the aircraft on final approach. The procedure for a fuel efficient descent is based on an altitude loss which is most efficient for the majority of aircraft being served. This will generally result in a descent gradient window of 250-350 feet per nautical mile.

c. When crossing altitudes and speed restrictions are issued verbally or are depicted on a chart, ATC will expect the pilot to descend first to the crossing altitude and then reduce speed. Verbal clearances for descent will normally permit an uninterrupted descent in accordance with the procedure as described in paragraph b above. Acceptance of a charted fuel efficient descent (Runway Profile Descent) clearance requires the pilot to adhere to the altitudes, speeds, and headings depicted on the charts unless otherwise instructed by ATC. PILOTS RECEIVING A CLEARANCE FOR A FUEL EFFICIENT DESCENT ARE EXPECTED TO ADVISE ATC IF THEY DO NOT HAVE RUNWAY PROFILE DESCENT CHARTS PUBLISHED FOR THAT AIRPORT OR ARE UNABLE TO COMPLY WITH THE CLEARANCE.

5-4-3. Approach Control

a. Approach control is responsible for controlling all instrument flight operating within its area of responsibility. Approach control may serve one or more airfields, and control is exercised primarily by direct pilot and controller communications. Prior to arriving at the destination radio facility, instructions will be received from ARTCC to contact approach control on a specified frequency.

b. Radar Approach Control.

1. Where radar is approved for approach control service, it is used not only for radar approaches (Airport Surveillance Radar [ASR] and Precision Approach Radar [PAR]) but is also used to provide vectors in conjunction with published nonradar approaches based on radio NAVAIDs (ILS, MLS, VOR, NDB, TACAN). Radar vectors can provide course guidance and expedite traffic to the final approach course of any established IAP or to the traffic pattern for a visual approach. Approach control facilities that provide this radar service will operate in the following manner:

(a) Arriving aircraft are either cleared to an outer fix most appropriate to the route being flown with vertical separation and, if required, given holding information or, when radar handoffs are effected between the ARTCC and approach control, or between two approach control facilities, aircraft are cleared to the airport or to a fix so located that the handoff will be completed prior to the time the aircraft reaches the fix. When radar handoffs are utilized, successive arriving flights may be handed off to approach control with radar separation in lieu of vertical separation.

(b) After release to approach control, aircraft are vectored to the final approach course (ILS, MLS, VOR, ADF, etc.). Radar vectors and altitude or flight levels will be issued as required for spacing and separating aircraft. Therefore, pilots must not deviate from the headings issued by approach control. Aircraft will normally be informed when it is necessary to vector across the final approach course for spacing or other reasons. If approach course crossing is imminent and the pilot has not been informed that the aircraft will be vectored across the final approach course, the pilot should query the controller.

(c) The pilot is not expected to turn inbound on the final approach course unless an approach clearance has been issued. This clearance will normally be issued with the final vector for interception of the final approach course, and the vector will be such as to enable the pilot to establish the aircraft on the final approach course prior to reaching the final approach fix.

(d) In the case of aircraft already inbound on the final approach course, approach clearance will be issued prior to the aircraft reaching the final approach fix. When established inbound on the final approach course, radar separation will be maintained and the pilot will be expected to complete the approach utilizing the approach aid designated in the clearance (ILS, MLS, VOR, radio beacons, etc.) as the primary means of navigation. Therefore, once established on the final approach course, pilots must not deviate from it unless a clearance to do so is received from ATC.

(e) After passing the final approach fix on final approach, aircraft are expected to continue inbound on the final approach course and complete the approach or effect the missed approach procedure published for that airport.

2. ARTCCs are approved for and may provide approach control services to specific airports. The radar systems used by these centers do not provide the same precision as an ASR/PAR used by approach control facilities and towers, and the update rate is not as fast. Therefore, pilots may be requested to report established on the final approach course.

3. Whether aircraft are vectored to the appropriate final approach course or provide their own navigation on published routes to it, radar service is automatically terminated when the landing is completed or when instructed to change to advisory frequency at uncontrolled airports, whichever occurs first.

5-4-4. Advance Information on Instrument Approach

a. When landing at airports with approach control services and where two or more IAPs are published, pilots will be provided in advance of their arrival with the type of approach to expect or that they may be vectored for a visual approach. This information will be broadcast either by a controller or on ATIS. It will not be furnished when the visibility is three miles or better and the ceiling is at or above the highest initial approach altitude established for any low altitude IAP for the airport.

b. The purpose of this information is to aid the pilot in planning arrival actions; however, it is not an ATC clearance or commitment and is subject to change. Pilots should bear in mind that fluctuating weather, shifting winds, blocked runway, etc., are conditions which may result in changes to approach information previously received. It is important that pilots advise ATC immediately they are unable to execute the approach ATC advised will be used, or if they prefer another type of approach.

c. Aircraft destined to uncontrolled airports, which have automated weather data with broadcast capability, should monitor the ASOS/AWOS frequency to ascertain the current weather for the airport. The pilot shall advise ATC when he/she has received the broadcast weather and state his/her intentions.

1. ASOS/AWOS should be set to provide one-minute broadcast weather updates at uncontrolled airports that are without weather broadcast capability by a human observer.

2. Controllers will consider the long line disseminated weather from an automated weather system at an uncontrolled airport as trend and planning information only and will rely on the pilot for current weather information for the airport. If the pilot is unable to receive the current broadcast weather, the last long line disseminated weather will be issued to the pilot. When receiving IFR services, the pilot/aircraft operator is responsible for determining if weather/visibility is adequate for approach/landing.

d. When making an IFR approach to an airport not served by a tower or FSS, after ATC advises “CHANGE TO ADVISORY FREQUENCY APPROVED” you should broadcast your intentions, including the type of approach being executed, your position, and when over the final approach fix inbound (nonprecision approach) or when over the outer marker or fix used in lieu of the outer marker inbound (precision approach). Continue to monitor the appropriate frequency (UNICOM, etc.) for reports from other pilots.

5-4-5. Instrument Approach Procedure Charts

a. 14 CFR Section 91.175(a), Instrument approaches to civil airports, requires the use of SIAPs prescribed for the airport in 14 CFR Part 97 unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator (including ATC). If there are military procedures published at a civil airport, aircraft operating under 14 CFR Part 91 must use the civil procedure(s). Civil procedures are defined with “FAA” in parenthesis; e.g., (FAA), at the top, center of the procedure chart. DOD procedures are defined using the abbreviation of the applicable military service in parenthesis; e.g., (USAF), (USN), (USA). 14 CFR Section 91.175(g), Military airports, requires civil pilots flying into or out of military airports to comply with the IAPs and takeoff and landing minimums prescribed by the authority having jurisdiction at those airports. Unless an emergency exists, civil aircraft operating at military airports normally require advance authorization, commonly referred to as “Prior Permission Required” or “PPR.” Information on obtaining a PPR for a particular military airport can be found in the Airport/Facility Directory.

Civil aircraft may conduct practice VFR approaches using DOD instrument approach procedures when approved by the air traffic controller.

1. IAPs (standard and special, civil and military) are based on joint civil and military criteria contained in the U.S. Standard for TERPS. The design of IAPs based on criteria contained in TERPS, takes into account the interrelationship between airports, facilities, and the surrounding environment, terrain, obstacles, noise sensitivity, etc. Appropriate altitudes, courses, headings, distances, and other limitations are specified and, once approved, the procedures are published and distributed by government and commercial cartographers as instrument approach charts.

2. Not all IAPs are published in chart form. Radar IAPs are established where requirements and facilities exist but they are printed in tabular form in appropriate U.S. Government Flight Information Publications.

3. The navigation equipment required to join and fly an instrument approach procedure is indicated by the title of the procedure and notes on the chart.

(a) Straight-in IAPs are identified by the navigational system providing the final approach guidance and the runway to which the approach is aligned (e.g., VOR RWY 13). Circling only approaches are identified by the navigational system providing final approach guidance and a letter (e.g., VOR A). More than one navigational system separated by a slash indicates that more than one type of equipment must be used to execute the final approach (e.g., VOR/DME RWY 31). More than one navigational system separated by the word “or” indicates either type of equipment may be used to execute the final approach (e.g., VOR or GPS RWY 15).

(b) In some cases, other types of navigation systems including radar may be required to execute other portions of the approach or to navigate to the IAF (e.g., an NDB procedure turn to an ILS, an NDB in the missed approach, or radar required to join the procedure or identify a fix). When radar or other equipment is required for procedure entry from the en route environment, a note will be charted in the planview of the approach procedure chart (e.g., RADAR REQUIRED or ADF REQUIRED). When radar or other equipment is required on portions of the procedure outside the final approach segment, including the missed approach, a note will be charted in the notes box of the pilot briefing portion of the approach chart (e.g., RADAR REQUIRED or DME REQUIRED). Notes are not charted when VOR is required outside the final approach segment. Pilots should ensure that the aircraft is equipped with the required NAVAID(s) in order to execute the approach, including the missed approach.

Some military (i.e., U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy) IAPs have these “additional equipment required" notes charted only in the planview of the approach procedure and do not conform to the same application standards used by the FAA.

(c) The FAA has initiated a program to provide a new notation for LOC approaches when charted on an ILS approach requiring other navigational aids to fly the final approach course. The LOC minimums will be annotated with the NAVAID required (e.g., “DME Required” or “RADAR Required”). During the transition period, ILS approaches will still exist without the annotation.

(d) Many ILS approaches having minima based on RVR are eligible for a landing minimum of RVR 1800. Some of these approaches are to runways that have touchdown zone and centerline lights. For many runways that do not have touchdown and centerline lights, it is still possible to allow a landing minimum of RVR 1800. For these runways, the normal ILS minimum of RVR 2400 can be annotated with a single or double asterisk or the dagger symbol “”; for example “** 696/24 200 (200/1/2).” A note is included on the chart stating “**RVR 1800 authorized with use of FD or AP or HUD to DA.” The pilot must use the flight director, or autopilot with an approved approach coupler, or head up display to decision altitude or to the initiation of a missed approach. In the interest of safety, single pilot operators should not fly approaches to 1800 RVR minimums on runways without touchdown and centerline lights using only a flight director, unless accompanied by the use of an autopilot with an approach coupler.

(e) The naming of multiple approaches of the same type to the same runway is also changing. Multiple approaches with the same guidance will be annotated with an alphabetical suffix beginning at the end of the alphabet and working backwards for subsequent procedures (e.g., ILS Z RWY 28, ILS Y RWY 28, etc.). The existing annotations such as ILS 2 RWY 28 or Silver ILS RWY 28 will be phased out and replaced with the new designation. The Cat II and Cat III designations are used to differentiate between multiple ILSs to the same runway unless there are multiples of the same type.

(f) RNAV (GPS) approaches to LNAV, LP, LNAV/VNAV and LPV lines of minima using WAAS and RNAV (GPS) approaches to LNAV and LNAV/VNAV lines of minima using GPS are charted as RNAV (GPS) RWY (Number) (e.g., RNAV (GPS) RWY 21). VOR/DME RNAV approaches will continue to be identified as VOR/DME RNAV RWY (Number) (e.g., VOR/DME RNAV RWY 21). VOR/DME RNAV procedures which can be flown by GPS will be annotated with “or GPS” (e.g., VOR/DME RNAV or GPS RWY 31).

4. Approach minimums are based on the local altimeter setting for that airport, unless annotated otherwise; e.g., Oklahoma City/Will Rogers World approaches are based on having a Will Rogers World altimeter setting. When a different altimeter source is required, or more than one source is authorized, it will be annotated on the approach chart; e.g., use Sidney altimeter setting, if not received, use Scottsbluff altimeter setting. Approach minimums may be raised when a nonlocal altimeter source is authorized. When more than one altimeter source is authorized, and the minima are different, they will be shown by separate lines in the approach minima box or a note; e.g., use Manhattan altimeter setting; when not available use Salina altimeter setting and increase all MDAs 40 feet. When the altimeter must be obtained from a source other than air traffic a note will indicate the source; e.g., Obtain local altimeter setting on CTAF. When the altimeter setting(s) on which the approach is based is not available, the approach is not authorized. Baro-VNAV must be flown using the local altimeter setting only. Where no local altimeter is available, the LNAV/VNAV line will still be published for use by WAAS receivers with a note that Baro-VNAV is not authorized. When a local and at least one other altimeter setting source is authorized and the local altimeter is not available Baro-VNAV is not authorized; however, the LNAV/VNAV minima can still be used by WAAS receivers using the alternate altimeter setting source.

Barometric Vertical Navigation (baro-VNAV). An RNAV system function which uses barometric altitude information from the aircraft's altimeter to compute and present a vertical guidance path to the pilot. The specified vertical path is computed as a geometric path, typically computed between two waypoints or an angle based computation from a single waypoint. Further guidance may be found in Advisory Circular 90-105.

5. A pilot adhering to the altitudes, flight paths, and weather minimums depicted on the IAP chart or vectors and altitudes issued by the radar controller, is assured of terrain and obstruction clearance and runway or airport alignment during approach for landing.

6. IAPs are designed to provide an IFR descent from the en route environment to a point where a safe landing can be made. They are prescribed and approved by appropriate civil or military authority to ensure a safe descent during instrument flight conditions at a specific airport. It is important that pilots understand these procedures and their use prior to attempting to fly instrument approaches.

7. TERPS criteria are provided for the following types of instrument approach procedures:

(a) Precision Approach (PA). An instrument approach based on a navigation system that provides course and glidepath deviation information meeting the precision standards of ICAO Annex 10. For example, PAR, ILS, and GLS are precision approaches.

(b) Approach with Vertical Guidance (APV). An instrument approach based on a navigation system that is not required to meet the precision approach standards of ICAO Annex 10 but provides course and glidepath deviation information. For example, Baro-VNAV, LDA with glidepath, LNAV/VNAV and LPV are APV approaches.

(c) Nonprecision Approach (NPA). An instrument approach based on a navigation system which provides course deviation information, but no glidepath deviation information. For example, VOR, NDB and LNAV. As noted in subparagraph i, Vertical Descent Angle (VDA) on Nonprecision Approaches, some approach procedures may provide a Vertical Descent Angle as an aid in flying a stabilized approach, without requiring its use in order to fly the procedure. This does not make the approach an APV procedure, since it must still be flown to an MDA and has not been evaluated with a glidepath.

b. The method used to depict prescribed altitudes on instrument approach charts differs according to techniques employed by different chart publishers. Prescribed altitudes may be depicted in four different configurations: minimum, maximum, mandatory, and recommended. The U.S. Government distributes charts produced by National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and FAA. Altitudes are depicted on these charts in the profile view with underscore, overscore, both or none to identify them as minimum, maximum, mandatory or recommended.

1. Minimum altitude will be depicted with the altitude value underscored. Aircraft are required to maintain altitude at or above the depicted value, e.g., 3000.

2. Maximum altitude will be depicted with the altitude value overscored. Aircraft are required to maintain altitude at or below the depicted value, e.g., 4000.

3. Mandatory altitude will be depicted with the altitude value both underscored and overscored. Aircraft are required to maintain altitude at the depicted value, e.g., 5000.

4. Recommended altitude will be depicted with no overscore or underscore. These altitudes are depicted for descent planning, e.g., 6000.

1. Pilots are cautioned to adhere to altitudes as prescribed because, in certain instances, they may be used as the basis for vertical separation of aircraft by ATC. When a depicted altitude is specified in the ATC clearance, that altitude becomes mandatory as defined above.

2. The ILS glide slope is intended to be intercepted at the published glide slope intercept altitude. This point marks the PFAF and is depicted by the ”lightning bolt” symbol on U.S. Government charts. Intercepting the glide slope at this altitude marks the beginning of the final approach segment and ensures required obstacle clearance during descent from the glide slope intercept altitude to the lowest published decision altitude for the approach. Interception and tracking of the glide slope prior to the published glide slope interception altitude does not necessarily ensure that minimum, maximum, and/or mandatory altitudes published for any preceding fixes will be complied with during the descent. If the pilot chooses to track the glide slope prior to the glide slope interception altitude, they remain responsible for complying with published altitudes for any preceding stepdown fixes encountered during the subsequent  descent.

c. Minimum Safe/Sector Altitudes (MSA) are published for emergency use on IAP charts. For conventional navigation systems, the MSA is normally based on the primary omnidirectional facility on which the IAP is predicated. The MSA depiction on the approach chart contains the facility identifier of the NAVAID used to determine the MSA altitudes. For RNAV approaches, the MSA is based on the runway waypoint (RWY WP) for straight-in approaches, or the airport waypoint (APT WP) for circling approaches. For GPS approaches, the MSA center will be the missed approach waypoint (MAWP). MSAs are expressed in feet above mean sea level and normally have a 25 NM radius; however, this radius may be expanded to 30 NM if necessary to encompass the airport landing surfaces. Ideally, a single sector altitude is established and depicted on the plan view of approach charts; however, when necessary to obtain relief from obstructions, the area may be further sectored and as many as four MSAs established. When established, sectors may be no less than 90° in spread. MSAs provide 1,000 feet clearance over all obstructions but do not necessarily assure acceptable navigation signal coverage.

d. Terminal Arrival Area (TAA)

1. The objective of the TAA is to provide a seamless transition from the en route structure to the terminal environment for arriving aircraft equipped with Flight Management System (FMS) and/or Global Positioning System (GPS) navigational equipment. The underlying instrument approach procedure is an area navigation (RNAV) procedure described in this section. The TAA provides the pilot and air traffic controller with a very efficient method for routing traffic into the terminal environment with little required air traffic control interface, and with minimum altitudes depicted that provide standard obstacle clearance compatible with the instrument procedure associated with it. The TAA will not be found on all RNAV procedures, particularly in areas of heavy concentration of air traffic. When the TAA is published, it replaces the MSA for that approach procedure. See FIG 5-4-9 for a depiction of a RNAV approach chart with a TAA.

2. The RNAV procedure underlying the TAA will be the “T” design (also called the “Basic T”), or a modification of the “T.” The “T” design incorporates from one to three IAFs; an intermediate fix (IF) that serves as a dual purpose IF (IAF); a final approach fix (FAF), and a missed approach point (MAP) usually located at the runway threshold. The three IAFs are normally aligned in a straight line perpendicular to the intermediate course, which is an extension of the final course leading to the runway, forming a “T.” The initial segment is normally from 3-6 NM in length; the intermediate 5-7 NM, and the final segment 5 NM. Specific segment length may be varied to accommodate specific aircraft categories for which the procedure is designed. However, the published segment lengths will reflect the highest category of aircraft normally expected to use the procedure.

(a) A standard racetrack holding pattern may be provided at the center IAF, and if present may be necessary for course reversal and for altitude adjustment for entry into the procedure. In the latter case, the pattern provides an extended distance for the descent required by the procedure. Depiction of this pattern in U.S. Government publications will utilize the “hold-in-lieu-of-PT” holding pattern symbol.

(b) The published procedure will be annotated to indicate when the course reversal is not necessary when flying within a particular TAA area; e.g., “NoPT.” Otherwise, the pilot is expected to execute the course reversal under the provisions of 14 CFR Section 91.175. The pilot may elect to use the course reversal pattern when it is not required by the procedure, but must inform air traffic control and receive clearance to do so. (See FIG 5-4-1, FIG 5-4-2, FIG 5-4-9, and paragraph 5-4-9, Procedure Turn and Hold-in-lieu of Procedure Turn).

3. The “T” design may be modified by the procedure designers where required by terrain or air traffic control considerations. For instance, the “T” design may appear more like a regularly or irregularly shaped “Y”, or may even have one or both outboard IAFs eliminated resulting in an upside down “L” or an “I” configuration. (See FIG 5-4-3 and FIG 5-4-10). Further, the leg lengths associated with the outboard IAFs may differ. (See FIG 5-4-5 and FIG 5-4-6).

4. Another modification of the “T” design may be found at airports with parallel runway configurations. Each parallel runway may be served by its own “T” IAF, IF (IAF), and FAF combination, resulting in parallel final approach courses. (See FIG 5-4-4). Common IAFs may serve both runways; however, only the intermediate and final approach segments for the landing runway will be shown on the approach chart. (See FIG 5-4-5 and FIG 5-4-6).

FIG 5-4-1
Basic "T" Design


FIG 5-4-2
Basic "T" Design


FIG 5-4-3
Modified Basic "T"


FIG 5-4-4
Modified "T" Approach to Parallel Runways


FIG 5-4-5
"T" Approach with Common IAFs to Parallel Runways


FIG 5-4-6
"T" Approach with Common IAFs to Parallel Runways


FIG 5-4-7
TAA Area


5. The standard TAA consists of three areas defined by the extension of the IAF legs and the intermediate segment course. These areas are called the straight-in, left-base, and right-base areas. (See FIG 5-4-7). TAA area lateral boundaries are identified by magnetic courses TO the IF (IAF). The straight-in area can be further divided into pie-shaped sectors with the boundaries identified by magnetic courses TO the IF (IAF), and may contain stepdown sections defined by arcs based on RNAV distances (DME or ATD) from the IF (IAF). The right/left-base areas can only be subdivided using arcs based on RNAV distances from the IAFs for those areas. Minimum MSL altitudes are charted within each of these defined areas/subdivisions that provide at least 1,000 feet of obstacle clearance, or more as necessary in mountainous areas.

(a) Prior to arriving at the TAA boundary, the pilot can determine which area of the TAA the aircraft will enter by selecting the IF (IAF) to determine the magnetic bearing TO the center IF (IAF). That bearing should then be compared with the published bearings that define the lateral boundaries of the TAA areas. Using the end IAFs may give a false indication of which area the aircraft will enter. This is critical when approaching the TAA near the extended boundary between the left and right-base areas, especially where these areas contain different minimum altitude requirements.

(b) Pilots entering the TAA and cleared by air traffic control, are expected to proceed directly to the IAF associated with that area of the TAA at the altitude depicted, unless otherwise cleared by air traffic control. Cleared direct to an Initial Approach Fix (IAF) without a clearance for the procedure does not authorize a pilot to descend to a lower TAA altitude. If a pilot desires a lower altitude without an approach clearance, request the lower TAA altitude. If a pilot is not sure of what they are authorized or expected to do by air traffic, they should ask air traffic or request a specific clearance. Pilots entering the TAA with two-way radio communications failure (14 CFR Section 91.185, IFR Operations: Two-way Radio Communications Failure), must maintain the highest altitude prescribed by Section 91.185(c)(2) until arriving at the appropriate IAF.

FIG 5-4-8
Sectored TAA Areas


c) Depiction of the TAA on U.S. Government charts will be through the use of icons located in the plan view outside the depiction of the actual approach procedure. (See FIG 5-4-9). Use of icons is necessary to avoid obscuring any portion of the “T” procedure (altitudes, courses, minimum altitudes, etc.). The icon for each TAA area will be located and oriented on the plan view with respect to the direction of arrival to the approach procedure, and will show all TAA minimum altitudes and sector/radius subdivisions for that area. The IAF for each area of the TAA is included on the icon where it appears on the approach, to help the pilot orient the icon to the approach procedure. The IAF name and the distance of the TAA area boundary from the IAF are included on the outside arc of the TAA area icon. Examples here are shown with the TAA around the approach to aid pilots in visualizing how the TAA corresponds to the approach and should not be confused with the actual approach chart depiction.

(d) Each waypoint on the “T”, except the missed approach waypoint, is assigned a pronounceable 5-character name used in air traffic control communications, and which is found in the RNAV databases for the procedure. The missed approach waypoint is assigned a pronounceable name when it is not located at the runway threshold.

6. Once cleared to fly the TAA, pilots are expected to obey minimum altitudes depicted within the TAA icons, unless instructed otherwise by air traffic control. In FIG 5-4-8, pilots within the left or right-base areas are expected to maintain a minimum altitude of 6,000 feet until within 17 NM of the associated IAF. After crossing the 17 NM arc, descent is authorized to the lower charted altitudes. Pilots approaching from the northwest are expected to maintain a minimum altitude of 6,000 feet, and when within 22 NM of the IF (IAF), descend to a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet MSL until reaching the IF (IAF).

FIG 5-4-9
RNAV (GPS) Approach Chart


This chart has been modified to depict new concepts and may not reflect actual approach minima.

FIG 5-4-10
TAA with Left and Right Base Areas Eliminated


7. Just as the underlying “T” approach procedure may be modified in shape, the TAA may contain modifications to the defined area shapes and sizes. Some areas may even be eliminated, with other areas expanded as needed. FIG 5-4-10 is an example of a design limitation where a course reversal is necessary when approaching the IF (IAF) from certain directions due to the amount of turn required at the IF (IAF). Design criteria require a course reversal whenever this turn exceeds 120 degrees. In this generalized example, pilots approaching on a bearing TO the IF (IAF) from 300° clockwise through 060° are expected to execute a course reversal. The term “NoPT” will be annotated on the boundary of the TAA icon for the other portion of the TAA.

FIG 5-4-11
TAA with Right Base Eliminated


8. FIG 5-4-11 depicts another TAA modification that pilots may encounter. In this generalized example, the right-base area has been eliminated. Pilots operating within the TAA between 360°clockwise to 060° bearing TO the IF (IAF) are expected to execute the course reversal in order to properly align the aircraft for entry onto the intermediate segment. Aircraft operating in all other areas from 060° clockwise to 360° bearing TO the IF (IAF) need not perform the course reversal, and the term “NoPT” will be annotated on the TAA boundary of the icon in these areas. TAAs are no longer being produced with sections removed; however, some may still exist on previously published procedures.

FIG 5-4-12
Examples of a TAA with Feeders from an Airway


9. When an airway does not cross the lateral TAA boundaries, a feeder route will be established to provide a transition from the en route structure to the appropriate IAF. Each feeder route will terminate at the TAA boundary, and will be aligned along a path pointing to the associated IAF. Pilots should descend to the TAA altitude after crossing the TAA boundary and cleared by air traffic control. (See FIG 5-4-12).


FIG 5-4-13
Minimum Vectoring Altitude Charts


e. Minimum Vectoring Altitudes (MVAs) are established for use by ATC when radar ATC is exercised. MVA charts are prepared by air traffic facilities at locations where there are numerous different minimum IFR altitudes. Each MVA chart has sectors large enough to accommodate vectoring of aircraft within the sector at the MVA. Each sector boundary is at least 3 miles from the obstruction determining the MVA. To avoid a large sector with an excessively high MVA due to an isolated prominent obstruction, the obstruction may be enclosed in a buffer area whose boundaries are at least 3 miles from the obstruction. This is done to facilitate vectoring around the obstruction. (See FIG 5-4-13.)

1. The minimum vectoring altitude in each sector provides 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle in nonmountainous areas and 2,000 feet above the highest obstacle in designated mountainous areas. Where lower MVAs are required in designated mountainous areas to achieve compatibility with terminal routes or to permit vectoring to an IAP, 1,000 feet of obstacle clearance may be authorized with the use of Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR). The minimum vectoring altitude will provide at least 300 feet above the floor of controlled airspace.

OROCA is an off-route altitude which provides obstruction clearance with a 1,000 foot buffer in nonmountainous terrain areas and a 2,000 foot buffer in designated mountainous areas within the U.S. This altitude may not provide signal coverage from ground-based navigational aids, air traffic control radar, or communications coverage.

2. Because of differences in the areas considered for MVA, and those applied to other minimum altitudes, and the ability to isolate specific obstacles, some MVAs may be lower than the nonradar Minimum En Route Altitudes (MEAs), Minimum Obstruction Clearance Altitudes (MOCAs) or other minimum altitudes depicted on charts for a given location. While being radar vectored, IFR altitude assignments by ATC will be at or above MVA.

f. Visual Descent Points (VDPs) are being incorporated in nonprecision approach procedures. The VDP is a defined point on the final approach course of a nonprecision straight‐in approach procedure from which normal descent from the MDA to the runway touchdown point may be commenced, provided visual reference required by 14 CFR Section 91.175(c)(3) is established. The VDP will normally be identified by DME on VOR and LOC procedures and by along-track distance to the next waypoint for RNAV procedures. The VDP is identified on the profile view of the approach chart by the symbol: V.

1. VDPs are intended to provide additional guidance where they are implemented. No special technique is required to fly a procedure with a VDP. The pilot should not descend below the MDA prior to reaching the VDP and acquiring the necessary visual reference.

2. Pilots not equipped to receive the VDP should fly the approach procedure as though no VDP had been provided.

g. Visual Segment of a Published Instrument Approach Procedure. Instrument procedures designers perform a visual area obstruction evaluation off the approach end of each runway authorized for instrument landing, straight-in, or circling. Restrictions to instrument operations are imposed if penetrations of the obstruction clearance surfaces exist. These restrictions vary based on the severity of the penetrations, and may include increasing required visibility, denying VDPs, prohibiting night instrument operations to the runway, and/or provide a “Fly Visual” option to the landing surface.

1. In isolated cases, due to procedure design peculiarities, an IAP may contain a published visual flight path. These procedures are annotated “Fly Visual to Airport” or “Fly Visual.” A dashed arrow indicating the visual flight path will be included in the profile and plan views with an approximate heading and distance to the end of the runway. The depicted ground track associated with the visual segment should be flown as a “DR” course. When executing the visual segment, the flight visibility must not be less than that prescribed in the IAP, the pilot must remain clear of clouds and proceed to the airport maintaining visual contact with the ground. Altitude on the visual flight path is at the discretion of the pilot.

2. Since missed approach obstacle clearance is assured only if the missed approach is commenced at the published MAP or above the DA/MDA, the pilot should have preplanned climb out options based on aircraft performance and terrain features. Obstacle clearance is the sole responsibility of the pilot when the approach is continued beyond the MAP.

The FAA Administrator retains the authority to approve instrument approach procedures where the pilot may not necessarily have one of the visual references specified in CFR 14, part 91.175 and related rules. It is not a function of procedure design to ensure compliance with part 91.175. The annotation “Fly Visual to Airport” provides relief from part 91.175 requirements that the pilot have distinctly visible and identifiable visual references prior to descent below MDA/DA.

h. Charting of Close in Obstacles on Instrument Procedure Charts. Obstacles that are close to the airport may be depicted in either the planview of the instrument approach chart or the airport sketch. Obstacles are charted in only one of the areas, based on space available and distance from the runway. These obstacles could be in the visual segment of the instrument approach procedure. On nonprecision approaches, these obstacles should be considered when determining where to begin descent from the MDA (see “Pilot Operational Considerations When Flying Nonprecision Approaches” in this paragraph).

i. Vertical Descent Angle (VDA) on Nonprecision Approaches. FAA policy is to publish VDAs on all nonprecision approaches. Published along with VDA is the threshold crossing height (TCH) that was used to compute the angle. The descent angle may be computed from either the final approach fix (FAF), or a stepdown fix, to the runway threshold at the published TCH. A stepdown fix is only used as the start point when an angle computed from the FAF would place the aircraft below the stepdown fix altitude. The descent angle and TCH information are charted on the profile view of the instrument approach chart following the fix the angle was based on. The optimum descent angle is 3.00 degrees; and whenever possible the approach will be designed using this angle.

1. The VDA provides the pilot with information not previously available on nonprecision approaches. It provides a means for the pilot to establish a stabilized descent from the FAF or stepdown fix to the MDA. Stabilized descent is a key factor in the reduction of controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) incidents. However, pilots should be aware that the published angle is for information only - it is strictly advisory in nature. There is no implicit additional obstacle protection below the MDA. Pilots must still respect the published minimum descent altitude (MDA) unless the visual cues stated 14 CFR Section 91.175 are present and they can visually acquire and avoid obstacles once below the MDA. The presence of a VDA does not guarantee obstacle protection in the visual segment and does not change any of the requirements for flying a nonprecision approach.

2. Additional protection for the visual segment below the MDA is provided if a VDP is published and descent below the MDA is started at or after the VDP. Protection is also provided, if a Visual Glide Slope Indicator (VGSI); e.g., VASI or PAPI, is installed and the aircraft remains on the VGSI glide path angle from the MDA. In either case, a chart note will indicate if the VDP or VGSI are not coincident with the VDA. On RNAV approach charts, a small shaded arrowhead shaped symbol (see the legend of the U.S. Terminal Procedures books, page H1) from the end of the VDA to the runway indicates that the 34:1 visual surface is clear.

3. Pilots may use the published angle and estimated/actual groundspeed to find a target rate of descent from the rate of descent table published in the back of the U.S. Terminal Procedures Publication. This rate of descent can be flown with the Vertical Velocity Indicator (VVI) in order to use the VDA as an aid to flying a stabilized descent. No special equipment is required.

4. Since one of the reasons for publishing a circling only instrument landing procedure is that the descent rate required exceeds the maximum allowed for a straight in approach, circling only procedures may have VDAs which are considerably steeper than the standard 3 degree angle on final. In this case, the VDA provides the crew with information about the descent rate required to land straight in from the FAF or step down fix to the threshold. This is not intended to imply that landing straight ahead is recommended, or even possible, since the descent rate may exceed the capabilities of many aircraft. The pilot must determine how to best maneuver the aircraft within the circling obstacle clearance area in order to land.

5. In rare cases the LNAV minima may have a lower HAT than minima with a glide path due to the location of the obstacles. This should be a clear indication to the pilot that obstacles exist below the MDA which the pilot must see in order to ensure adequate clearance. In those cases, the glide path may be treated as a VDA and used to descend to the LNAV MDA as long as all the rules for a nonprecision approach are applied at the MDA. However, the pilot must keep in mind the information in this paragraph and in paragraph 5-4-5j.

j. Pilot Operational Considerations When Flying Nonprecision Approaches. The missed approach point (MAP) on a nonprecision approach is not designed with any consideration to where the aircraft must begin descent to execute a safe landing. It is developed based on terrain, obstructions, NAVAID location and possibly air traffic considerations. Because the MAP may be located anywhere from well prior to the runway threshold to past the opposite end of the runway, the descent from the Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) to the runway threshold cannot be determined based on the MAP location. Descent from MDA at the MAP when the MAP is located close to the threshold would require an excessively steep descent gradient to land in the normal touchdown zone. Any turn from the final approach course to the runway heading may also be a factor in when to begin the descent.

1. Pilots are cautioned that descent to a straight-in landing from the MDA at the MAP may be inadvisable or impossible, on a nonprecision approach, even if current weather conditions meet the published ceiling and visibility. Aircraft speed, height above the runway, descent rate, amount of turn and runway length are some of the factors which must be considered by the pilot to determine if a landing can be accomplished.

2. Visual descent points (VDPs) provide pilots with a reference for the optimal location to begin descent from the MDA, based on the designed vertical descent angle (VDA) for the approach procedure, assuming required visual references are available. Approaches without VDPs have not been assessed for terrain clearance below the MDA, and may not provide a clear vertical path to the runway at the normally expected descent angle. Therefore, pilots must be especially vigilant when descending below the MDA at locations without VDPs. This does not necessarily prevent flying the normal angle; it only means that obstacle clearance in the visual segment could be less and greater care should be exercised in looking for obstacles in the visual segment. Use of visual glide slope indicator (VGSI) systems can aid the pilot in determining if the aircraft is in a position to make the descent from the MDA. However, when the visibility is close to minimums, the VGSI may not be visible at the start descent point for a “normal” glidepath, due to its location down the runway.

3. Accordingly, pilots are advised to carefully review approach procedures, prior to initiating the approach, to identify the optimum position(s), and any unacceptable positions, from which a descent to landing can be initiated (in accordance with 14 CFR Section 91.175(c)).

k. Area Navigation (RNAV) Instrument Approach Charts. Reliance on RNAV systems for instrument operations is becoming more commonplace as new systems such as GPS and augmented GPS such as the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) are developed and deployed. In order to support full integration of RNAV procedures into the National Airspace System (NAS), the FAA developed a new charting format for IAPs (See FIG 5-4-9). This format avoids unnecessary duplication and proliferation of instrument approach charts. The original stand alone GPS charts, titled simply “GPS,” are being converted to the newer format as the procedures are revised. One reason for the revision is the addition of WAAS based minima to the approach chart. The reformatted approach chart is titled “RNAV (GPS) RWY XX.” Up to four lines of minima are included on these charts. Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) Landing System (GLS) was a placeholder for future WAAS and LAAS minima, and the minima was always listed as N/A. The GLS minima line has now been replaced by the WAAS LPV (Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance) minima on most RNAV (GPS) charts. LNAV/VNAV (lateral navigation/vertical navigation) was added to support both WAAS electronic vertical guidance and Barometric VNAV. LPV and LNAV/VNAV are both APV procedures as described in paragraph 5-4-5a7. The original GPS minima, titled “S-XX,” for straight in runway XX, is retitled LNAV (lateral navigation). Circling minima may also be published. A new type of nonprecision WAAS minima will also be published on this chart and titled LP (localizer performance). LP will be published in locations where vertically guided minima cannot be provided due to terrain and obstacles and therefore, no LPV or LNAV/VNAV minima will be published. Current plans call for LAAS based procedures to be published on a separate chart and for the GLS minima line to be used only for LAAS. ATC clearance for the RNAV procedure authorizes a properly certified pilot to utilize any minimums for which the aircraft is certified: e.g. a WAAS equipped aircraft utilize the LPV or LP minima but a GPS only aircraft may not. The RNAV chart includes information formatted for quick reference by the pilot or flight crew at the top of the chart. This portion of the chart, developed based on a study by the Department of Transportation, Volpe National Transportation System Center, is commonly referred to as the pilot briefing.

1. The minima lines are:

(a) GLS. “GLS” is the acronym for Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) Landing System. GBAS is the ICAO term for Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS). This line was originally published as a placeholder for both WAAS and LAAS minima and marked as N/A since no minima was published. As the concepts for LAAS and WAAS procedure publication have evolved, GLS will now be used only for LAAS minima, which will be on a separate approach chart. Most RNAV(GPS) approach charts have had the GLS minima line replaced by a WAAS LPV line of minima.

(b) LPV. “LPV” is the acronym for localizer performance with vertical guidance. RNAV (GPS) approaches to LPV lines of minima take advantage of the improved accuracy of WAAS lateral and vertical guidance to provide an approach that is very similar to a Category I Instrument Landing System (ILS). The approach to LPV line of minima is designed for angular guidance with increasing sensitivity as the aircraft gets closer to the runway. The sensitivities are nearly identical to those of the ILS at similar distances. This was done intentionally to allow the skills required to proficiently fly an ILS to readily transfer to flying RNAV (GPS) approaches to the LPV line of minima. Just as with an ILS, the LPV has vertical guidance and is flown to a DA. Aircraft can fly this minima line with a statement in the Aircraft Flight Manual that the installed equipment supports LPV approaches. This includes Class 3 and 4 TSO-C146 WAAS equipment.

(c) LNAV/VNAV. LNAV/VNAV identifies APV minimums developed to accommodate an RNAV IAP with vertical guidance, usually provided by approach certified Baro-VNAV, but with lateral and vertical integrity limits larger than a precision approach or LPV. LNAV stands for Lateral Navigation; VNAV stands for Vertical Navigation. This minima line can be flown by aircraft with a statement in the Aircraft Flight Manual that the installed equipment supports GPS approaches and has an approach-approved barometric VNAV, or if the aircraft has been demonstrated to support LNAV/VNAV approaches. This includes Class 2, 3 and 4 TSO-C146 WAAS equipment. Aircraft using LNAV/VNAV minimums will descend to landing via an internally generated descent path based on satellite or other approach approved VNAV systems. Since electronic vertical guidance is provided, the minima will be published as a DA. Other navigation systems may be specifically authorized to use this line of minima, see Section A, Terms/Landing Minima Data, of the U.S. Terminal Procedures books.

(d) LP. “LP” is the acronym for localizer performance. Approaches to LP lines of minima take advantage of the improved accuracy of WAAS to provide approaches, with lateral guidance and angular guidance. Angular guidance does not refer to a glideslope angle but rather to the increased lateral sensitivity as the aircraft gets closer to the runway, similar to localizer approaches. However, the LP line of minima is a Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) rather than a DA (H). Procedures with LP lines of minima will not be published with another approach that contains approved vertical guidance (LNAV/VNAV or LPV). It is possible to have LP and LNAV published on the same approach chart but LP will only be published if it provides lower minima than an LNAV line of minima. LP is not a fail-down mode for LPV. LP will only be published if terrain, obstructions, or some other reason prevent publishing a vertically guided procedure. WAAS avionics may provide GNSS-based advisory vertical guidance during an approach to an LP line of minima (reference section 9.b for further information on advisory vertical guidance). Barometric altimeter information remains the primary altitude reference for complying with any altitude restrictions. WAAS equipment may not support LP, even if it supports LPV, if it was approved before TSO C-145B and TSO C-146B. Receivers approved under previous TSOs may require an upgrade by the manufacturer in order to be used to fly to LP minima. Receivers approved for LP must have a statement in the approved Flight Manual or Supplemental Flight Manual including LP as one of the approved approach types.

(e) LNAV. This minima is for lateral navigation only, and the approach minimum altitude will be published as a minimum descent altitude (MDA). LNAV provides the same level of service as the present GPS stand alone approaches. LNAV minimums support the following navigation systems: WAAS, when the navigation solution will not support vertical navigation; and, GPS navigation systems which are presently authorized to conduct GPS approaches. Existing GPS approaches continue to be converted to the RNAV (GPS) format as they are revised or reviewed.

GPS receivers approved for approach operations in accordance with: AC 20-138, Airworthiness Approval of Global Positioning System (GPS) Navigation Equipment for Use as a VFR and IFR Supplemental Navigation System, for stand-alone Technical Standard Order (TSO) TSO-C129 Class A(1) systems; or AC 20-130A, Airworthiness Approval of Navigation or Flight Management Systems Integrating Multiple Navigation Sensors, for GPS as part of a multi-sensor system, qualify for this minima. WAAS navigation equipment must be approved in accordance with the requirements specified in TSO-C145 or TSO-C146 and installed in accordance with Advisory Circular AC 20-138A, Airworthiness Approval of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Equipment.

2. Other systems may be authorized to utilize these approaches. See the description in Section A of the U.S. Terminal Procedures books for details. Operational approval must also be obtained for Baro-VNAV systems to operate to the LNAV/VNAV minimums. Baro-VNAV may not be authorized on some approaches due to other factors, such as no local altimeter source being available. Baro-VNAV is not authorized on LPV procedures. Pilots are directed to their local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) for additional information.

RNAV and Baro-VNAV systems must have a manufacturer supplied electronic database which shall include the waypoints, altitudes, and vertical data for the procedure to be flown. The system shall also be able to extract the procedure in its entirety, not just as a manually entered series of waypoints.

3. ILS or RNAV (GPS) charts.

(a) Some RNAV (GPS) charts will also contain an ILS line of minima to make use of the ILS precision final in conjunction with the RNAV GPS capabilities for the portions of the procedure prior to the final approach segment and for the missed approach. Obstacle clearance for the portions of the procedure other than the final approach segment is still based on GPS criteria.

Some GPS receiver installations inhibit GPS navigation whenever ANY ILS frequency is tuned. Pilots flying aircraft with receivers installed in this manner must wait until they are on the intermediate segment of the procedure prior to the PFAF (PFAF is the active waypoint) to tune the ILS frequency and must tune the ILS back to a VOR frequency in order to fly the GPS based missed approach.

(b) Charting. There are charting differences between ILS, RNAV (GPS), and GLS approaches.

(1) The LAAS procedure is titled “GLS RWY XX” on the approach chart.

(2) The VDB provides information to the airborne receiver where the guidance is synthesized.

(3) The LAAS procedure is identified by a four alpha-numeric character field referred to as the RPI or approach ID and is similar to the IDENT feature of the ILS.

(4) The RPI is charted.

(5) Most RNAV(GPS) approach charts have had the GLS (NA) minima line replaced by an LPV line of minima.

(6) Since the concepts for LAAS and WAAS procedure publication have evolved, GLS will now be used only for LAAS minima, which will be on a separate approach chart.

4. Required Navigation Performance (RNP)

(a) Pilots are advised to refer to the “TERMS/LANDING MINIMUMS DATA” (Section A) of the U.S. Government Terminal Procedures books for aircraft approach eligibility requirements by specific RNP level requirements.

(b) Some aircraft have RNP approval in their AFM without a GPS sensor. The lowest level of sensors that the FAA will support for RNP service is DME/DME. However, necessary DME signal may not be available at the airport of intended operations. For those locations having an RNAV chart published with LNAV/VNAV minimums, a procedure note may be provided such as “DME/DME RNP-0.3 NA.” This means that RNP aircraft dependent on DME/DME to achieve RNP-0.3 are not authorized to conduct this approach. Where DME facility availability is a factor, the note may read “DME/DME RNP-0.3 Authorized; ABC and XYZ Required.” This means that ABC and XYZ facilities have been determined by flight inspection to be required in the navigation solution to assure RNP-0.3. VOR/DME updating must not be used for approach procedures.

5. Chart Terminology

(a) Decision Altitude (DA) replaces the familiar term Decision Height (DH). DA conforms to the international convention where altitudes relate to MSL and heights relate to AGL. DA will eventually be published for other types of instrument approach procedures with vertical guidance, as well. DA indicates to the pilot that the published descent profile is flown to the DA (MSL), where a missed approach will be initiated if visual references for landing are not established. Obstacle clearance is provided to allow a momentary descent below DA while transitioning from the final approach to the missed approach. The aircraft is expected to follow the missed instructions while continuing along the published final approach course to at least the published runway threshold waypoint or MAP (if not at the threshold) before executing any turns.

(b) Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) has been in use for many years, and will continue to be used for the LNAV only and circling procedures.

(c) Threshold Crossing Height (TCH) has been traditionally used in “precision” approaches as the height of the glide slope above threshold. With publication of LNAV/VNAV minimums and RNAV descent angles, including graphically depicted descent profiles, TCH also applies to the height of the “descent angle,” or glidepath, at the threshold. Unless otherwise required for larger type aircraft which may be using the IAP, the typical TCH is 30 to 50 feet.

6. The MINIMA FORMAT will also change slightly.

(a) Each line of minima on the RNAV IAP is titled to reflect the level of service available; e.g., GLS, LPV, LNAV/VNAV, LP, and LNAV. CIRCLING minima will also be provided.

(b) The minima title box indicates the nature of the minimum altitude for the IAP. For example:

(1) DA will be published next to the minima line title for minimums supporting vertical guidance such as for GLS, LPV or LNAV/VNAV.

(2) MDA will be published where the minima line was designed to support aircraft with only lateral guidance available, such as LNAV or LP. Descent below the MDA, including during the missed approach, is not authorized unless the visual conditions stated in 14 CFR Section 91.175 exist.

(3) Where two or more systems, such as LPV and LNAV/VNAV, share the same minima, each line of minima will be displayed separately.

7. Chart Symbology changed slightly to include:

(a) Descent Profile. The published descent profile and a graphical depiction of the vertical path to the runway will be shown. Graphical depiction of the RNAV vertical guidance will differ from the traditional depiction of an ILS glide slope (feather) through the use of a shorter vertical track beginning at the decision altitude.

(1) It is FAA policy to design IAPs with minimum altitudes established at fixes/waypoints to achieve optimum stabilized (constant rate) descents within each procedure segment. This design can enhance the safety of the operations and contribute toward reduction in the occurrence of controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accidents. Additionally, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently emphasized that pilots could benefit from publication of the appropriate IAP descent angle for a stabilized descent on final approach. The RNAV IAP format includes the descent angle to the hundredth of a degree; e.g., 3.00 degrees. The angle will be provided in the graphically depicted descent profile.

(2) The stabilized approach may be performed by reference to vertical navigation information provided by WAAS or LNAV/VNAV systems; or for LNAV-only systems, by the pilot determining the appropriate aircraft attitude/groundspeed combination to attain a constant rate descent which best emulates the published angle. To aid the pilot, U.S. Government Terminal Procedures Publication charts publish an expanded Rate of Descent Table on the inside of the back hard cover for use in planning and executing precision descents under known or approximate groundspeed conditions.

(b) Visual Descent Point (VDP). A VDP will be published on most RNAV IAPs. VDPs apply only to aircraft utilizing LP or LNAV minima, not LPV or LNAV/VNAV minimums.

(c) Missed Approach Symbology. In order to make missed approach guidance more readily understood, a method has been developed to display missed approach guidance in the profile view through the use of quick reference icons. Due to limited space in the profile area, only four or fewer icons can be shown. However, the icons may not provide representation of the entire missed approach procedure. The entire set of textual missed approach instructions are provided at the top of the approach chart in the pilot briefing. (See FIG 5-4-9).

(d) Waypoints. All RNAV or GPS stand-alone IAPs are flown using data pertaining to the particular IAP obtained from an onboard database, including the sequence of all WPs used for the approach and missed approach, except that step down waypoints may not be included in some TSO-C129 receiver databases. Included in the database, in most receivers, is coding that informs the navigation system of which WPs are fly-over (FO) or fly-by (FB). The navigation system may provide guidance appropriately - including leading the turn prior to a fly-by WP; or causing overflight of a fly-over WP. Where the navigation system does not provide such guidance, the pilot must accomplish the turn lead or waypoint overflight manually. Chart symbology for the FB WP provides pilot awareness of expected actions. Refer to the legend of the U.S. Terminal Procedures books.

(e) TAAs are described in paragraph 5-4-5d, Terminal Arrival Area (TAA). When published, the RNAV chart depicts the TAA areas through the use of “icons” representing each TAA area associated with the RNAV procedure (See FIG 5-4-9). These icons are depicted in the plan view of the approach chart, generally arranged on the chart in accordance with their position relative to the aircraft's arrival from the en route structure. The WP, to which navigation is appropriate and expected within each specific TAA area, will be named and depicted on the associated TAA icon. Each depicted named WP is the IAF for arrivals from within that area. TAAs may not be used on all RNAV procedures because of airspace congestion or other reasons.

(f) Hot and Cold Temperature Limitations. A minimum and maximum temperature limitation is published on procedures which authorize Baro-VNAV operation. These temperatures represent the airport temperature above or below which Baro-VNAV is not authorized to LNAV/VNAV minimums. As an example, the limitation will read: “Uncompensated Baro-VNAV NA below -8°C (+18°F) or above 47°C (117°F).” This information will be found in the upper left hand box of the pilot briefing. When the temperature is above the high temperature or below the low temperature limit, Baro-VNAV may be used to provide a stabilized descent to the LNAV MDA; however, extra caution should be used in the visual segment to ensure a vertical correction is not required. If the VGSI is aligned with the published glidepath, and the aircraft instruments indicate on glidepath, an above or below glidepath indication on the VGSI may indicate that temperature error is causing deviations to the glidepath. These deviations should be considered if the approach is continued below the MDA.

Many systems which apply Baro-VNAV temperature compensation only correct for cold temperature. In this case, the high temperature limitation still applies. Also, temperature compensation may require activation by maintenance personnel during installation in order to be functional, even though the system has the feature. Some systems may have a temperature correction capability, but correct the Baro-altimeter all the time, rather than just on the final, which would create conflicts with other aircraft if the feature were activated. Pilots should be aware of compensation capabilities of the system prior to disregarding the temperature limitations.

Temperature limitations do not apply to flying the LNAV/VNAV line of minima using approach certified WAAS receivers when LPV or LNAV/VNAV are annunciated to be available.

(g) WAAS Channel Number/Approach ID. The WAAS Channel Number is an optional equipment capability that allows the use of a 5-digit number to select a specific final approach segment without using the menu method. The Approach ID is an airport unique 4-character combination for verifying the selection and extraction of the correct final approach segment information from the aircraft database. It is similar to the ILS ident, but displayed visually rather than aurally. The Approach ID consists of the letter W for WAAS, the runway number, and a letter other than L, C or R, which could be confused with Left, Center and Right, e.g., W35A. Approach IDs are assigned in the order that WAAS approaches are built to that runway number at that airport. The WAAS Channel Number and Approach ID are displayed in the upper left corner of the approach procedure pilot briefing.

(h) At locations where outages of WAAS vertical guidance may occur daily due to initial system limitations, a negative W symbol (aim0504_At Anchor7) will be placed on RNAV (GPS) approach charts. Many of these outages will be very short in duration, but may result in the disruption of the vertical portion of the approach. The aim0504_At Anchor6 symbol indicates that NOTAMs or Air Traffic advisories are not provided for outages which occur in the WAAS LNAV/VNAV or LPV vertical service. Use LNAV minima for flight planning at these locations, whether as a destination or alternate. For flight operations at these locations, when the WAAS avionics indicate that LNAV/VNAV or LPV service is available, then vertical guidance may be used to complete the approach using the displayed level of service. Should an outage occur during the procedure, reversion to LNAV minima may be required. As the WAAS coverage is expanded, the aim0504_At Anchor5 will be removed.

5-4-6. Approach Clearance

a. An aircraft which has been cleared to a holding fix and subsequently “cleared . . . approach” has not received new routing. Even though clearance for the approach may have been issued prior to the aircraft reaching the holding fix, ATC would expect the pilot to proceed via the holding fix (his/her last assigned route), and the feeder route associated with that fix (if a feeder route is published on the approach chart) to the initial approach fix (IAF) to commence the approach. WHEN CLEARED FOR THE APPROACH, THE PUBLISHED OFF AIRWAY (FEEDER) ROUTES THAT LEAD FROM THE EN ROUTE STRUCTURE TO THE IAF ARE PART OF THE APPROACH CLEARANCE.

b. If a feeder route to an IAF begins at a fix located along the route of flight prior to reaching the holding fix, and clearance for an approach is issued, a pilot should commence the approach via the published feeder route; i.e., the aircraft would not be expected to overfly the feeder route and return to it. The pilot is expected to commence the approach in a similar manner at the IAF, if the IAF for the procedure is located along the route of flight to the holding fix.

c. If a route of flight directly to the initial approach fix is desired, it should be so stated by the controller with phraseology to include the words “direct . . . ,” “proceed direct” or a similar phrase which the pilot can interpret without question. When uncertain of the clearance, immediately query ATC as to what route of flight is desired.

d. The name of an instrument approach, as published, is used to identify the approach, even though a component of the approach aid, such as the glideslope on an Instrument Landing System, is inoperative or unreliable. The controller will use the name of the approach as published, but must advise the aircraft at the time an approach clearance is issued that the inoperative or unreliable approach aid component is unusable.

e. The following applies to aircraft on radar vectors and/or cleared “direct to” in conjunction with an approach clearance:

1. Maintain the last altitude assigned by ATC until the aircraft is established on a published segment of a transition route, or approach procedure segment, or other published route, for which a lower altitude is published on the chart. If already on an established route, or approach or arrival segment, you may descend to whatever minimum altitude is listed for that route or segment.

2. Continue on the vector heading until intercepting the next published ground track applicable to the approach clearance.

3. Once reaching the final approach fix via the published segments, the pilot may continue on approach to a landing.

4. If proceeding to an IAF with a published course reversal (procedure turn or hold­in­lieu of PT pattern), except when cleared for a straight in approach by ATC, the pilot must execute the procedure turn/hold­in­lieu of PT, and complete the approach.

5. If cleared to an IAF/IF via a NoPT route, or no procedure turn/hold­in­lieu of PT is published, continue with the published approach.

6. In addition to the above, RNAV aircraft may be issued a clearance direct to an Intermediate Fix followed by a straight­in approach clearance.

Refer to 14 CFR 91.175 (i).

5-4-7. Instrument Approach Procedures

a. Aircraft approach category means a grouping of aircraft based on a speed of VREF, if specified, or if VREF is not specified, 1.3 VSO at the maximum certified landing weight. VREF, VSO, and the maximum certified landing weight are those values as established for the aircraft by the certification authority of the country of registry. A pilot must use the minima corresponding to the category determined during certification or higher. Helicopters may use Category A minima. If it is necessary to operate at a speed in excess of the upper limit of the speed range for an aircraft's category, the minimums for the higher category must be used. For example, an airplane which fits into Category B, but is circling to land at a speed of 145 knots, must use the approach Category D minimums. As an additional example, a Category A airplane (or helicopter) which is operating at 130 knots on a straight-in approach must use the approach Category C minimums. See the following category limits:

1. Category A: Speed less than 91 knots.

2. Category B: Speed 91 knots or more but less than 121 knots.

3. Category C: Speed 121 knots or more but less than 141 knots.

4. Category D: Speed 141 knots or more but less than 166 knots.

5. Category E: Speed 166 knots or more.

VREF in the above definition refers to the speed used in establishing the approved landing distance under the airworthiness regulations constituting the type certification basis of the airplane, regardless of whether that speed for a particular airplane is 1.3 VSO, 1.23 VSR, or some higher speed required for airplane controllability. This speed, at the maximum certificated landing weight, determines the lowest applicable approach category for all approaches regardless of actual landing weight.

b. When operating on an unpublished route or while being radar vectored, the pilot, when an approach clearance is received, shall, in addition to complying with the minimum altitudes for IFR operations (14 CFR Section 91.177), maintain the last assigned altitude unless a different altitude is assigned by ATC, or until the aircraft is established on a segment of a published route or IAP. After the aircraft is so established, published altitudes apply to descent within each succeeding route or approach segment unless a different altitude is assigned by ATC. Notwithstanding this pilot responsibility, for aircraft operating on unpublished routes or while being radar vectored, ATC will, except when conducting a radar approach, issue an IFR approach clearance only after the aircraft is established on a segment of a published route or IAP, or assign an altitude to maintain until the aircraft is established on a segment of a published route or instrument approach procedure. For this purpose, the procedure turn of a published IAP shall not be considered a segment of that IAP until the aircraft reaches the initial fix or navigation facility upon which the procedure turn is predicated.

Cross Redding VOR at or above five thousand, cleared VOR runway three four approach.
Five miles from outer marker, turn right heading three three zero, maintain two thousand until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway three six approach.

The altitude assigned will assure IFR obstruction clearance from the point at which the approach clearance is issued until established on a segment of a published route or IAP. If uncertain of the meaning of the clearance, immediately request clarification from ATC.

c. Several IAPs, using various navigation and approach aids may be authorized for an airport. ATC may advise that a particular approach procedure is being used, primarily to expedite traffic. If issued a clearance that specifies a particular approach procedure, notify ATC immediately if a different one is desired. In this event it may be necessary for ATC to withhold clearance for the different approach until such time as traffic conditions permit. However, a pilot involved in an emergency situation will be given priority. If the pilot is not familiar with the specific approach procedure, ATC should be advised and they will provide detailed information on the execution of the procedure.

AIM, Advance Information on Instrument Approach, Paragraph 5-4-4.

d. The name of an instrument approach, as published, is used to identify the approach, even though a component of the approach aid, such as the glideslope on an Instrument Landing System, is inoperative or unreliable. The controller will use the name of the approach as published, but must advise the aircraft at the time an approach clearance is issued that the inoperative or unreliable approach aid component is unusable, except when the title of the published approach procedures otherwise allows, for example, ILS or LOC.

e. Except when being radar vectored to the final approach course, when cleared for a specifically prescribed IAP; i.e., “cleared ILS runway one niner approach” or when “cleared approach” i.e., execution of any procedure prescribed for the airport, pilots shall execute the entire procedure commencing at an IAF or an associated feeder route as described on the IAP chart unless an appropriate new or revised ATC clearance is received, or the IFR flight plan is canceled.

f. Pilots planning flights to locations which are private airfields or which have instrument approach procedures based on private navigation aids should obtain approval from the owner. In addition, the pilot must be authorized by the FAA to fly special instrument approach procedures associated with private navigation aids (see paragraph 5-4-8). Owners of navigation aids that are not for public use may elect to turn off the signal for whatever reason they may have; e.g., maintenance, energy conservation, etc. Air traffic controllers are not required to question pilots to determine if they have permission to land at a private airfield or to use procedures based on privately owned navigation aids, and they may not know the status of the navigation aid. Controllers presume a pilot has obtained approval from the owner and the FAA for use of special instrument approach procedures and is aware of any details of the procedure if an IFR flight plan was filed to that airport.

g. Pilots should not rely on radar to identify a fix unless the fix is indicated as “RADAR” on the IAP. Pilots may request radar identification of an OM, but the controller may not be able to provide the service due either to workload or not having the fix on the video map.

h. If a missed approach is required, advise ATC and include the reason (unless initiated by ATC). Comply with the missed approach instructions for the instrument approach procedure being executed, unless otherwise directed by ATC.

AIM, Missed Approach, Paragraph 5-4-21.
AIM, Missed Approach, Paragraph 5-5-5.

i. ATC may clear aircraft that have filed an Advanced RNAV equipment suffix to the intermediate fix when clearing aircraft for an instrument approach procedure. ATC will take the following actions when clearing Advanced RNAV aircraft to the intermediate fix:

1. Provide radar monitoring to the intermediate fix.

2. Advise the pilot to expect clearance direct to the intermediate fix at least 5 miles from the fix.

This is to allow the pilot to program the RNAV equipment to allow the aircraft to fly to the intermediate fix when cleared by ATC.

3. Assign an altitude to maintain until the intermediate fix.

4. Insure the aircraft is on a course that will intercept the intermediate segment at an angle not greater than 90 degrees and is at an altitude that will permit normal descent from the intermediate fix to the final approach fix.

5-4-8. Special Instrument Approach Procedures

Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP) charts reflect the criteria associated with the U.S. Standard for Terminal Instrument [Approach] Procedures (TERPs), which prescribes standardized methods for use in developing IAPs. Standard IAPs are published in the Federal Register (FR) in accordance with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97, and are available for use by appropriately qualified pilots operating properly equipped and airworthy aircraft in accordance with operating rules and procedures acceptable to the FAA. Special IAPs are also developed using TERPS but are not given public notice in the FR. The FAA authorizes only certain individual pilots and/or pilots in individual organizations to use special IAPs, and may require additional crew training and/or aircraft equipment or performance, and may also require the use of landing aids, communications, or weather services not available for public use. Additionally, IAPs that service private use airports or heliports are generally special IAPs.

5-4-9. Procedure Turn and Hold-in-lieu of Procedure Turn

a. A procedure turn is the maneuver prescribed when it is necessary to reverse direction to establish the aircraft inbound on an intermediate or final approach course. The procedure turn or hold-in-lieu-of-PT is a required maneuver when it is depicted on the approach chart, unless cleared by ATC for a straight-in approach. Additionally, the procedure turn or hold-in-lieu-of-PT is not permitted when the symbol “No PT” is depicted on the initial segment being used, when a RADAR VECTOR to the final approach course is provided, or when conducting a timed approach from a holding fix. The altitude prescribed for the procedure turn is a minimum altitude until the aircraft is established on the inbound course. The maneuver must be completed within the distance specified in the profile view. For a hold-in-lieu-of-PT, the holding pattern direction must be flown as depicted and the specified leg length/timing must not be exceeded.

The pilot may elect to use the procedure turn or hold-in-lieu-of-PT when it is not required by the procedure, but must first receive an amended clearance from ATC. If the pilot is uncertain whether the ATC clearance intends for a procedure turn to be conducted or to allow for a straight-in approach, the pilot must immediately request clarification from ATC (14 CFR Section 91.123).

1. On U.S. Government charts, a barbed arrow indicates the maneuvering side of the outbound course on which the procedure turn is made. Headings are provided for course reversal using the 45 degree type procedure turn. However, the point at which the turn may be commenced and the type and rate of turn is left to the discretion of the pilot (limited by the charted remain within xx NM distance). Some of the options are the 45 degree procedure turn, the racetrack pattern, the teardrop procedure turn, or the 80 degree $ 260 degree course reversal. Racetrack entries should be conducted on the maneuvering side where the majority of protected airspace resides. If an entry places the pilot on the non-maneuvering side of the PT, correction to intercept the outbound course ensures remaining within protected airspace. Some procedure turns are specified by procedural track. These turns must be flown exactly as depicted.

2. Descent to the procedure turn (PT) completion altitude from the PT fix altitude (when one has been published or assigned by ATC) must not begin until crossing over the PT fix or abeam and proceeding outbound. Some procedures contain a note in the chart profile view that says “Maintain (altitude) or above until established outbound for procedure turn” (See FIG 5-4-14). Newer procedures will simply depict an “at or above” altitude at the PT fix without a chart note (See FIG 5-4-15). Both are there to ensure required obstacle clearance is provided in the procedure turn entry zone (See FIG 5-4-16). Absence of a chart note or specified minimum altitude adjacent to the PT fix is an indication that descent to the procedure turn altitude can commence immediately upon crossing over the PT fix, regardless of the direction of flight. This is because the minimum altitudes in the PT entry zone and the PT maneuvering zone are the same.


FIG 5-4-14

aim0504_At Anchor4


FIG 5-4-15

aim0504_At Anchor3


FIG 5-4-16

aim0504_At Anchor2

3. When the approach procedure involves a procedure turn, a maximum speed of not greater than 200 knots (IAS) should be observed from first overheading the course reversal IAF through the procedure turn maneuver to ensure containment within the obstruction clearance area. Pilots should begin the outbound turn immediately after passing the procedure turn fix. The procedure turn maneuver must be executed within the distance specified in the profile view. The normal procedure turn distance is 10 miles. This may be reduced to a minimum of 5 miles where only Category A or helicopter aircraft are to be operated or increased to as much as 15 miles to accommodate high performance aircraft.

4. A teardrop procedure or penetration turn may be specified in some procedures for a required course reversal. The teardrop procedure consists of departure from an initial approach fix on an outbound course followed by a turn toward and intercepting the inbound course at or prior to the intermediate fix or point. Its purpose is to permit an aircraft to reverse direction and lose considerable altitude within reasonably limited airspace. Where no fix is available to mark the beginning of the intermediate segment, it shall be assumed to commence at a point 10 miles prior to the final approach fix. When the facility is located on the airport, an aircraft is considered to be on final approach upon completion of the penetration turn. However, the final approach segment begins on the final approach course 10 miles from the facility.

5. A holding pattern in lieu of procedure turn may be specified for course reversal in some procedures. In such cases, the holding pattern is established over an intermediate fix or a final approach fix. The holding pattern distance or time specified in the profile view must be observed. For a hold-in-lieu-of-PT, the holding pattern direction must be flown as depicted and the specified leg length/timing must not be exceeded. Maximum holding airspeed limitations as set forth for all holding patterns apply. The holding pattern maneuver is completed when the aircraft is established on the inbound course after executing the appropriate entry. If cleared for the approach prior to returning to the holding fix, and the aircraft is at the prescribed altitude, additional circuits of the holding pattern are not necessary nor expected by ATC. If pilots elect to make additional circuits to lose excessive altitude or to become better established on course, it is their responsibility to so advise ATC upon receipt of their approach clearance.

Some approach charts have an arrival holding pattern depicted at the IAF using a “thin line” holding symbol. It is charted where holding is frequently required prior to starting the approach procedure so that detailed holding instructions are not required. The arrival holding pattern is not authorized unless assigned by Air Traffic Control. Holding at the same fix may also be depicted on the enroute chart. A hold-in-lieu of procedure turn is depicted by a “thick line” symbol, and is part of the instrument approach procedure as described in paragraph 5-4-9. (See U. S. Terminal Procedures booklets page G1 for both examples.)

6. A procedure turn is not required when an approach can be made directly from a specified intermediate fix to the final approach fix. In such cases, the term “NoPT” is used with the appropriate course and altitude to denote that the procedure turn is not required. If a procedure turn is desired, and when cleared to do so by ATC, descent below the procedure turn altitude should not be made until the aircraft is established on the inbound course, since some NoPT altitudes may be lower than the procedure turn altitudes.

b. Limitations on Procedure Turns.

1. In the case of a radar initial approach to a final approach fix or position, or a timed approach from a holding fix, or where the procedure specifies NoPT, no pilot may make a procedure turn unless, when final approach clearance is received, the pilot so advises ATC and a clearance is received to execute a procedure turn.

2. When a teardrop procedure turn is depicted and a course reversal is required, this type turn must be executed.

3. When a holding pattern replaces a procedure turn, the holding pattern must be followed, except when RADAR VECTORING is provided or when NoPT is shown on the approach course. The recommended entry procedures will ensure the aircraft remains within the holding pattern's protected airspace. As in the procedure turn, the descent from the minimum holding pattern altitude to the final approach fix altitude (when lower) may not commence until the aircraft is established on the inbound course. Where a holding pattern is established in-lieu-of a procedure turn, the maximum holding pattern airspeeds apply.

AIM, Holding, Paragraph 5-3-7j2.

4. The absence of the procedure turn barb in the plan view indicates that a procedure turn is not authorized for that procedure.

5-4-10. Timed Approaches from a Holding Fix

a. TIMED APPROACHES may be conducted when the following conditions are met:

1. A control tower is in operation at the airport where the approaches are conducted.

2. Direct communications are maintained between the pilot and the center or approach controller until the pilot is instructed to contact the tower.

3. If more than one missed approach procedure is available, none require a course reversal.

4. If only one missed approach procedure is available, the following conditions are met:

(a) Course reversal is not required; and,

(b) Reported ceiling and visibility are equal to or greater than the highest prescribed circling minimums for the IAP.

5. When cleared for the approach, pilots shall not execute a procedure turn. (14 CFR Section 91.175.)

b. Although the controller will not specifically state that “timed approaches are in progress,” the assigning of a time to depart the final approach fix inbound (nonprecision approach) or the outer marker or fix used in lieu of the outer marker inbound (precision approach) is indicative that timed approach procedures are being utilized, or in lieu of holding, the controller may use radar vectors to the Final Approach Course to establish a mileage interval between aircraft that will insure the appropriate time sequence between the final approach fix/outer marker or fix used in lieu of the outer marker and the airport.

c. Each pilot in an approach sequence will be given advance notice as to the time they should leave the holding point on approach to the airport. When a time to leave the holding point has been received, the pilot should adjust the flight path to leave the fix as closely as possible to the designated time. (See FIG 5-4-17.)

FIG 5-4-17
Timed Approaches from a Holding Fix


At 12:03 local time, in the example shown, a pilot holding, receives instructions to leave the fix inbound at 12:07. These instructions are received just as the pilot has completed turn at the outbound end of the holding pattern and is proceeding inbound towards the fix. Arriving back over the fix, the pilot notes that the time is 12:04 and that there are 3 minutes to lose in order to leave the fix at the assigned time. Since the time remaining is more than two minutes, the pilot plans to fly a race track pattern rather than a 360 degree turn, which would use up 2 minutes. The turns at the ends of the race track pattern will consume approximately 2 minutes. Three minutes to go, minus 2 minutes required for the turns, leaves 1 minute for level flight. Since two portions of level flight will be required to get back to the fix inbound, the pilot halves the 1 minute remaining and plans to fly level for 30 seconds outbound before starting the turn back to the fix on final approach. If the winds were negligible at flight altitude, this procedure would bring the pilot inbound across the fix precisely at the specified time of 12:07. However, if expecting headwind on final approach, the pilot should shorten the 30 second outbound course somewhat, knowing that the wind will carry the aircraft away from the fix faster while outbound and decrease the ground speed while returning to the fix. On the other hand, compensating for a tailwind on final approach, the pilot should lengthen the calculated 30 second outbound heading somewhat, knowing that the wind would tend to hold the aircraft closer to the fix while outbound and increase the ground speed while returning to the fix.

5-4-11. Radar Approaches

a. The only airborne radio equipment required for radar approaches is a functioning radio transmitter and receiver. The radar controller vectors the aircraft to align it with the runway centerline. The controller continues the vectors to keep the aircraft on course until the pilot can complete the approach and landing by visual reference to the surface. There are two types of radar approaches: Precision (PAR) and Surveillance (ASR).

b. A radar approach may be given to any aircraft upon request and may be offered to pilots of aircraft in distress or to expedite traffic, however, an ASR might not be approved unless there is an ATC operational requirement, or in an unusual or emergency situation. Acceptance of a PAR or ASR by a pilot does not waive the prescribed weather minimums for the airport or for the particular aircraft operator concerned. The decision to make a radar approach when the reported weather is below the established minimums rests with the pilot.

c. PAR and ASR minimums are published on separate pages in the FAA Terminal Procedures Publication (TPP).

1. A PRECISION APPROACH (PAR) is one in which a controller provides highly accurate navigational guidance in azimuth and elevation to a pilot. Pilots are given headings to fly, to direct them to, and keep their aircraft aligned with the extended centerline of the landing runway. They are told to anticipate glidepath interception approximately 10 to 30 seconds before it occurs and when to start descent. The published Decision Height will be given only if the pilot requests it. If the aircraft is observed to deviate above or below the glidepath, the pilot is given the relative amount of deviation by use of terms “slightly” or “well” and is expected to adjust the aircraft's rate of descent/ascent to return to the glidepath. Trend information is also issued with respect to the elevation of the aircraft and may be modified by the terms “rapidly” and “slowly”; e.g., “well above glidepath, coming down rapidly.” Range from touchdown is given at least once each mile. If an aircraft is observed by the controller to proceed outside of specified safety zone limits in azimuth and/or elevation and continue to operate outside these prescribed limits, the pilot will be directed to execute a missed approach or to fly a specified course unless the pilot has the runway environment (runway, approach lights, etc.) in sight. Navigational guidance in azimuth and elevation is provided the pilot until the aircraft reaches the published Decision Height (DH). Advisory course and glidepath information is furnished by the controller until the aircraft passes over the landing threshold, at which point the pilot is advised of any deviation from the runway centerline. Radar service is automatically terminated upon completion of the approach.

2. A SURVEILLANCE APPROACH (ASR) is one in which a controller provides navigational guidance in azimuth only. The pilot is furnished headings to fly to align the aircraft with the extended centerline of the landing runway. Since the radar information used for a surveillance approach is considerably less precise than that used for a precision approach, the accuracy of the approach will not be as great and higher minimums will apply. Guidance in elevation is not possible but the pilot will be advised when to commence descent to the Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) or, if appropriate, to an intermediate step-down fix Minimum Crossing Altitude and subsequently to the prescribed MDA. In addition, the pilot will be advised of the location of the Missed Approach Point (MAP) prescribed for the procedure and the aircraft's position each mile on final from the runway, airport or heliport or MAP, as appropriate. If requested by the pilot, recommended altitudes will be issued at each mile, based on the descent gradient established for the procedure, down to the last mile that is at or above the MDA. Normally, navigational guidance will be provided until the aircraft reaches the MAP. Controllers will terminate guidance and instruct the pilot to execute a missed approach unless at the MAP the pilot has the runway, airport or heliport in sight or, for a helicopter point-in-space approach, the prescribed visual reference with the surface is established. Also, if, at any time during the approach the controller considers that safe guidance for the remainder of the approach cannot be provided, the controller will terminate guidance and instruct the pilot to execute a missed approach. Similarly, guidance termination and missed approach will be effected upon pilot request and, for civil aircraft only, controllers may terminate guidance when the pilot reports the runway, airport/heliport or visual surface route (point-in-space approach) in sight or otherwise indicates that continued guidance is not required. Radar service is automatically terminated at the completion of a radar approach.

1. The published MDA for straight-in approaches will be issued to the pilot before beginning descent. When a surveillance approach will terminate in a circle-to-land maneuver, the pilot must furnish the aircraft approach category to the controller. The controller will then provide the pilot with the appropriate MDA.


3. A NO‐GYRO APPROACH is available to a pilot under radar control who experiences circumstances wherein the directional gyro or other stabilized compass is inoperative or inaccurate. When this occurs, the pilot should so advise ATC and request a No‐Gyro vector or approach. Pilots of aircraft not equipped with a directional gyro or other stabilized compass who desire radar handling may also request a No‐Gyro vector or approach. The pilot should make all turns at standard rate and should execute the turn immediately upon receipt of instructions. For example, “TURN RIGHT,” “STOP TURN.” When a surveillance or precision approach is made, the pilot will be advised after the aircraft has been turned onto final approach to make turns at half standard rate.

5-4-12. Radar Monitoring of Instrument Approaches

a. PAR facilities operated by the FAA and the military services at some joint‐use (civil and military) and military installations monitor aircraft on instrument approaches and issue radar advisories to the pilot when weather is below VFR minimums (1,000 and 3), at night, or when requested by a pilot. This service is provided only when the PAR Final Approach Course coincides with the final approach of the navigational aid and only during the operational hours of the PAR. The radar advisories serve only as a secondary aid since the pilot has selected the navigational aid as the primary aid for the approach.

b. Prior to starting final approach, the pilot will be advised of the frequency on which the advisories will be transmitted. If, for any reason, radar advisories cannot be furnished, the pilot will be so advised.

c. Advisory information, derived from radar observations, includes information on:

1. Passing the final approach fix inbound (nonprecision approach) or passing the outer marker or fix used in lieu of the outer marker inbound (precision approach).

At this point, the pilot may be requested to report sighting the approach lights or the runway.

2. Trend advisories with respect to elevation and/or azimuth radar position and movement will be provided.

Whenever the aircraft nears the PAR safety limit, the pilot will be advised that the aircraft is well above or below the glidepath or well left or right of course. Glidepath information is given only to those aircraft executing a precision approach, such as ILS or MLS. Altitude information is not transmitted to aircraft executing other than precision approaches because the descent portions of these approaches generally do not coincide with the depicted PAR glidepath. At locations where the MLS glidepath and PAR glidepath are not coincidental, only azimuth monitoring will be provided.

3. If, after repeated advisories, the aircraft proceeds outside the PAR safety limit or if a radical deviation is observed, the pilot will be advised to execute a missed approach unless the prescribed visual reference with the surface is established.

d. Radar service is automatically terminated upon completion of the approach.

5-4-13. ILS/MLS Approaches to Parallel Runways

a. ATC procedures permit ILS instrument approach operations to dual or triple parallel runway configurations. ILS/MLS approaches to parallel runways are grouped into three classes: Parallel (dependent) ILS/MLS Approaches; Simultaneous Parallel (independent) ILS/MLS Approaches; and Simultaneous Close Parallel (independent) ILS Precision Runway Monitor (PRM) Approaches. (See FIG 5-4-18.) The classification of a parallel runway approach procedure is dependent on adjacent parallel runway centerline separation, ATC procedures, and airport ATC radar monitoring and communications capabilities. At some airports one or more parallel localizer courses may be offset up to 3 degrees. Offset localizer configurations result in loss of Category II capabilities and an increase in decision height (50').

b. Parallel approach operations demand heightened pilot situational awareness. A thorough Approach Procedure Chart review should be conducted with, as a minimum, emphasis on the following approach chart information: name and number of the approach, localizer frequency, inbound localizer/azimuth course, glide slope intercept altitude, decision height, missed approach instructions, special notes/procedures, and the assigned runway location/proximity to adjacent runways. Pilots will be advised that simultaneous ILS/MLS or simultaneous close parallel ILS PRM approaches are in use. This information may be provided through the ATIS.

c. The close proximity of adjacent aircraft conducting simultaneous parallel ILS/MLS and simultaneous close parallel ILS PRM approaches mandates strict pilot compliance with all ATC clearances. ATC assigned airspeeds, altitudes, and headings must be complied with in a timely manner. Autopilot coupled ILS/MLS approaches require pilot knowledge of procedures necessary to comply with ATC instructions. Simultaneous parallel ILS/MLS and simultaneous close parallel ILS PRM approaches necessitate precise localizer tracking to minimize final monitor controller intervention, and unwanted No Transgression Zone (NTZ) penetration. In the unlikely event of a breakout, ATC will not assign altitudes lower than the minimum vectoring altitude. Pilots should notify ATC immediately if there is a degradation of aircraft or navigation systems.

d. Strict radio discipline is mandatory during parallel ILS/MLS approach operations. This includes an alert listening watch and the avoidance of lengthy, unnecessary radio transmissions. Attention must be given to proper call sign usage to prevent the inadvertent execution of clearances intended for another aircraft. Use of abbreviated call signs must be avoided to preclude confusion of aircraft with similar sounding call signs. Pilots must be alert to unusually long periods of silence or any unusual background sounds in their radio receiver. A stuck microphone may block the issuance of ATC instructions by the final monitor controller during simultaneous parallel ILS/MLS and simultaneous close parallel ILS PRM approaches.

AIM, Chapter 4, Section 2, Radio Communications Phraseology and Techniques, gives additional communications information.

e. Use of Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) provides an additional element of safety to parallel approach operations. Pilots should follow recommended TCAS operating procedures presented in approved flight manuals, original equipment manufacturer recommendations, professional newsletters, and FAA publications.

FIG 5-4-18
Parallel ILS Approaches


5-4-14. Parallel ILS/MLS Approaches (Dependent)
(See FIG 5-4-19.)

FIG 5-4-19
Staggered ILS Approaches


. Parallel approaches are an ATC procedure permitting parallel ILS/MLS approaches to airports having parallel runways separated by at least 2,500 feet between centerlines. Integral parts of a total system are ILS/MLS, radar, communications, ATC procedures, and required airborne equipment.

b. A parallel (dependent) approach differs from a simultaneous (independent) approach in that, the minimum distance between parallel runway centerlines is reduced; there is no requirement for radar monitoring or advisories; and a staggered separation of aircraft on the adjacent localizer/azimuth course is required.

c. Aircraft are afforded a minimum of 1.5 miles radar separation diagonally between successive aircraft on the adjacent localizer/azimuth course when runway centerlines are at least 2,500 feet but no more than 4,300 feet apart. When runway centerlines are more than 4,300 feet but no more than 9,000 feet apart a minimum of 2 miles diagonal radar separation is provided. Aircraft on the same localizer/azimuth course within 10 miles of the runway end are provided a minimum of 2.5 miles radar separation. In addition, a minimum of 1,000 feet vertical or a minimum of three miles radar separation is provided between aircraft during turn on to the parallel final approach course.

d. Whenever parallel ILS/MLS approaches are in progress, pilots are informed that approaches to both runways are in use. In addition, the radar controller will have the interphone capability of communicating with the tower controller where separation responsibility has not been delegated to the tower.

5-4-15. Simultaneous Parallel ILS/MLS Approaches (Independent)
(See FIG 5-4-20.)

FIG 5-4-20
Simultaneous Parallel ILS Approaches


a. System. An approach system permitting simultaneous ILS/MLS approaches to parallel runways with centerlines separated by 4,300 to 9,000 feet, and equipped with final monitor controllers. Simultaneous parallel ILS/MLS approaches require radar monitoring to ensure separation between aircraft on the adjacent parallel approach course. Aircraft position is tracked by final monitor controllers who will issue instructions to aircraft observed deviating from the assigned localizer course. Staggered radar separation procedures are not utilized. Integral parts of a total system are ILS/MLS, radar, communications, ATC procedures, and required airborne equipment. The Approach Procedure Chart permitting simultaneous parallel ILS/MLS approaches will contain the note “simultaneous approaches authorized RWYS 14L and 14R,” identifying the appropriate runways as the case may be. When advised that simultaneous parallel ILS/MLS approaches are in progress, pilots shall advise approach control immediately of malfunctioning or inoperative receivers, or if a simultaneous parallel ILS/MLS approach is not desired.

b. Radar Monitoring. This service is provided for each simultaneous parallel ILS/MLS approach to ensure aircraft do not deviate from the final approach course. Radar monitoring includes instructions if an aircraft nears or penetrates the prescribed NTZ (an area 2,000 feet wide located equidistant between parallel final approach courses). This service will be provided as follows:

1. During turn on to parallel final approach, aircraft will be provided 3 miles radar separation or a minimum or 1,000 feet vertical separation. The assigned altitude must be maintained until intercepting the glide path, unless cleared otherwise by ATC. Aircraft will not be vectored to intercept the final approach course at an angle greater than thirty degrees.

2. The final monitor controller will have the capability of overriding the tower controller on the tower frequency.

3. Pilots will be instructed to monitor the tower frequency to receive advisories and instructions.

4. Aircraft observed to overshoot the turn‐on or to continue on a track which will penetrate the NTZ will be instructed to return to the correct final approach course immediately. The final monitor controller may also issue missed approach or breakout instructions to the deviating aircraft.



“(aircraft call sign) TURN (left/right) AND RETURN TO THE LOCALIZER/AZIMUTH COURSE.”

5. If a deviating aircraft fails to respond to such instructions or is observed penetrating the NTZ, the aircraft on the adjacent final approach course may be instructed to alter course.

“TRAFFIC ALERT (aircraft call sign) TURN (left/right) IMMEDIATELY HEADING (degrees), (climb/descend) AND MAINTAIN (altitude).”

6. Radar monitoring will automatically be terminated when visual separation is applied, the aircraft reports the approach lights or runway in sight, or the aircraft is 1 mile or less from the runway threshold (for runway centerlines spaced 4,300 feet or greater). Final monitor controllers will not advise pilots when radar monitoring is terminated.

5-4-16. Simultaneous Close Parallel ILS PRM Approaches (Independent) and
Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approaches (SOIA)
(See FIG 5-4-21.)

FIG 5-4-21
ILS PRM Approaches
(Simultaneous Close Parallel)

aim0504_At Anchor1

a. System.

1. ILS/PRM is an acronym for Instrument Landing System/Precision Runway Monitor.

(a) An approach system that permits simultaneous ILS/PRM approaches to dual runways with centerlines separated by less than 4,300 feet but at least 3,400 feet for parallel approach courses, and at least 3,000 feet if one ILS if offset by 2.5 to 3.0 degrees. The airspace between the final approach courses contains a No Transgression Zone (NTZ) with surveillance provided by two PRM monitor controllers, one for each approach course. To qualify for reduced lateral runway separation, monitor controllers must be equipped with high update radar and high resolution ATC radar displays, collectively called a PRM system. The PRM system displays almost instantaneous radar information. Automated tracking software provides PRM monitor controllers with aircraft identification, position, speed and a ten-second projected position, as well as visual and aural controller alerts. The PRM system is a supplemental requirement for simultaneous close parallel approaches in addition to the system requirements for simultaneous parallel ILS/MLS approaches described in paragraph 5-4-15, Simultaneous Parallel ILS/MLS Approaches (Independent).

(b) Simultaneous close parallel ILS/PRM approaches are depicted on a separate Approach Procedure Chart titled ILS/PRM Rwy XXX (Simultaneous Close Parallel).

2. SOIA is an acronym for Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approach, a procedure used to conduct simultaneous approaches to runways spaced less than 3,000 feet, but at least 750 feet apart. The SOIA procedure utilizes an ILS/PRM approach to one runway and an offset Localizer Type Directional Aid (LDA)/PRM approach with glide slope to the adjacent runway.

(a) The ILS/PRM approach plates used in SOIA operations are identical to other ILS/PRM approach plates, with an additional note, which provides the separation between the two runways used for simultaneous approaches. The LDA/PRM approach plate displays the required notations for closely spaced approaches as well as depicting the visual segment of the approach, and a note that provides the separation between the two runways used for simultaneous operations.

(b) Controllers monitor the SOIA ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM approaches with a PRM system using high update radar and high-resolution ATC radar displays in exactly the same manner as is done for ILS/PRM approaches. The procedures and system requirements for SOIA ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM approaches are identical with those used for simultaneous close parallel ILS/PRM approaches until near the LDA/PRM approach missed approach point (MAP)---where visual acquisition of the ILS aircraft by the LDA aircraft must be accomplished. Since the ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM approaches are identical except for the visual segment in the SOIA concept, an understanding of the procedures for conducting ILS/PRM approaches is essential before conducting a SOIA ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM operation.

(c) In SOIA, the approach course separation (instead of the runway separation) meets established close parallel approach criteria. Refer to FIG 5-4-22 for the generic SOIA approach geometry. A visual segment of the LDA/PRM approach is established between the LDA MAP and the runway threshold. Aircraft transition in visual conditions from the LDA course, beginning at the LDA MAP, to align with the runway and can be stabilized by 500 feet above ground level (AGL) on the extended runway centerline. Aircraft will be “paired” in SOIA operations, with the ILS aircraft ahead of the LDA aircraft prior to the LDA aircraft reaching the LDA MAP. A cloud ceiling for the approach is established so that the LDA aircraft has nominally 30 seconds to acquire the leading ILS aircraft prior to the LDA aircraft reaching the LDA MAP. If visual acquisition is not accomplished, a missed approach must be executed.

b. Requirements.

Besides system requirements as identified in subpara a above all pilots must have completed special training before accepting a clearance to conduct ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM Simultaneous Close Parallel Approaches.

1. Pilot Training Requirement. Pilots must complete special pilot training, as outlined below, before accepting a clearance for a simultaneous close parallel ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approach.

(a) For operations under 14 CFR Parts 121, 129, and 135 pilots must comply with FAA approved company training as identified in their Operations Specifications. Training, at a minimum, must require pilots to view the FAA video “ILS PRM AND SOIA APPROACHES: INFORMATION FOR AIR CARRIER PILOTS.” Refer to for additional information and to view or download the video.

(b) For operations under Part 91:

(1) Pilots operating transport category aircraft must be familiar with PRM operations as contained in this section of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). In addition, pilots operating transport category aircraft must view the FAA video “ILS PRM AND SOIA APPROACHES: INFORMATION FOR AIR CARRIER PILOTS.” Refer to for additional information and to view or download the video.

FIG 5-4-22
SOIA Approach Geometry

aim0504_At Anchor0



The SAP is a design point along the extended centerline of the intended landing runway on the glide slope at 500 feet above the landing threshold. It is used to verify a sufficient distance is provided for the visual maneuver after the missed approach point (MAP) to permit the pilots to conform to approved, stabilized approach criteria.


The point along the LDA where the course separation with the adjacent ILS reaches 3,000 feet. The altitude of the glide slope at that point determines the approach minimum descent altitude and is where the NTZ terminates. Maneuvering inside the MAP is done in visual conditions.


Angle formed at the intersection of the extended LDA runway centerline and a line drawn between the LDA MAP and the SAP. The size of the angle is determined by the FAA SOIA computer design program, and is dependent on whether Heavy aircraft use the LDA and the spacing between the runways.


Distance from MAP to runway threshold in statute miles (light credit applies).


LDA aircraft must see the runway landing environment and, if less than standard radar separation exists between the aircraft on the adjacent ILS course, the LDA aircraft must visually acquire the ILS aircraft and report it in sight to ATC prior to the LDA MAP.


Clear Clouds.

(2) Pilots not operating transport category aircraft must be familiar with PRM and SOIA operations as contained in this section of the AIM. The FAA strongly recommends that pilots not involved in transport category aircraft operations view the FAA video, “ILS PRM AND SOIA APPROACHES: INFORMATION FOR GENERAL AVIATION PILOTS.” Refer to for additional information and to view or download the video.

2. ATC Directed Breakout. An ATC directed “breakout” is defined as a vector off the ILS or LDA approach course in response to another aircraft penetrating the NTZ, the 2,000 foot wide area located equidistance between the two approach courses that is monitored by the PRM monitor controllers.

3. Dual Communications. The aircraft flying the ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approach must have the capability of enabling the pilot/s to listen to two communications frequencies simultaneously.

c. Radar Monitoring. Simultaneous close parallel ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM approaches require that final monitor controllers utilize the PRM system to ensure prescribed separation standards are met. Procedures and communications phraseology are also described in paragraph 5-4-15, Simultaneous Parallel ILS/MLS Approaches (Independent). A minimum of 3 miles radar separation or 1,000 feet vertical separation will be provided during the turn-on to close parallel final approach courses. To ensure separation is maintained, and in order to avoid an imminent situation during simultaneous close parallel ILS/PRM or SOIA ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM approaches, pilots must immediately comply with PRM monitor controller instructions. In the event of a missed approach, radar monitoring is provided to one-half mile beyond the most distant of the two runway departure ends for ILS/RPM approaches. In SOIA, PRM radar monitoring terminates at the LDA MAP. Final monitor controllers will not notify pilots when radar monitoring is terminated.

d. Attention All Users Page (AAUP). ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM approach charts have an AAUP associated with them that must be referred to in preparation for conducting the approach. This page contains the following instructions that must be followed if the pilot is unable to accept an ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approach.

1. At airports that conduct PRM operations, (ILS/PRM or, in the case of airports where SOIAs are conducted, ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM approaches) pilots not qualified to except PRM approaches must contact the FAA Command Center prior to departure (1-800-333-4286) to obtain an arrival reservation (see FAA Advisory Circular 90-98, Simultaneous Closely Spaced Parallel Operations at Airports Using Precision Runway Monitor (PRM) Systems). Arriving flights that are unable to participate in ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approaches and have not received an arrival reservation are subject to diversion to another airport or delays. Pilots en route to a PRM airport designated as an alternate, unable to reach their filed destination, and who are not qualified to participate in ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approaches must advise ATC as soon as practical that they are unable to participate. Pilots who are qualified to participate but experience an en route equipment failure that would preclude participation in PRM approaches should notify ATC as soon as practical.

2. The AAUP covers the following operational topics:

(a) ATIS. When the ATIS broadcast advises ILS/PRM approaches are in progress (or ILS PRM and LDA PRM approaches in the case of SOIA), pilots should brief to fly the ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approach. If later advised to expect the ILS or LDA approach (should one be published), the ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM chart may be used after completing the following briefing items:

(1) Minimums and missed approach procedures are unchanged.

(2) PRM Monitor frequency no longer required.

(3) ATC may assign a lower altitude for glide slope intercept.

In the case of the LDA/PRM approach, this briefing procedure only applies if an LDA approach is also published.

In the case of the SOIA ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM procedure, the AAUP describes the weather conditions in which simultaneous approaches are authorized:

Simultaneous approach weather minimums are X,XXX feet (ceiling), x miles (visibility).

(b) Dual VHF Communications Required. To avoid blocked transmissions, each runway will have two frequencies, a primary and a monitor frequency. The tower controller will transmit on both frequencies. The monitor controller's transmissions, if needed, will override both frequencies. Pilots will ONLY transmit on the tower controller's frequency, but will listen to both frequencies. Begin to monitor the PRM monitor controller when instructed by ATC to contact the tower. The volume levels should be set about the same on both radios so that the pilots will be able to hear transmissions on at least one frequency if the other is blocked. Site specific procedures take precedence over the general information presented in this paragraph. Refer to the AAUP for applicable procedures at specific airports.

(c) Breakouts. Breakouts differ from other types of abandoned approaches in that they can happen anywhere and unexpectedly. Pilots directed by ATC to break off an approach must assume that an aircraft is blundering toward them and a breakout must be initiated immediately.

(1) Hand-fly breakouts. All breakouts are to be hand-flown to ensure the maneuver is accomplished in the shortest amount of time.

(2) ATC Directed “Breakouts.” ATC directed breakouts will consist of a turn and a climb or descent. Pilots must always initiate the breakout in response to an air traffic controller's instruction. Controllers will give a descending breakout only when there are no other reasonable options available, but in no case will the descent be below the minimum vectoring altitude (MVA) which provides at least 1,000 feet required obstruction clearance. The AAUP provides the MVA in the final approach segment as X,XXX feet at (Name) Airport.

“TRAFFIC ALERT.” If an aircraft enters the “NO TRANSGRESSION ZONE” (NTZ), the controller will breakout the threatened aircraft on the adjacent approach. The phraseology for the breakout will be:

TRAFFIC ALERT, (aircraft call sign) TURN (left/right) IMMEDIATELY, HEADING (degrees), CLIMB/DESCEND AND MAINTAIN (altitude).

(d) ILS/PRM Navigation. The pilot may find crossing altitudes along the final approach course. The pilot is advised that descending on the ILS glideslope ensures complying with any charted crossing restrictions.

SOIA AAUP differences from ILS PRM AAUP

(e) ILS/PRM LDA Traffic (only published on ILS/PRM AAUP when the ILS PRM approach is used in conjunctions with an LDA/PRM approach to the adjacent runway). To provide better situational awareness, and because traffic on the LDA may be visible on the ILS aircraft's TCAS, pilots are reminded of the fact that aircraft will be maneuvering behind them to align with the adjacent runway. While conducting the ILS/PRM approach to Runway XXX, other aircraft may be conducting the offset LDA/PRM approach to Runway XXX. These aircraft will approach from the (left/right)-rear and will realign with runway XXX after making visual contact with the ILS traffic. Under normal circumstances these aircraft will not pass the ILS traffic.

SOIA LDA/PRM AAUP Items. The AAUP for the SOIA LDA/PRM approach contains most information found on ILS/PRM AAUPs. It replaces certain information as seen below and provides pilots with the procedures to be used in the visual segment of the LDA/PRM approach, from the time the ILS aircraft is visually acquired until landing.

(f) SOIA LDA/PRM Navigation (replaces ILS/PRM (d) and (e) above). The pilot may find crossing altitudes along the final approach course. The pilot is advised that descending on the LDA glideslope ensures complying with any charted crossing restrictions. Remain on the LDA course until passing XXXXX (LDA MAP name) intersection prior to maneuvering to align with the centerline of runway XXX.

(g) SOIA (Name) Airport Visual Segment (replaces ILS/PRM (e) above). Pilot procedures for navigating beyond the LDA MAP are spelled out. If ATC advises that there is traffic on the adjacent ILS, pilots are authorized to continue past the LDA MAP to align with runway centerline when:

(1) the ILS traffic is in sight and is expected to remain in sight,

(2) ATC has been advised that “traffic is in sight.”

(3) the runway environment is in sight.

Otherwise, a missed approach must be executed. Between the LDA MAP and the runway threshold, pilots of the LDA aircraft are responsible for separating themselves visually from traffic on the ILS approach, which means maneuvering the aircraft as necessary to avoid the ILS traffic until landing, and providing wake turbulence avoidance, if applicable. Pilots should advise ATC, as soon as practical, if visual contact with the ILS traffic is lost and execute a missed approach unless otherwise instructed by ATC.

e. SOIA LDA Approach Wake Turbulence. Pilots are responsible for wake turbulence avoidance when maneuvering between the LDA missed approach point and the runway threshold.

f. Differences between ILS and ILS/PRM approaches of importance to the pilot.

1. Runway Spacing. Prior to ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM approaches, most ATC directed breakouts were the result of two aircraft in-trail on the same final approach course getting too close together. Two aircraft going in the same direction did not mandate quick reaction times. With PRM approaches, two aircraft could be along side each other, navigating on courses that are separated by less than 4,300 feet. In the unlikely event that an aircraft “blunders” off its course and makes a worst case turn of 30 degrees toward the adjacent final approach course, closing speeds of 135 feet per second could occur that constitute the need for quick reaction. A blunder has to be recognized by the monitor controller, and breakout instructions issued to the endangered aircraft. The pilot will not have any warning that a breakout is imminent because the blundering aircraft will be on another frequency. It is important that, when a pilot receives breakout instructions, he/she assumes that a blundering aircraft is about to or has penetrated the NTZ and is heading toward his/her approach course. The pilot must initiate a breakout as soon as safety allows. While conducting PRM approaches, pilots must maintain an increased sense of awareness in order to immediately react to an ATC instruction (breakout) and maneuver as instructed by ATC, away from a blundering aircraft.

2. Communications. To help in avoiding communication problems caused by stuck microphones and two parties talking at the same time, two frequencies for each runway will be in use during ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM approach operations, the primary tower frequency and the PRM monitor frequency. The tower controller transmits and receives in a normal fashion on the primary frequency and also transmits on the PRM monitor frequency. The monitor controller's transmissions override on both frequencies. The pilots flying the approach will listen to both frequencies but only transmit on the primary tower frequency. If the PRM monitor controller initiates a breakout and the primary frequency is blocked by another transmission, the breakout instruction will still be heard on the PRM monitor frequency.

3. Hand-flown Breakouts. The use of the autopilot is encouraged while flying an ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approach, but the autopilot must be disengaged in the rare event that a breakout is issued. Simulation studies of breakouts have shown that a hand-flown breakout can be initiated consistently faster than a breakout performed using the autopilot.

4. TCAS. The ATC breakout instruction is the primary means of conflict resolution. TCAS, if installed, provides another form of conflict resolution in the unlikely event other separation standards would fail. TCAS is not required to conduct a closely spaced approach.

The TCAS provides only vertical resolution of aircraft conflicts, while the ATC breakout instruction provides both vertical and horizontal guidance for conflict resolutions. Pilots should always immediately follow the TCAS Resolution Advisory (RA), whenever it is received. Should a TCAS RA be received before, during, or after an ATC breakout instruction is issued, the pilot should follow the RA, even if it conflicts with the climb/descent portion of the breakout maneuver. If following an RA requires deviating from an ATC clearance, the pilot shall advise ATC as soon as practical. While following an RA, it is extremely important that the pilot also comply with the turn portion of the ATC breakout instruction unless the pilot determines safety to be factor. Adhering to these procedures assures the pilot that acceptable “breakout” separation margins will always be provided, even in the face of a normal procedural or system failure.

5. Breakouts. The probability is extremely low that an aircraft will “blunder” from its assigned approach course and enter the NTZ, causing ATC to “breakout” the aircraft approaching on the adjacent ILS course. However, because of the close proximity of the final approach courses, it is essential that pilots follow the ATC breakout instructions precisely and expeditiously. The controller's “breakout” instructions provide conflict resolution for the threatened aircraft, with the turn portion of the “breakout” being the single most important element in achieving maximum protection. A descending breakout will only be issued when it is the only controller option. In no case will the controller descend an aircraft below the MVA, which will provide at least 1,000 feet clearance above obstacles. The pilot is not expected to exceed 1,000 feet per minute rate of descent in the event a descending breakout is issued.

5-4-17. Simultaneous Converging Instrument Approaches

a. ATC may conduct instrument approaches simultaneously to converging runways; i.e., runways having an included angle from 15 to 100 degrees, at airports where a program has been specifically approved to do so.

b. The basic concept requires that dedicated, separate standard instrument approach procedures be developed for each converging runway included. Missed Approach Points must be at least 3 miles apart and missed approach procedures ensure that missed approach protected airspace does not overlap.

c. Other requirements are: radar availability, nonintersecting final approach courses, precision (ILS/MLS) approach systems on each runway and, if runways intersect, controllers must be able to apply visual separation as well as intersecting runway separation criteria. Intersecting runways also require minimums of at least 700 foot ceilings and 2 miles visibility. Straight in approaches and landings must be made.

d. Whenever simultaneous converging approaches are in progress, aircraft will be informed by the controller as soon as feasible after initial contact or via ATIS. Additionally, the radar controller will have direct communications capability with the tower controller where separation responsibility has not been delegated to the tower.

5-4-18. RNP SAAAR Instrument Approach Procedures

These procedures require authorization analogous to the special authorization required for Category II or III ILS procedures. Special aircraft and aircrew authorization required (SAAAR) procedures are to be conducted by aircrews meeting special training requirements in aircraft that meet the specified performance and functional requirements.

a. Unique characteristics of RNP SAAAR Approaches

1. RNP value. Each published line of minima has an associated RNP value. The indicated value defines the lateral and vertical performance requirements. A minimum RNP type is documented as part of the RNP SAAAR authorization for each operator and may vary depending on aircraft configuration or operational procedures (e.g., GPS inoperative, use of flight director vice autopilot).

2. Curved path procedures. Some RNP approaches have a curved path, also called a radius-to-a-fix (RF) leg. Since not all aircraft have the capability to fly these arcs, pilots are responsible for knowing if they can conduct an RNP approach with an arc or not. Aircraft speeds, winds and bank angles have been taken into consideration in the development of the procedures.

3. RNP required for extraction or not. Where required, the missed approach procedure may use RNP values less than RNP-1. The reliability of the navigation system has to be very high in order to conduct these approaches. Operation on these procedures generally requires redundant equipment, as no single point of failure can cause loss of both approach and missed approach navigation.

4. Non-standard speeds or climb gradients. RNP SAAAR approaches are developed based on standard approach speeds and a 200 ft/NM climb gradient in the missed approach. Any exceptions to these standards will be indicated on the approach procedure, and the operator should ensure they can comply with any published restrictions before conducting the operation.

5. Temperature Limits. For aircraft using barometric vertical navigation (without temperature compensation) to conduct the approach, low and high-temperature limits are identified on the procedure. Cold temperatures reduce the glidepath angle while high temperatures increase the glidepath angle. Aircraft using baro VNAV with temperature compensation or aircraft using an alternate means for vertical guidance (e.g., SBAS) may disregard the temperature restrictions. The charted temperature limits are evaluated for the final approach segment only. Regardless of charted temperature limits or temperature compensation by the FMS, the pilot may need to manually compensate for cold temperature on minimum altitudes and the decision altitude.

6. Aircraft size. The achieved minimums may be dependent on aircraft size. Large aircraft may require higher minimums due to gear height and/or wingspan. Approach procedure charts will be annotated with applicable aircraft size restrictions.

b. Types of RNP SAAAR Approach Operations

1. RNP Stand-alone Approach Operations. RNP SAAAR procedures can provide access to runways regardless of the ground-based NAVAID infrastructure, and can be designed to avoid obstacles, terrain, airspace, or resolve environmental constraints.

2. RNP Parallel Approach (RPA) Operations. RNP SAAAR procedures can be used for parallel approaches where the runway separation is adequate (See FIG 5-4-23). Parallel approach procedures can be used either simultaneously or as stand-alone operations. They may be part of either independent or dependent operations depending on the ATC ability to provide radar monitoring.

FIG 5-4-23


3. RNP Parallel Approach Runway Transitions (RPAT) Operations. RPAT approaches begin as a parallel IFR approach operation using simultaneous independent or dependent procedures. (See FIG 5-4-24). Visual separation standards are used in the final segment of the approach after the final approach fix, to permit the RPAT aircraft to transition in visual conditions along a predefined lateral and vertical path to align with the runway centerline.


FIG 5-4-24


4. RNP Converging Runway Operations. At airports where runways converge, but may or may not intersect, an RNP SAAAR approach can provide a precise curved missed approach path that conforms to aircraft separation minimums for simultaneous operations (See FIG 5-4-25). By flying this curved missed approach path with high accuracy and containment provided by RNP, dual runway operations may continue to be used to lower ceiling and visibility values than currently available. This type of operation allows greater capacity at airports where it can be applied.

FIG 5-4-25


5-4-19. Side-step Maneuver

ATC may authorize a standard instrument approach procedure which serves either one of parallel runways that are separated by 1,200 feet or less followed by a straight‐in landing on the adjacent runway.

b. Aircraft that will execute a side‐step maneuver will be cleared for a specified approach procedure and landing on the adjacent parallel runway. Example, “cleared ILS runway 7 left approach, side‐step to runway 7 right.” Pilots are expected to commence the side‐step maneuver as soon as possible after the runway or runway environment is in sight. Compliance with minimum altitudes associated with stepdown fixes is expected even after the side-step maneuver is initiated.

Side-step minima are flown to a Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) regardless of the approach authorized.

c. Landing minimums to the adjacent runway will be based on nonprecision criteria and therefore higher than the precision minimums to the primary runway, but will normally be lower than the published circling minimums.

5-4-20. Approach and Landing Minimums

a. Landing Minimums. The rules applicable to landing minimums are contained in 14 CFR Section 91.175. TBL 5-4-1 may be used to convert RVR to ground or flight visibility. For converting RVR values that fall between listed values, use the next higher RVR value; do not interpolate. For example, when converting 1800 RVR, use 2400 RVR with the resultant visibility of 1/2 mile.

TBL 5-4-1
RVR Value Conversions


(statute miles)














1 1/4

b. Obstacle Clearance. Final approach obstacle clearance is provided from the start of the final segment to the runway or missed approach point, whichever occurs last. Side‐step obstacle protection is provided by increasing the width of the final approach obstacle clearance area.

1. Circling approach protected areas are defined by the tangential connection of arcs drawn from each runway end. The arc radii distance differs by aircraft approach category (see FIG 5-4-26). Because of obstacles near the airport, a portion of the circling area may be restricted by a procedural note: e.g., “Circling NA E of RWY 17-35.” Obstacle clearance is provided at the published minimums (MDA) for the pilot who makes a straight-in approach, side-steps, or circles. Once below the MDA the pilot must see and avoid obstacles. Executing the missed approach after starting to maneuver usually places the aircraft beyond the MAP. The aircraft is clear of obstacles when at or above the MDA while inside the circling area, but simply joining the missed approach ground track from the circling maneuver may not provide vertical obstacle clearance once the aircraft exits the circling area. Additional climb inside the circling area may be required before joining the missed approach track. See paragraph 5-4-21, Missed Approach, for additional considerations when starting a missed approach at other than the MAP.

FIG 5-4-26
Final Approach Obstacle Clearance


2. Precision Obstacle Free Zone (POFZ). A volume of airspace above an area beginning at the runway threshold, at the threshold elevation, and centered on the extended runway centerline. The POFZ is 200 feet (60m) long and 800 feet (240m) wide. The POFZ must be clear when an aircraft on a vertically guided final approach is within 2 nautical miles of the runway threshold and the reported ceiling is below 250 feet or visibility less than 3/4 statute mile (SM) (or runway visual range below 4,000 feet). If the POFZ is not clear, the MINIMUM authorized height above touchdown (HAT) and visibility is 250 feet and 3/4 SM. The POFZ is considered clear even if the wing of the aircraft holding on a taxiway waiting for runway clearance penetrates the POFZ; however, neither the fuselage nor the tail may infringe on the POFZ. The POFZ is applicable at all runway ends including displaced thresholds.

FIG 5-4-27


c. Straight‐in Minimums are shown on the IAP when the final approach course is within 30 degrees of the runway alignment (15 degrees for GPS IAPs) and a normal descent can be made from the IFR altitude shown on the IAP to the runway surface. When either the normal rate of descent or the runway alignment factor of 30 degrees (15 degrees for GPS IAPs) is exceeded, a straight-in minimum is not published and a circling minimum applies. The fact that a straight‐in minimum is not published does not preclude pilots from landing straight-in if they have the active runway in sight and have sufficient time to make a normal approach for landing. Under such conditions and when ATC has cleared them for landing on that runway, pilots are not expected to circle even though only circling minimums are published. If they desire to circle, they should advise ATC.

d. Side-Step Maneuver Minimums. Landing minimums for a side‐step maneuver to the adjacent runway will normally be higher than the minimums to the primary runway.

e. Published Approach Minimums. Approach minimums are published for different aircraft categories and consist of a minimum altitude (DA, DH, MDA) and required visibility. These minimums are determined by applying the appropriate TERPS criteria. When a fix is incorporated in a nonprecision final segment, two sets of minimums may be published: one for the pilot that is able to identify the fix, and a second for the pilot that cannot. Two sets of minimums may also be published when a second altimeter source is used in the procedure. When a nonprecision procedure incorporates both a stepdown fix in the final segment and a second altimeter source, two sets of minimums are published to account for the stepdown fix and a note addresses minimums for the second altimeter source.

f. Circling Minimums. In some busy terminal areas, ATC may not allow circling and circling minimums will not be published. Published circling minimums provide obstacle clearance when pilots remain within the appropriate area of protection. Pilots should remain at or above the circling altitude until the aircraft is continuously in a position from which a descent to a landing on the intended runway can be made at a normal rate of descent using normal maneuvers. Circling may require maneuvers at low altitude, at low airspeed, and in marginal weather conditions. Pilots must use sound judgment, have an indepth knowledge of their capabilities, and fully understand the aircraft performance to determine the exact circling maneuver since weather, unique airport design, and the aircraft position, altitude, and airspeed must all be considered. The following basic rules apply:

1. Maneuver the shortest path to the base or downwind leg, as appropriate, considering existing weather conditions. There is no restriction from passing over the airport or other runways.

2. It should be recognized that circling maneuvers may be made while VFR or other flying is in progress at the airport. Standard left turns or specific instruction from the controller for maneuvering must be considered when circling to land.

3. At airports without a control tower, it may be desirable to fly over the airport to observe wind and turn indicators and other traffic which may be on the runway or flying in the vicinity of the airport.

AC 90-66A, Recommended Standards Traffic patterns for Aeronautical Operations at Airports without Operating Control Towers.

4. The missed approach point (MAP) varies depending upon the approach flown. For vertically guided approaches, the MAP is at the decision altitude/decision height. Non-vertically guided and circling procedures share the same MAP and the pilot determines this MAP by timing from the final approach fix, by a fix, a NAVAID, or a waypoint. Circling from a GLS, an ILS without a localizer line of minima or an RNAV (GPS) approach without an LNAV line of minima is prohibited.

g. Instrument Approach at a Military Field. When instrument approaches are conducted by civil aircraft at military airports, they shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures and minimums approved by the military agency having jurisdiction over the airport.

5-4-21. Missed Approach

a. When a landing cannot be accomplished, advise ATC and, upon reaching the missed approach point defined on the approach procedure chart, the pilot must comply with the missed approach instructions for the procedure being used or with an alternate missed approach procedure specified by ATC.

b. Obstacle protection for missed approach is predicated on the missed approach being initiated at the decision altitude/height (DA/H) or at the missed approach point and not lower than minimum descent altitude (MDA). A climb gradient of at least 200 feet per nautical mile is required, (except for Copter approaches, where a climb of at least 400 feet per nautical mile is required), unless a higher climb gradient is published in the notes section of the approach procedure chart. When higher than standard climb gradients are specified, the end point of the non-standard climb will be specified at either an altitude or a fix. Pilots must preplan to ensure that the aircraft can meet the climb gradient (expressed in feet per nautical mile) required by the procedure in the event of a missed approach, and be aware that flying at a higher than anticipated ground speed increases the climb rate requirement (feet per minute). Tables for the conversion of climb gradients (feet per nautical mile) to climb rate (feet per minute), based on ground speed, are included on page D1 of the U.S. Terminal Procedures booklets. Reasonable buffers are provided for normal maneuvers. However, no consideration is given to an abnormally early turn. Therefore, when an early missed approach is executed, pilots should, unless otherwise cleared by ATC, fly the IAP as specified on the approach plate to the missed approach point at or above the MDA or DH before executing a turning maneuver.

c. If visual reference is lost while circling‐to‐land from an instrument approach, the missed approach specified for that particular procedure must be followed (unless an alternate missed approach procedure is specified by ATC). To become established on the prescribed missed approach course, the pilot should make an initial climbing turn toward the landing runway and continue the turn until established on the missed approach course. Inasmuch as the circling maneuver may be accomplished in more than one direction, different patterns will be required to become established on the prescribed missed approach course, depending on the aircraft position at the time visual reference is lost. Adherence to the procedure will help assure that an aircraft will remain laterally within the circling and missed approach obstruction clearance areas. Refer to paragraph h concerning vertical obstruction clearance when starting a missed approach at other than the MAP. (See FIG 5-4-28.)

d. At locations where ATC radar service is provided, the pilot should conform to radar vectors when provided by ATC in lieu of the published missed approach procedure. (See FIG 5-4-29.)

e. Some locations may have a preplanned alternate missed approach procedure for use in the event the primary NAVAID used for the missed approach procedure is unavailable. To avoid confusion, the alternate missed approach instructions are not published on the chart. However, the alternate missed approach holding pattern will be depicted on the instrument approach chart for pilot situational awareness and to assist ATC by not having to issue detailed holding instructions. The alternate missed approach may be based on NAVAIDs not used in the approach procedure or the primary missed approach. When the alternate missed approach procedure is implemented by NOTAM, it becomes a mandatory part of the procedure. The NOTAM will specify both the textual instructions and any additional equipment requirements necessary to complete the procedure. Air traffic may also issue instructions for the alternate missed approach when necessary, such as when the primary missed approach NAVAID fails during the approach. Pilots may reject an ATC clearance for an alternate missed approach that requires equipment not necessary for the published approach procedure when the alternate missed approach is issued after beginning the approach. However, when the alternate missed approach is issued prior to beginning the approach the pilot must either accept the entire procedure (including the alternate missed approach), request a different approach procedure, or coordinate with ATC for alternative action to be taken, i.e., proceed to an alternate airport, etc.

f. When approach has been missed, request clearance for specific action; i.e., to alternative airport, another approach, etc.

g. Pilots must ensure that they have climbed to a safe altitude prior to proceeding off the published missed approach, especially in nonradar environments. Abandoning the missed approach prior to reaching the published altitude may not provide adequate terrain clearance. Additional climb may be required after reaching the holding pattern before proceeding back to the IAF or to an alternate.

FIG 5-4-28
Circling and Missed Approach Obstruction Clearance Areas


FIG 5-4-29
Missed Approach


h. A clearance for an instrument approach procedure includes a clearance to fly the published missed approach procedure, unless otherwise instructed by ATC. The published missed approach procedure provides obstacle clearance only when the missed approach is conducted on the missed approach segment from or above the missed approach point, and assumes a climb rate of 200 feet/NM or higher, as published. If the aircraft initiates a missed approach at a point other than the missed approach point (see paragraph 5-4-5b), from below MDA or DA (H), or on a circling approach, obstacle clearance is not necessarily provided by following the published missed approach procedure, nor is separation assured from other air traffic in the vicinity.

In the event a balked (rejected) landing occurs at a position other than the published missed approach point, the pilot should contact ATC as soon as possible to obtain an amended clearance. If unable to contact ATC for any reason, the pilot should attempt to re-intercept a published segment of the missed approach and comply with route and altitude instructions. If unable to contact ATC, and in the pilot's judgment it is no longer appropriate to fly the published missed approach procedure, then consider either maintaining visual conditions if practicable and reattempt a landing, or a circle-climb over the airport. Should a missed approach become necessary when operating to an airport that is not served by an operating control tower, continuous contact with an air traffic facility may not be possible. In this case, the pilot should execute the appropriate go-around/missed approach procedure without delay and contact ATC when able to do so.

Prior to initiating an instrument approach procedure, the pilot should assess the actions to be taken in the event of a balked (rejected) landing beyond the missed approach point or below the MDA or DA (H) considering the anticipated weather conditions and available aircraft performance. 14 CFR 91.175(e) authorizes the pilot to fly an appropriate missed approach procedure that ensures obstruction clearance, but it does not necessarily consider separation from other air traffic. The pilot must consider other factors such as the aircraft's geographical location with respect to the prescribed missed approach point, direction of flight, and/or minimum turning altitudes in the prescribed missed approach procedure. The pilot must also consider aircraft performance, visual climb restrictions, charted obstacles, published obstacle departure procedure, takeoff visual climb requirements as expressed by nonstandard takeoff minima, other traffic expected to be in the vicinity, or other factors not specifically expressed by the approach procedures.

5-4-22. Use of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) on Instrument Approaches

An EFVS is an installed airborne system which uses an electronic means to provide a display of the forward external scene topography (the applicable natural or manmade features of a place or region especially in a way to show their relative positions and elevation) through the use of imaging sensors, such as forward looking infrared, millimeter wave radiometry, millimeter wave radar, and/or low light level image intensifying. The EFVS imagery is displayed along with the additional flight information and aircraft flight symbology required by 14 CFR 91.175 (m) on a head-up display (HUD), or an equivalent display, in the same scale and alignment as the external view and includes the display element, sensors, computers and power supplies, indications, and controls. The display is typically presented to the pilot by means of an approved HUD.

a. Basic Strategy Using EFVS. When flying an instrument approach procedure (IAP), if the runway environment cannot be visually acquired at decision altitude (DA) or minimum descent altitude (MDA) using natural vision, then a pilot may use an EFVS to continue descending down to 100 feet above the Touchdown Zone Elevation (TDZE), provided all of the visibility requirements of 14 CFR part 91.175 (l) are met. The primary reference for maneuvering the aircraft is based on what the pilot sees through the EFVS. At 100 feet above the TDZE, a pilot can continue to descend only when the visual reference requirements for descent below 100 feet can be seen using natural vision (without the aid of the EFVS). In other words, a pilot may not continue to rely on the EFVS sensor image to identify the required visual references below 100 feet above the TDZE. Supporting information is provided by the flight path vector (FPV), flight path angle (FPA) reference cue, onboard navigation system, and other imagery and flight symbology displayed on the EFVS. The FPV and FPA reference cue, along with the EFVS imagery of the Touchdown Zone (TDZ), provide the primary vertical path reference for the pilot when vertical guidance from a precision approach or approach with vertical guidance is not available.

1. Straight-In Instrument Approach Procedures. An EFVS may be used to descend below DA or MDA from any straight-in IAP, other than Category II or Category III approaches, provided all of the requirements of 14 CFR part 91.175 (l) are met. This includes straight-in precision approaches, approaches with vertical guidance (for example, LPV or LNAV/VNAV), and non-precision approaches (for example, VOR, NDB, LOC, RNAV, GPS, LDA, SDF, etc.).

2. Circling Approach Procedure. An IAP with a circle-to-land maneuver or circle-to-land minimums does not meet criteria for straight-in landing minimums. While the regulations do not prohibit EFVS from being used during any phase of flight, they do prohibit it from being used for operational credit on anything but a straight-in IAP with straight-in landing minima. EFVS shall only be used during a circle-to-land maneuver provided the visual references required throughout the circling maneuver are distinctly visible using natural vision. An EFVS cannot be used to satisfy the requirement that an identifiable part of the airport be distinctly visible to the pilot during a circling maneuver at or above MDA or while descending below MDA from a circling maneuver.

3. Enhanced Flight Visibility. Flight visibility is determined by using natural vision, and enhanced flight visibility (EFV) is determined by using an EFVS. 14 CFR part 91.175 (l) requires that the EFV observed by using an EFVS cannot be less than the visibility prescribed in the IAP to be used in order to continue to descend below the DA or MDA.

b. EFVS Operations At or Below DA or MDA Down to 100 Feet Above the TDZE. The visual segment of an IAP begins at DA or MDA and continues to the runway. There are two means of operating in the visual segment--one is by using natural vision and the other is by using an EFVS. If the pilot determines that the EFV observed by using the EFVS is not less than the minimum visibility prescribed in the IAP being flown, and the pilot acquires the required visual references prescribed in 14 CFR part 91.175 (l)(3) using the EFVS, then the pilot can continue the approach to 100 feet above the TDZE. To continue the approach, the pilot uses the EFVS image to visually acquire the runway environment (the approach light system (ALS), if installed, or both the runway threshold and the TDZ), confirm lateral alignment, maneuver to the extended runway centerline earlier than would otherwise be possible, and continue a normal descent from the DA or MDA to 100 feet above the TDZE.

1. Required Visual References. In order to descend below DA or MDA, the following visual references (specified in 14 CFR part 91.175 (l)(3)) for the runway of intended landing must be distinctly visible and identifiable to the pilot using the EFVS:

(a) The ALS (if installed), or

(b) The following visual references in both (b)(1) and (b)(2) below:

(1) The runway threshold, identified by at least one of the following: the beginning of the runway landing surface, the threshold lights, or the runway end identifier lights (REIL).

(2) The TDZ, identified by at least one of the following: the runway TDZ landing surface, the TDZ lights, the TDZ markings, or the runway lights.

2. Comparison of Visual Reference Requirements for EFVS and Natural Vision. The EFVS visual reference requirements of 14 CFR part 91.175 (l)(3) comprise a more stringent standard than the visual reference requirements prescribed under 14 CFR part 91.175 (c)(3) when using natural vision. The more stringent standard is needed because an EFVS might not display the color of the lights used to identify specific portions of the runway or might not be able to consistently display the runway markings. The main differences for EFVS operations are that the visual glide slope indicator (VGSI) lights cannot be used as a visual reference, and specific visual references from both the threshold and TDZ must be distinctly visible and identifiable. However, when using natural vision, only one of the specified visual references must be visible and identifiable.

3. Visual References and Offset Approaches. Pilots must be especially knowledgeable of the approach conditions and approach course alignment when considering whether to rely on EFVS during a non-precision approach with an offset final approach course. Depending upon the combination of crosswind correction and the lateral field of view provided by a particular EFVS, the required visual references may or may not be within the pilot's view looking through the EFVS display. Pilots conducting any non-precision approach must verify lateral alignment with the runway centerline when determining when to descend from MDA.

4. When to Go Around. Any pilot operating an aircraft with an EFVS installed should be aware that the requirements of 14 CFR part 91.175 (c) for using natural vision and the requirements of 14 CFR part 91.175 (l) for using an EFVS are different. A pilot would, therefore, first have to determine whether an approach will be commenced using natural vision or using an EFVS. While these two sets of requirements provide a parallel decisionmaking process, the requirements for when a missed approach must be executed differ. Using EFVS, a missed approach must be initiated at or below DA or MDA down to 100 feet above TDZE whenever the pilot determines that:

(a) The EFV is less than the visibility minima prescribed for the IAP being used;

(b) The required visual references for the runway of intended landing are no longer distinctly visible and identifiable to the pilot using the EFVS imagery;

(c) The aircraft is not continuously in a position from which a descent to a landing can be made on the intended runway, at a normal rate of descent, using normal maneuvers; or

(d) For operations under 14 CFR parts 121 and 135, the descent rate of the aircraft would not allow touchdown to occur within the TDZ of the runway of intended landing.

5. Missed Approach Considerations. It should be noted that a missed approach after passing the DA, or beyond the missed approach point (MAP), involves additional risk until established on the published missed approach segment. Initiating a go-around after passing the published MAP may result in loss of obstacle clearance. As with any approach, pilot planning should include contingencies between the published MAP and touchdown with reference to obstacle clearance, aircraft performance, and alternate escape plans.

c. EFVS Operations At and Below 100 Feet Above the TDZE. At and below 100 feet above the TDZE, the regulations do not require the EFVS to be turned off or the display to be stowed in order to continue to a landing. A pilot may continue the approach below this altitude using an EFVS as long as the required visual references can be seen through the display using natural vision. An operator may not continue to descend beyond this point by relying solely on the sensor image displayed on the EFVS.

1. Required Visual References. In order to descend below 100 feet above the TDZE, the flight visibility--assessed using natural vision--must be sufficient for the following visual references to be distinctly visible and identifiable to the pilot without reliance on the EFVS to continue to a landing:

(a) The lights or markings of the threshold, or

(b) The lights or markings of the TDZ.

It is important to note that from 100 feet above the TDZE and below, the flight visibility does not have to be equal to or greater than the visibility prescribed for the IAP in order to continue descending. It only has to be sufficient for the visual references required by 14 CFR part 91.175 (l)(4) to be distinctly visible and identifiable to the pilot without reliance on the EFVS.

2. Comparison of Visual Reference Requirements for EFVS and Natural Vision. Again, the visual reference requirements for EFVS in 14 CFR part 91.175 (l)(4) are more stringent than those required for natural vision in 14 CFR part 91.175 (c)(3). The main differences for EFVS operations are that the ALS and red terminating bars or red side row bars, the REIL, and the VASI cannot be used as visual references. Only very specific visual references from the threshold or the TDZ can be used (that is, the lights or markings of the threshold or the lights or markings of the TDZ).

3. When to Go Around. A missed approach must be initiated when the pilot determines that:

(a) The flight visibility is no longer sufficient to distinctly see and identify the required visual references listed in 14 CFR part 91.175 (l)(4) using natural vision;

(b) The aircraft is not continuously in a position from which a descent to a landing can be made on the intended runway, at a normal rate of descent, using normal maneuvers; or

(c) For operations under 14 CFR parts 121 and 135, the descent rate of the aircraft would not allow touchdown to occur within the TDZ of the runway of intended landing.

While touchdown within the TDZ is not specifically addressed in the regulations for operators other than 14 CFR parts 121 and 135 operators, continued operations below DA or MDA where touchdown in the TDZ is not assured, where a high sink rate occurs, or where the decision to conduct a missed approach procedure is not executed in a timely manner, all create a significant risk to the operation.

4. Missed Approach Considerations. As noted earlier, a missed approach initiated after the DA or MAP involves additional risk. At 100 feet or less above the runway, it is likely that an aircraft is significantly below the TERPS missed approach obstacle clearance surface. Prior planning is recommended and should include contingencies between the published MAP and touchdown with reference to obstacle clearance, aircraft performance, and alternate escape plans.

d. Light Emitting Diode (LED) Airport Lighting Impact on EFVS Operations. The FAA has recently begun to replace incandescent lamps with LEDs at some airports in threshold lights, taxiway edge lights, taxiway centerline lights, low intensity runway edge lights, windcone lights, beacons, and some obstruction lighting. Pilots should be aware that LED lights cannot be sensed by current EFVS systems.

5-4-23. Visual Approach

a. A visual approach is conducted on an IFR flight plan and authorizes a pilot to proceed visually and clear of clouds to the airport. The pilot must have either the airport or the preceding identified aircraft in sight. This approach must be authorized and controlled by the appropriate air traffic control facility. Reported weather at the airport must have a ceiling at or above 1,000 feet and visibility 3 miles or greater. ATC may authorize this type approach when it will be operationally beneficial. Visual approaches are an IFR procedure conducted under IFR in visual meteorological conditions. Cloud clearance requirements of 14 CFR Section 91.155 are not applicable, unless required by operation specifications.

b. Operating to an Airport Without Weather Reporting Service. ATC will advise the pilot when weather is not available at the destination airport. ATC may initiate a visual approach provided there is a reasonable assurance that weather at the airport is a ceiling at or above 1,000 feet and visibility 3 miles or greater (e.g., area weather reports, PIREPs, etc.).

c. Operating to an Airport With an Operating Control Tower. Aircraft may be authorized to conduct a visual approach to one runway while other aircraft are conducting IFR or VFR approaches to another parallel, intersecting, or converging runway. When operating to airports with parallel runways separated by less than 2,500 feet, the succeeding aircraft must report sighting the preceding aircraft unless standard separation is being provided by ATC. When operating to parallel runways separated by at least 2,500 feet but less than 4,300 feet, controllers will clear/vector aircraft to the final at an angle not greater than 30 degrees unless radar, vertical, or visual separation is provided during the turn‐on. The purpose of the 30 degree intercept angle is to reduce the potential for overshoots of the final and to preclude side‐by‐side operations with one or both aircraft in a belly-up configuration during the turn‐on. Once the aircraft are established within 30 degrees of final, or on the final, these operations may be conducted simultaneously. When the parallel runways are separated by 4,300 feet or more, or intersecting/converging runways are in use, ATC may authorize a visual approach after advising all aircraft involved that other aircraft are conducting operations to the other runway. This may be accomplished through use of the ATIS.

d. Separation Responsibilities. If the pilot has the airport in sight but cannot see the aircraft to be followed, ATC may clear the aircraft for a visual approach; however, ATC retains both separation and wake vortex separation responsibility. When visually following a preceding aircraft, acceptance of the visual approach clearance constitutes acceptance of pilot responsibility for maintaining a safe approach interval and adequate wake turbulence separation.

e. A visual approach is not an IAP and therefore has no missed approach segment. If a go around is necessary for any reason, aircraft operating at controlled airports will be issued an appropriate advisory/clearance/instruction by the tower. At uncontrolled airports, aircraft are expected to remain clear of clouds and complete a landing as soon as possible. If a landing cannot be accomplished, the aircraft is expected to remain clear of clouds and contact ATC as soon as possible for further clearance. Separation from other IFR aircraft will be maintained under these circumstances.

f. Visual approaches reduce pilot/controller workload and expedite traffic by shortening flight paths to the airport. It is the pilot's responsibility to advise ATC as soon as possible if a visual approach is not desired.

g. Authorization to conduct a visual approach is an IFR authorization and does not alter IFR flight plan cancellation responsibility.

AIM, Canceling IFR Flight Plan, Paragraph 5-1-14.

h. Radar service is automatically terminated, without advising the pilot, when the aircraft is instructed to change to advisory frequency.

5-4-24. Charted Visual Flight Procedure (CVFP)

a. CVFPs are charted visual approaches established for environmental/noise considerations, and/or when necessary for the safety and efficiency of air traffic operations. The approach charts depict prominent landmarks, courses, and recommended altitudes to specific runways. CVFPs are designed to be used primarily for turbojet aircraft.

b. These procedures will be used only at airports with an operating control tower.

c. Most approach charts will depict some NAVAID information which is for supplemental navigational guidance only.

d. Unless indicating a Class B airspace floor, all depicted altitudes are for noise abatement purposes and are recommended only. Pilots are not prohibited from flying other than recommended altitudes if operational requirements dictate.

e. When landmarks used for navigation are not visible at night, the approach will be annotated “PROCEDURE NOT AUTHORIZED AT NIGHT.

f. CVFPs usually begin within 20 flying miles from the airport.

g. Published weather minimums for CVFPs are based on minimum vectoring altitudes rather than the recommended altitudes depicted on charts.

h. CVFPs are not instrument approaches and do not have missed approach segments.

i. ATC will not issue clearances for CVFPs when the weather is less than the published minimum.

j. ATC will clear aircraft for a CVFP after the pilot reports siting a charted landmark or a preceding aircraft. If instructed to follow a preceding aircraft, pilots are responsible for maintaining a safe approach interval and wake turbulence separation.

k. Pilots should advise ATC if at any point they are unable to continue an approach or lose sight of a preceding aircraft. Missed approaches will be handled as a go‐around.

5-4-25. Contact Approach

a. Pilots operating in accordance with an IFR flight plan, provided they are clear of clouds and have at least 1 mile flight visibility and can reasonably expect to continue to the destination airport in those conditions, may request ATC authorization for a contact approach.

b. Controllers may authorize a contact approach provided:

1. The contact approach is specifically requested by the pilot. ATC cannot initiate this approach.

Request contact approach.

2. The reported ground visibility at the destination airport is at least 1 statute mile.

3. The contact approach will be made to an airport having a standard or special instrument approach procedure.

4. Approved separation is applied between aircraft so cleared and between these aircraft and other IFR or special VFR aircraft.

Cleared contact approach (and, if required) at or below (altitude) (routing) if not possible (alternative procedures) and advise.

c. A contact approach is an approach procedure that may be used by a pilot (with prior authorization from ATC) in lieu of conducting a standard or special IAP to an airport. It is not intended for use by a pilot on an IFR flight clearance to operate to an airport not having a published and functioning IAP. Nor is it intended for an aircraft to conduct an instrument approach to one airport and then, when “in the clear,” discontinue that approach and proceed to another airport. In the execution of a contact approach, the pilot assumes the responsibility for obstruction clearance. If radar service is being received, it will automatically terminate when the pilot is instructed to change to advisory frequency.

5-4-26. Landing Priority

A clearance for a specific type of approach (ILS, MLS, ADF, VOR or Straight‐in Approach) to an aircraft operating on an IFR flight plan does not mean that landing priority will be given over other traffic. ATCTs handle all aircraft, regardless of the type of flight plan, on a “first-come, first-served” basis. Therefore, because of local traffic or runway in use, it may be necessary for the controller in the interest of safety, to provide a different landing sequence. In any case, a landing sequence will be issued to each aircraft as soon as possible to enable the pilot to properly adjust the aircraft's flight path.

5-4-27. Overhead Approach Maneuver

a. Pilots operating in accordance with an IFR flight plan in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) may request ATC authorization for an overhead maneuver. An overhead maneuver is not an instrument approach procedure. Overhead maneuver patterns are developed at airports where aircraft have an operational need to conduct the maneuver. An aircraft conducting an overhead maneuver is considered to be VFR and the IFR flight plan is cancelled when the aircraft reaches the initial point on the initial approach portion of the maneuver. (See FIG 5-4-30.) The existence of a standard overhead maneuver pattern does not eliminate the possible requirement for an aircraft to conform to conventional rectangular patterns if an overhead maneuver cannot be approved. Aircraft operating to an airport without a functioning control tower must initiate cancellation of an IFR flight plan prior to executing the overhead maneuver. Cancellation of the IFR flight plan must be accomplished after crossing the landing threshold on the initial portion of the maneuver or after landing. Controllers may authorize an overhead maneuver and issue the following to arriving aircraft:

1. Pattern altitude and direction of traffic. This information may be omitted if either is standard.


2. Request for a report on initial approach.


3. “Break” information and a request for the pilot to report. The “Break Point” will be specified if nonstandard. Pilots may be requested to report “break” if required for traffic or other reasons.

BREAK AT (specified point).

FIG 5-4-30
Overhead Maneuver


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