Aviation In Canada

Monday, January 24, 2005

Approach Naming, Part Two

Continuing yesterday's topic, ATC should be clearing you for a published approach as it is named on the plate. For example, the clearances should sound like, "Alpha Bravo Charlie cleared to the Fredericton Airport for the ILS DME runway 09 approach". This confirms which approach the pilot is cleared for, and reminds the pilot of the nature of the approach. For example, if the pilot without DME hears the DME part of the clearance, it should twig him to realize he's not supposed to do this approach, and he should request an alternate clearance. The only example of a place where ATC is not supposed to assume the pilot is capable of conductin an approach is the RNAV (GPS) approaches. All other approaches, ATC may assume the pilot is capable, since basic NAV gear should include the rest. In Canada, Localizer Back Courses fall under the umbrella of "standard" capabilities.

Additionally, the clearance should give the pilot some information such as the nature of the transition to be made for for approach. If ATC specifies the approach name as in the above example, a straight-in is not authorized and ATC is expecting you to do a procedure turn. This may be required for separation between you and aircraft departing the airport before you land. For a straight-in, it must be specified in the clearance. The only exception to this is a clearance to fly an approach via an RNAV STAR. "...cleared ILS runway 24 approach via the FUNDY 6 Arrival" means the pilot is actually expected to fly the approach straight-in, since the straight-in is considered part of the RNAV STAR procedure. Please note that the FUNDY6 in the above example is built as an RNAV STAR, not a PILOT NAV STAR.