VOLUME 4 AIRCRAFT EQUIPMENT AND OPERATIONAL AUTHORIZATIONS
CHAPTER 2 ALL WEATHER TERMINAL AREA OPERATIONS
Section 5 Nonprecision, Approach
Procedures with Vertical Guidance, and Category I Precision Approach and Landing
4-267 OVERVIEW. This section includes guidance for operations other than Category (CAT) II/III approaches for
Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) parts
91 subpart K (part
and 135 operators.
Approach and landing operations other than CAT II/III include visual approaches, contact approaches, circling approaches, Nonprecision Approaches (NPA),
approach procedures with vertical guidance (APV), and CAT I instrument landing system (ILS) approaches. This section includes guidance for both approach
procedures using ground-based and/or satellite-based Navigational Aids (NAVAID).
4-268 APPLICABILITY. The information detailed in this chapter applies to the
operators of all civil aircraft operating under parts
This section addresses concepts and national policy guidance to be
used by an aviation safety inspector (ASI) when evaluating, approving, or denying
requests for an authorization to conduct any terminal area approach operation
other than CAT II/III operations. Requests for CAT I operations other than those
based on ILS, such as a Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) Landing System
(GLS), are to be directed to the regional Flight Standards division (RFSD) Next
Generation (NextGen) Branch (AXX-220). This section does not apply to Special
Authorization (SA) CAT I instrument procedures. See
Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 6 for
SA CAT I approvals.
4-269 REFERENCES, FORMS, AND JOB AIDS.
A. References (current editions):
· Title 14 CFR parts
· Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Order
Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures.
· FAA Order
Instrument Landing System and Ancillary Electronic Component
Configuration and Performance Requirements.
· FAA Order
Air Traffic Control.
· FAA Order
Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approach (SOIA).
· FAA Order
Procedures for the Evaluation and Approval of Facilities
for Special Authorization Category I Operations and All Category II and III Operations.
· Advisory Circulars (AC)
Runway Visual Range (RVR).
Criteria for Approval of Category I and Category II Weather Minima for Approach.
Surface Movement Guidance and Control System.
Standard Operating Procedures for Flight Deck Crewmembers.
Flight Test Guide for Certification of Transport Category Airplanes.
· AC 120-67,
Criteria for Operational Approval of Auto Flight Guidance Systems.
· Technical Standard Orders (TSO).
· U.S. Flight Information Publications (FLIP).
· Instrument Procedures Handbook (IPH).
· Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM).
B. Forms. None.
C. Job Aids. None.
A. Approach Procedures with Vertical Guidance (APV). APV approach
and landing operations are three-dimensional operations conducted under IFR
that provide both lateral and vertical guidance, but that do not meet all of
the accuracy requirements and navigation specifications to be classified as
CAT I precision approaches. APV operations are conducted using decision altitude/height
(DA/H). Examples of APV approaches include Area Navigation (RNAV) (lateral approach
procedures with vertical guidance (LPV) or lateral navigation (LNAV)/vertical
navigation (VNAV) minimums) and localizer-type directional aid (LDA) with glideslope (GS).
B. Category (CAT) I Operations. CAT I operations are defined
as precision approach and landing operations conducted under instrument flight
rules (IFR) using CAT I operating minimums. CAT I operating minimums consist
of a specified IFR decision altitude (DA)/decision height (DH) that is not lower
than the equivalent of 200 feet (60 meters) above the touchdown zone (TDZ),
and a visibility or a Runway Visual Range (RVR) that is not lower than one-half
statute mile or RVR 1800, respectively.
C. Nonprecision Approach (NPA) and Landing Operations. NPA and
landing operations are two‑dimensional operations conducted under IFR using
lateral guidance but not vertical guidance. Very high frequency (VHF) omnidirectional
range (VOR), non-directional radio beacon (NDB), LDA, Localizer (LOC), Localizer
back course (LOC-BC), RNAV, LNAV minimums or initial RNAV distance measuring
equipment (DME)-DME approaches), and airport surveillance radar (ASR) approaches
are examples of NPAs. Nonprecision operations are conducted using a minimum
descent altitude (MDA) and a specific missed approach point (MAP).
D. Precision Approach and Landing Operations. Precision approach and landing
operations are three-dimensional operations conducted under IFR using ILS or
GLS, which provides both lateral and vertical guidance. Precision operations
are conducted using a DA/H, or which have no DA/H and support operation to touchdown.
GLS operations use a Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS) or GBAS to augment
the standard Global Positioning System (GPS) signal for more precise navigational
E. Special Authorization (SA) CAT I. FAA Order
SA CAT I approaches to a radio altimeter (RA) decision height (DH)
as low as 150 feet and a visibility minimum as low as RVR 1400 to runways that
do not have TDZ or runway centerline (RCL) lighting when the approach is flown
using an aircraft with a Head-Up Display (HUD) to DH. The process for approving
or denying SA CAT I authorization is found in
Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 6.
4-271 APPROVAL METHOD.
do not need a letter of authorization (LOA) for any other than
CAT II/III (which includes SA CAT I) authorizations described in this section.
Precision runway monitor (PRM) approaches do not require a specific LOA, but
the operator must adhere to the criteria prescribed on the “Attention All Users”
that accompanies each PRM approach.
135. A part
manager is issued management specifications (MSpecs); parts
are issued operations specifications (OpSpecs); and a part
holding a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) is issued an
LOA for operations described in this section.
Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 5 contains
guidance for each of these authorizations, except for part
which is in
Volume 12, Chapter 2, Section 5.
(See Table 4-7, Available OpSpec/MSpec/LOA Paragraphs by 14 CFR Part.)
1) C051. C051 is issued to all operators conducting airplane
operations under parts
125 (including part
125 LODA holders),
conduct any terminal flight operations under IFR.
2) C052. C052 is applicable to all operators conducting airplane
operations under parts
125 (including part
125 LODA holders),
Paragraph C052 specifies the types of instrument approaches the operator
is authorized to conduct under IFR and prohibits the use of other types of instrument
approaches, and authorizes the lowest straight-in nonprecision, APV, and CAT
I precision approach and landing minimums.
3) C054. C054 is issued to all operators conducting operations
125 (including part
125 LODA holders), and
It is also issued to operators who conduct turbine-powered airplane operations under part
It is not issued to part
who do not operate turbine-powered airplanes unless that operator
also conducts operations under part
C054 specifies the RVR landing minimum equivalent to the published
RVR landing minimum that must be used by high-minimum pilots (less than 100
hours in aircraft type). It also specifies that before a pilot in command (PIC)
of a turbojet can conduct an instrument approach with visibility conditions
reported to be below three-quarters of a mile or RVR 4000 (basic turbojet landing
minimums), the pilot must be specifically qualified and authorized to use standard
4) C061. C061 authorizes an operator to use a flight control
guidance system with automatic landing capabilities to touchdown in conditions
other than CAT II/III. Part
121.579(c) and part
§ 135.93(d) specify
that this type of operation must be authorized by OpSpecs. C061 is optional for parts
5) C062. OpSpec/MSpec C062 is optional for part
to authorize operators to use manually flown flight control
guidance systems to conduct approach and landing operations to fly a CAT I ILS
using a Head-Up-Guidance System (HGS).
6) C064. C064 authorizes an operator to conduct nonscheduled
passenger and all-cargo (scheduled and nonscheduled) terminal area IFR operations
in Class G airspace or into airports without an operating control tower.
7) C073. C073 authorizes operators to use DA in lieu of MDA on
certain NPA procedures. These procedures must meet specific criteria to verify
that the visual approach area is clear of obstacles and will safely permit a
brief descent below DA.
8) C075. OpSpec C075 is issued to operators who conduct parts
125 (including part
125 LODA holders),
with fixed-wing airplanes. OpSpec C075 specifies the lowest
minimums that can be used for CAT I circling approach maneuvers. It also provides
special limitations and provisions for instrument approach procedures (IAP)
at foreign airports. For part
OpSpec C075 also authorizes contact approaches.
9) C077. C077 is an optional authorization that is applicable
to all operators conducting operations under the provisions for part
turbojet and all parts
operators (except for rotorcraft operations). OpSpec B051 is applicable for parts
flight rules (VFR) en route operations for propeller-driven aircraft
and may be issued in conjunction with C077.
10) C080. C080 is used to authorize terminal area IFR operations
for scheduled passenger operations in Class G airspace or at airports without
an operating control tower.
Table 4-7. Available OpSpec/MSpec/LOA Paragraphs by 14 CFR Part
A. Areas of Operation. Nonprecision, APV, and CAT I precision
approaches can be conducted at controlled and uncontrolled airports. All of
these approaches can be conducted under IFR in visual or instrument flying conditions.
Visual approaches are conducted with reference to the airport and/or the proceeding
aircraft. Contact approaches are conducted with visual reference to the terrain.
The circling maneuver of an NPA is conducted with visual reference to the airport.
Straight-in NPAs, circling approaches down to the MDA, and CAT I ILS approaches
may be conducted in instrument flying conditions.
B. Landing Minimums. Landing minimums for other than CAT II/III
approaches are generally addressed by part
91.175, and §§
and standard or special OpSpecs Part C. The published minimums on a part
approach reflect these requirements.
C. CAT I Terminology. The CAT I terminology used in this section is based
on and consistent with U.S. OpSpecs for parts
135 operators. AC
being amended to reflect this definition. While there are slight
variations with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the broad
objectives and practical operational applications are similar. For U.S. applications to parts
CAT I is considered to include any ILS, GLS, or precision
approach radar (PAR) IAP having minimums not less than 200 feet height above
touchdown (HAT) and RVR not less than 1,800 feet. SA CAT I procedures have approach
minimums as low as 150 feet DA/DH and RVR 1400. Approval for these procedures requires special
equipage and training, which is discussed in
Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 6.
In certain circumstances, usually related to training, the FAA and industry
commonly refer to CAT I procedures as precision approaches and the other-than-CAT
I procedures as NPAs. These terms are used below when describing CAT I operations.
D. DA/DH. For APV and CAT I precision approaches, a DA/DH is
typically specified. The DA/DH presents the minimum altitude in an approach
to which descent may continue, or by which a missed approach must be initiated,
if the required visual reference to continue the approach has not been established.
The DA/DH altitude value is typically measured by a barometric altimeter and
is the determining factor for an ILS approach procedure. The height value specified
in parentheses is typically a radio or radar altitude equivalent height above
the TDZ (HAT) used only for advisory reference, and it does not necessarily
reflect actual height about the underlying terrain. The height value in the
DA/DH will be in reference to the height above threshold (HATh) for approaches
with minimums calculated after August 2010.
E. Minimum Descent Altitude/Height (MDA/H). The minimum heights
or altitudes for IAPs that do not have vertical guidance are specified as an
MDA/H. For straight-in minimums, the MDA is a barometric altitude (above mean
sea level (MSL)) with a specific HAT zone. The height value in the MDA/H will
be in reference to the HATh for approaches with minimums calculated after August
2010. For circling minimums, the MDA is a barometric altitude with a specific
height above airport (HAA). The height value specified in parentheses is the
minimum descent height (MDH), which is typically a radio or radar altitude height
equivalent to the HAT for straight-in minimums or HAA for circling minimums.
The MDH is used only for advisory reference, and it does not reflect actual
height above the underlying terrain.
F. Straight-In Minimums for Approaches with a DA. The lowest
permissible minimums for Categories A, B, C, and D aircraft during the conduct
of straight-in IAPs that have a DA are HAT 200 and one‑half statute mile visibility
or RVR 1800. The lowest permissible minimums for helicopters operated at 90 knots
or less are HAT 200 and one-fourth statute mile visibility or RVR 1200.
These minimums for helicopters operated at more than 90 knots are HAT 200 and
one-half statute mile visibility or RVR 1800. These minimums are the lowest
authorized for approaches that have a DA and are restricted to runways that
are equipped with a runway TDZ and RCL lighting and either a medium intensity
approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights (MALSR), simplified
short approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights (SSALR),
Approach Lighting System with Sequenced Flashing Lights (ALSF)-1, or ALSF-2
approach lighting systems, or foreign equivalents.
G. Straight-In Minimums for Approaches with a MDA. The lowest
permissible minimums for Categories A, B, C, and D aircraft during the conduct
of straight-in IAPs that have a MDA are HAT 250 and one‑half statute mile visibility
or RVR 2400. The lowest permissible minimums for helicopters operated at 90 knots
or less are HAT 250 and one-fourth statute mile visibility or RVR 1600.
These minimums for helicopters operated at more than 90 knots are HAT 250 and
one-half statute mile visibility or RVR 2400. These minimums are the lowest
authorized for approaches that have a MDA and are restricted to runways that
are equipped with an MALSR, SSALR, ALSF-1, or ALSF-2 approach lighting systems,
or foreign equivalents.
4-273 OPERATIONAL AUTHORIZATION.
A. Straight-In Approach and Landing Operations. Before an operation
can be authorized for the use of straight-in IAPs that have either an MDA or
a DA/DH, inspectors must evaluate the proposed operation and determine that
the operator is competent to safely conduct those procedures. Inspectors must
ensure that the operator’s program specifies the conditions necessary for the
safe conduct of proposed operations. The operator’s program should incorporate
systems, methods, and procedures that meet the following criteria:
· Program restricts operations to aircraft that are properly equipped
and Airworthy for the straight‑in approaches to be conducted.
· Complies with regulatory requirements specified for the operations.
· Meets the requirements of Parts B, C, and H of the OpSpecs and
the criteria of this order.
· Provides for accepted safe operating practices, such as altitude
awareness and sterile cockpit procedures.
· Meets the criteria of AC
· Requires the use of the stabilized approaches when turbojet, turbofan,
or propfan airplanes are used.
· Program restricts operations to pilots who are properly trained,
experienced, qualified, and proficient for the particular operation being conducted
(including use of basic air carrier minimums as well as standard minimums).
· Program restricts operations to airports and runways that meet
the requirements applicable to straight-in instrument approaches.
B. Approaches Requiring Circling Maneuvers. When an operator
is authorized to conduct instrument approaches, the OpSpecs automatically authorize
the conduct of circling maneuvers in VFR weather conditions (1,000-foot ceiling
and 3-statute mile visibility). A circling maneuver conducted under this authorization
may be performed at the published HAA appropriate for the highest speed in the
circling maneuver. However, before circling maneuvers can be conducted with
ceilings below 1,000 feet and/or visibilities below 3 statute miles, the operator’s
approved training program must provide for training in the circling maneuver.
If an operator intends to conduct circling maneuvers with ceilings below 1,000
feet and/or visibilities below 3 statute miles, inspectors must evaluate the
operator’s training program and determine that it provides adequate instruction
and checking of pilots on the circling maneuver. When an operator does not provide
training on circling maneuvers, the operator’s operating policies and procedures
must prohibit circling maneuvers when ceilings and/or visibilities are below
1,000 feet and 3 statute miles. Inspectors must also ensure that the certificate
holder’s overall program specifies the necessary conditions (over and above
those required for straight-in approaches) to safely conduct circling maneuvers.
The operator’s program should incorporate methods, procedures, and training
that meet the following criteria:
· Meets the circling maneuver criteria in the OpSpecs.
· Requires the circling maneuver to be performed in visual flight conditions.
· Provides for safe missed approaches throughout the circling maneuver.
· Requires the use of circling maneuver minimums appropriate to
the highest speed used in a particular circling maneuver.
· Program restricts operations to those airports and runways where
circling maneuvers can be safely completed.
· Program restricts circling maneuvers with ceilings below 1,000
feet and/or visibilities below 3 statute miles to those pilots who are properly
trained and checked for the circling maneuver in those weather conditions.
1) No part
holder authorized to conduct operations under IFR shall
use, nor may any PIC execute, a circling approach maneuver to minimums published
in the IAP for the circling approach maneuver or the minimums specified in the
chart in OpSpec C075, whichever is higher, unless that PIC has (within the last
6 months, or as required by an Advanced Qualification Program (AQP)) satisfactorily
demonstrated the circling approach maneuver to published minimums to an approved
check airman or the Administrator.
2) For part
if the operator does not provide flight training and flight checking
on the circling approach maneuver in accordance with part
121 appendices E
and F, respectively, then the operator’s General Operations
Manual (GOM) and the manuals used by the flightcrews must specifically prohibit
conducting circling approach maneuvers when reported weather conditions are
below 1000-3 (ceiling and visibility).
3) Ground training must include instruction on procedures to
be used to ensure that missed approaches executed during a circling approach
maneuver will be conducted safely.
4) See OpSpec C075 for details on the training and checking requirements
for the circling approach maneuver authorization for all certificate holders.
C. Operator Manuals. Before granting approval by issuing OpSpecs, inspectors must evaluate the ability of the operator’s
overall program to provide the policy guidance, methods, and procedures necessary for ensuring the safe conduct of instrument approach operations using basic
air carrier operating minimums. In conducting this evaluation, inspectors must consider certain factors related to the manuals. After completing this
evaluation, the inspector must make a judgment concerning whether the operator’s program as described in its manuals is able to meet the 14 CFR and OpSpecs requirements.
Inspectors must also make a judgment concerning the operator’s ability to provide for safe, accepted operating practices and procedures. When conducting this
evaluation and making an appropriate judgment, the inspector should consider the following factors:
· Criteria and procedures for determining the suitability of runways,
airport facilities, services, and ground-based equipment necessary for the types
of aircraft used and the CAT I operation to be conducted.
· Criteria and procedures for determining the airborne equipment
required to be serviceable at departure.
· Criteria and procedures for determining the airborne and ground-based
equipment that must be serviceable before conducting CAT I operations at the
destination and alternate airports.
· Criteria and procedures for determining the airworthiness status
of the aircraft for the operation to be conducted.
· Criteria and procedures to ensure that the minimum equipment list
(MEL) requirements are met for the operation being conducted.
· Criteria and procedures that ensure that CAT I dispatch or flight
release requirements are met.
· Criteria and procedures for determining the instrument procedures
and operating minimums authorized, including the equipment, training, and qualification
requirements necessary for conducting the operations.
· Specific and detailed operating procedures and crew duty assignments
for the types of aircraft used and the IAPs authorized. (These policies and
procedures must require all turbojet operations to be conducted in accordance
with the “stabilized approach” concept.)
· Specific requirements and instructions concerning the operating
restrictions and limitations associated with the types of aircraft and the IAPs to be used.
D. The Operator’s Training Program. Inspectors must evaluate
training programs to determine that flightcrews receive both ground and flight
training on the instrument approaches the operator is authorized to conduct.
Because of procedural and design similarities, flight training on one type of
IAP often provides the necessary training for other types of IAPs. Inspectors
observing training in progress should verify that the approved training and
qualification curriculum segments ensure flightcrew competency in the conduct
of authorized IAPs.
E. Maintenance Program. Before approving an operator’s proposal
to use turbojet, turbofan, and/or propfan airplanes in All Weather Terminal
Area Operation (AWTA) operations that use standard operating minimums, inspectors
must ensure that the operator’s approved airworthiness program includes the
special airborne equipment required for the standard minimums. Close coordination
with the principal maintenance inspector (PMI) and the principal avionics inspector
(PAI) is essential before granting operational approval.
F. Authorizing Part
97 ILS CAT I. Principal
operations inspectors (POI) authorize issuance of part
97 ILS CAT I operations
via issuance of an OpSpec or LOA, as appropriate.
The purpose of this task is for a principal inspector (PI) to authorize ILS CAT I operations.
1) For CAT I, unless a certificate-holding district office (CHDO)
otherwise specifies that approach demonstrations are necessary due to unusual
circumstances or special situations for special systems such as autoland, operators
may conduct CAT I operations without need for special demonstrations if the
aircraft type Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM) does not preclude the intended operation.
This task is usually performed in a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO)/certificate
management office (CMO).
2) The acceptable task performance is that applicants are issued
the OpSpec (or a letter of disapproval of application for the OpSpec) in a timely
manner, as appropriate to the content of the application and the qualifications
of the applicant.
G. Proving and Validation Tests. Validation testing is not required
if CAT I operations are evaluated during the aircraft proving tests required by part
Validation tests are required, however, if an operator has previously
conducted VFR only operations and is proposing to conduct AWTA operations for
the first time with existing aircraft. Validation tests may also be required when a part
or an applicant for a certificate proposes to conduct AWTA
operations with an aircraft in which part
not require that a proving test be conducted.
4-274 CONTINUOUS DESCENT FINAL APPROACH (CDFA). CDFA is a specific
technique for flying the Final Approach Segment (FAS) of a nonprecision IAP
as a continuous descent, without level-off, from an altitude/height at or above
the final approach fix (FAF) altitude/height to a point approximately 50 feet
(15 meters) above the landing runway threshold or the point where the flare
maneuver should begin for the type of aircraft flown.
A. CDFA Operating Concept. The CDFA operating concept is to fly
nonprecision IAPs as a continuous descent maintaining the published nominal
vertical profile using VNAV guidance, altitude versus range (or DME) cross-checks,
or altitude versus time cross-checks. The most critical aspect of CDFA is that
the pilot executes a missed approach at the MDA plus an additive buffer altitude
(to prevent descent below MDA) instead of leveling off at the MDA.
B. Near-Term Safety Benefits. Based on near-term safety benefits
(controlled flight into terrain (CFIT)-reduction) of using stabilized-approach
criteria on a continuous descent with a constant, pre-determined Vertical Path
(VPATH) to the runway, and the desire to move to three-dimensional operations
where possible, users have indicated their intent to apply the CDFA technique
to nonprecision IAPs. Use of the CDFA technique will enhance landing safety
by eliminating the potential vulnerability of two-dimensional approach operations
and the use of stepdown fixes by providing a continuous descent to the runway.
This both reduces exposure to unstabilized approaches that lead to inappropriate
landing performance and reduces vulnerability to CFIT accidents.
4-275 PRM. The FAA began the Multiple Parallel Approach Program
(MPAP) to research whether ILS approaches to parallel runways would improve
capacity. The objective was to achieve improvements in airport arrival rates
through the conduct of simultaneous, closely spaced parallel approaches. That
objective is being met using PRM.
A. ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM Approaches. Where parallel RCLs are 4,300
feet apart or less, but no less than 3,000 feet, simultaneous ILS approaches
may be conducted. Similarly, where parallel RCLs are 3,000 feet apart or less,
but no less than 750 feet, simultaneous offset instrument approaches (SOIA)
may be conducted with ILS approaches. Those approaches are labeled “ILS/PRM”
and “LDA/PRM,” respectively, on instrument approach charts. Air traffic control
(ATC) provides an air traffic controller using special PRM radar during these
approaches. That controller is known as the final monitor controller.
B. The Breakout Maneuver. Working with industry, the FAA conducted
extensive analysis of simulation data and determined that the implementation
of PRM and SOIA approach operations to closely spaced parallel runways requires
additional crew training. The primary focus of this training is to raise each
pilot’s situational awareness in ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM operations. The breakout
maneuver must be flown manually.
1) Traffic Alert. One important element of the additional training
is the pilot’s understanding of the difference between a normal missed approach
initiated by a pilot, and a breakout initiated by a PRM final monitor controller.
It must be clear to flightcrews that the words “Traffic Alert,” when used by
the final monitor controller, signal critical instructions that the pilot must
act on promptly to preserve adequate separation from an airplane straying into
the adjoining approach path.
2) ATC Breakout Maneuver Command to Turn and/or Descend, Climb, or
Maintain Altitude. The flightcrew must immediately follow the final monitor
controller’s vertical (climb/descend/maintain altitude) and horizontal (turn)
commands. If the flightcrew is operating the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance
System (TCAS) in the traffic advisory (TA)/Resolution Advisory (RA) mode and
receives a TCAS RA at any time while following the final monitor controller’s
command, the flightcrew will simultaneously continue to turn to the controller’s
assigned heading and follow the vertical guidance provided by the TCAS RA.
3) Time-to-Turn Standard. Regardless of airplane type, tests
and data analysis revealed that pilots normally passed through an angle of bank
of at least 3 degrees while rolling into a breakout turn, within 10 seconds
of receiving a breakout command. (Bank angles of between 20 and 30 degrees were
normally achieved during the breakout.) The operator must show that its pilots
can readily meet this time-to-initiate-turn standard prior to the POI authorizing
ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approaches in OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052. Flightcrews are required
to manually fly the breakout maneuver unless otherwise approved by the Air Transportation
Division (AFS-200) (AFS-200 must have concurrence from the Flight Technologies
and Procedures Division (AFS‑400) to approve breakout in auto modes). The air
carrier should demonstrate its ability to meet this standard by having representative
pilots perform the breakout maneuver while the POI or the POI’s designated representative
observes. The demonstration should conform to procedures contained in the air
carrier’s approved operating manual for its flightcrews. The commercial operator
should submit procedures to its POI for this authorization.
NOTE: In a breakout, ATC will never command a descent below the applicable
minimum vector altitude, thus assuring that no flight will be commanded to descend
below 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle during a breakout.
C. ILS/PRM, LDA/PRM, and the Use of TCAS. TCAS may be operated
in TA/RA mode while executing ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approaches. However, when conducting
these operations, pilots must understand that the final monitor controller’s
instruction to turn is the primary means for ensuring safe separation from another
airplane. Pilots must bear in mind that TCAS does not provide separation in
the horizontal plane; TCAS accomplishes separation by commands solely in the
vertical plane. Therefore, during final approach only the final monitor controller
has the capability to command a turn for lateral separation. Flightcrews are
expected to follow any ATC instruction to turn.
1) ATC Command to Turn with TCAS RA. In the unlikely event that
a flightcrew should simultaneously receive a final monitor controller’s command
to turn and a TCAS RA, the flightcrew must follow both the final monitor controller’s
turn command and the TCAS RA’s climb or descent command.
2) TCAS RA Alone. In the extremely unlikely event that an RA
occurs without a concurrent breakout instruction from the final monitor controller,
the pilot should follow the RA and advise the controller of the action taken
as soon as possible. In this instance, it is likely that a breakout command
3) TCAS Not Required. An operative TCAS is not required to conduct
ILS/PRM or LDA/PRM approaches.
D. Pilot Training. See
Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 5 for
information on pilot training required prior to authorizing PRM approaches.
E. ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM Authorizations. Operators will be authorized
ILS/PRM and/or LDA/PRM approaches in the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA C052 templates. Definitions
of ILS/PRM and LDA/PRM have been added to the A002 template.
4-276 VISUAL APPROACH. OpSpec C077 authorizes an operator to conduct
visual approaches, provided the conditions specified in the C077 are met. For
operations at foreign airports, it is important to understand that the term
“visual approach” can have a different meaning than the U.S. definition of visual
approach. The ICAO definition of a visual approach includes a contact approach
and does not include requirements to have VFR weather conditions, to be under
the control of an ATC facility, or to be within 35 nautical miles (NM) of the
destination airport. In both domestic and foreign operations, the operator must
comply with the conditions specified in the OpSpecs when conducting visual approaches.
When authorized to operate in foreign countries, the operator’s policies, procedures,
and approved training program must ensure that the requirements for visual approaches
in foreign countries are adequately addressed.
4-277 CONTACT APPROACHES. Contact approaches, in accordance with
OpSpec/MSpec C076, are authorized only when the operator’s approved training
program provides training on contact approaches. A contact approach is an authorization
to deviate from the prescribed IAP (under IFR weather conditions) and to proceed
visually to the runway of intended landing. Although the flight is still on
an IFR flight plan and ATC maintains responsibility for the separation of aircraft
and wake vortex requirements, the flightcrew does assume total responsibility
for navigation, terrain, and obstacle avoidance. If an operator does not provide
training on contact approaches, its policies and procedures must prohibit pilots
from requesting, accepting, or conducting contact approaches. When an operator
does provide training on contact approaches, the operator’s operating policies
and procedures must ensure that the conditions and requirements for accepting
and conducting these approaches are clearly stated.
4-278 OTHER APPROACH OPERATIONS.
A. Airborne Radar and Offshore Approaches. An operator can be
authorized to conduct Airborne Radar Approaches (ARA) and/or offshore standard
approach procedures (OSAP). The operator’s approved training program, equipment
installations, and operational policies and procedures must meet the criteria
specified in the current edition of AC
Approval of Offshore Standard Approach Procedures, Airborne Radar
Approaches, and Helicopter En Route Descent Areas, before the operator can be
authorized to conduct ARAs and OSAPs. ARAs and OSAPs are authorized by listing
the procedure in OpSpec H113.
B. Helicopter En Route Descent Areas (HEDA). HEDAs permit a single
instrument procedure to serve many offshore heliports, and significantly reduce
the burden of developing numerous Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAP)
for this dynamic situation. This is particularly useful in offshore operations
where heliports frequently exist for short periods of time and where the location
of the heliport is frequently moved because of operational needs. Once the criteria specified in AC
been met, HEDAs are authorized by being listed in OpSpec H104.
C. Point in Space (PinS) Approaches. In certain cases, the instrument
portions of an IAP may deliver the aircraft to a predetermined PinS instead
of to an airport or runway. These types of approaches are intended to provide
an IFR descent to a point where sufficient visual reference is available for
the pilot to navigate visually for several miles to the airport of intended
landing. If the required seeing conditions are not established before passing
this PinS, a missed approach can be safely executed. These procedures are useful
in the following two situations:
1) Terrain, obstacles, conflicting air traffic, and/or navigation
systems limitations can occasionally prevent the establishment of a standard
IFR approach procedure to a particular airport or runway. In certain cases where
this occurs, an instrument approach can be established to provide an IFR descent
to a point a few miles from the airport. Upon arrival at this PinS, the flight
can then proceed under VFR conditions using pilotage and/or station-referenced
VFR Class I navigation to a landing at that airport.
2) These procedures are, in effect, an IAP followed by an extended
visual segment. The approach procedure will contain the notation “fly visual
to the airport.” In normal circumstances, an authorization to conduct approaches
that have an MDA automatically authorizes the operator to conduct fly visuals
in accordance with part
4-279 OPERATING MINIMUMS. The lowest operating minimums for operations
specified in standard OpSpecs, MSpecs, or LOAs. In general, an operator
is authorized to use operating minimums specified by the following groups of
IAPs, provided the minimums are not lower than the lowest minimums specified
in the air carrier’s OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs for any particular type of approach procedure.
· U.S. military IAPs at U.S. military airports.
· Any IAPs approved and incorporated in the OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs.
· ICAO contracting state IAPs at foreign airports.
· IAPs established by an air carrier at foreign airports, provided
the procedure is accepted in accordance with the OpSpecs/MSpecs/LOAs.
4-280 CONTROLLING MINIMUM CONCEPT. The concept of a controlling minimum is based on reported weather conditions at the destination
airport. The controlling minimum concept includes considerations for the reported weather conditions, the capabilities of the flightcrew, and the capabilities of
the airborne and ground- or space-based equipment. This concept prohibits a pilot from continuing past the FAF, or beginning the FAS of an IAP unless the reported
visibility (RVR, if applicable) is equal to or greater than the authorized visibility (RVR) minimum for that IAP. The basic objective of the controlling minimum concept
is to provide reasonable assurance that once the aircraft begins the FAS, the pilot will be able to safely complete the landing. The controlling minimum concept, however,
permits a pilot to continue a CAT I approach to DA/DH if the visibility/RVR was reported to be at or above the controlling minimum when the pilot began the FAS even
though a later visibility/RVR report indicates a below-minimum condition. RVR reports, when available for a particular runway, are the reports (controlling reports)
that must be used to determine whether an approach to, and landing on, that runway are authorized or prohibited.
Minimum. The controlling minimums concept as described above is not applicable to part
when determining if the pilot can continue past the FAF or
begin the FAS. Parts
can begin an approach and continue to the DA/DH or the MDA
and the MAP, even when the weather conditions are reported to be below the authorized
IFR landing minimums. Upon arrival at the MDA and before passing the MAP, or
upon arrival at the DA/DH, the approach may be continued below DA/DH or MDA
to the runway if the seeing conditions required by §
91.175(c)(d) or §
91.175(1) are met.
Minimum. The controlling minimum concept for operations conducted under part
implemented by §
For these operations, the controlling minimum must be used at
civilian airports within the United States and its territories, and at U.S.
military airports, unless the provisions of
§ 121.651(d) are
a pilot to begin the FAS even though the reported visibility/RVR
is below the controlling minimum if the approach procedure is an ILS and the
flight is actively monitored by a PAR. Therefore, pilots are not constrained
by the controlling minimum on runways with ILS and active PAR facilities, provided
the provisions of §
met. The controlling minimum concept allows for a pilot to
continue a CAT I approach to DA/DH or MDA NPA if the visibility/RVR was reported
to be at or above the controlling minimum when the pilot began the FAS, even
though a later visibility/RVR report indicates a below-minimum condition. Upon
reaching DA/DH or MDA and before passing the MAP, the approach may be continued
below DA/DH or MDA to touchdown if the requirements of §
met even though the visibility/RVR is reported to be below
the controlling minimum.
Minimum. The controlling minimum concept for parts
in application from part
to all parts
whether they are conducted in foreign countries or the United States (see part
125.23(b) and §
Operations conducted under parts
also be in compliance with §§
applies to all operations within the United States, U.S.
territories, U.S. military airports, and foreign airports). For parts
the controlling minimum concept must be used at all airports
(with the exception of a
part 135 “eligible
on-demand” operator who is permitted to start an approach
without weather reported above landing minimums (see §
As a consequence, §§
135.225(b) prohibit parts
and 135 operators
from conducting look-see approaches at any airport. The controlling
minimum concept, however, allows for a pilot to continue a CAT I approach to
DA/DH or MDA if the visibility/RVR was reported to be at or above the controlling
minimum when the pilot began the FAS, even though a later visibility/RVR report
indicates a below-minimum condition. The controlling minimum concept also allows
for a pilot (upon reaching DA/DH or MDA and before passing the MAP) to continue
the approach below DA/DH or MDA and touchdown if the requirements of §
met, even though the visibility/RVR is reported to be below the
4-281 AIR CARRIER OPERATING MINIMUMS. Although part
standard minimums for the various types of approaches and
lighting system combinations, these standard minimums cannot automatically be used by parts
holders. The air carrier minimums must consider the high-minimum PIC requirements and basic turbojet requirements contained in OpSpec C054, or
any other limitations imposed on the carrier by the FAA where appropriate, as
A. Air Carrier Minimums Limitations. Any limitations to air carrier
minimums must be used by all parts
until the requirements for special airborne equipment, pilot
qualification, pilot training, and/or experience requirements for standard operating
minimums are met. The POI may then authorize the certificate holder to use the
standard operating minimums (i.e., the minimums defined by the part
B. High-Minimum PIC. The increased difficulty in piloting tasks
encountered during low visibility approach and landing operations make it necessary
for PICs to acquire a certain amount of flight experience before operating to
the lowest authorized CAT I minimums. The objective of this flight experience
requirement is to ensure that the pilot is fully aware of the aircraft’s equipment
capabilities and limitations, the available external visual cues, and the aircraft’s
1) The flight experience necessary to meet this objective is
specified in §
121.652 or §
as applicable. High-minimum PIC requirements for part
are applicable only to turbine-powered airplanes (turbojet
or turbopropeller). These rules require those PICs who do not meet these experience
requirements (high-minimum PICs) to increase the published MDA/DA/DH by 100
feet and the published visibility by one-half statute mile or the RVR equivalent.
The RVR that must be used when an RVR is published and available is the applicable
high-minimum-PIC RVR value specified in OpSpec C054, shown in Table 4-7A, OpSpec
C054 RVR Landing MinimumHigh-Minimums Pilot in Command.
2) The increased operating minimums for high-minimum PICs always
result in operating minimums that are higher than standard minimums. For example,
if the minimums published for an ILS approach to a certain runway are HAT 200/RVR
1800, the operating minimums that must be used by a high-minimum PIC for an
approach to that runway must not be lower than HAT 300 and RVR 4500 (HAT 200
+ 100 feet and the high-minimum PIC equivalent of RVR 1800, which is RVR 4500,
as specified in OpSpec C054). If the minimums published for an approach that
has a DA/DH were HAT 200 and a visibility of three-fourths statute mile, the
high-minimum PIC would have to use a HAT of 300 and a visibility of 1¼ statute
miles. Therefore, when dispatching or releasing a flight, the increased operating
minimums for high-minimum PICs and the reported and/or forecasted weather conditions
at the destination airport must be considered.
3) The specific operating rule provisions, §§
are similar; however, significant differences exist in the specific
details of these rules.
high-minimum PIC operating minimums by HAT 100 feet and visibility
by one-half statute mile or by the RVR equivalent. The high-minimum PIC RVR
equivalents are specified in the OpSpecs. Section
that the MDA or DA/DH and visibility minimum required
for a high-minimum PIC do not have to be raised above the conditions required
to designate the airport as an alternate airport.
1. The method for determining alternate minimums, however, is to add
a buffer to the HAT/HAA and visibility or RVR authorized for landing. The lowest
buffer when determining alternate minimums is to add 200 to the ceiling and
one-half mile to the visibility, which is greater than the requirement to add
100 and one-half to determine the high time PIC minimum. Therefore, alternate
minimums will always be higher than the high-minimum PIC’s landing minimums.
2. This rule establishes HAT 300 feet and one statute mile (or the RVR
equivalent as low as RVR 4500) as the lowest straight-in operating minimums
for high-minimum PICs when conducting approaches that have a DA/DH or MDA. This
rule also permits the 100-hour flight experience requirement to be reduced by
up to 50 percent by substituting one landing for 1 required hour of flight experience,
provided the PIC has at least 100 hours of PIC time in another type airplane in part
the same requirements for part
with two exceptions.
only to turbine-powered (turbojet and turbopropeller) airplanes.
not permit a reduction to the 100-hour flight experience requirement.
C. Basic Turbojet Minimum. A basic turbojet visibility/RVR operating
minimum has been established for all turbojet airplanes operated under parts
The basic turbojet minimum for straight-in approaches is three-fourths
statute mile visibility or RVR 4000. Any minimum less than the basic turbojet
minimum is not authorized in turbojet aircraft until the specific requirements
of OpSpec C054 are met. When the airplane equipment, the runway lighting/marking
systems, and the pilots are in compliance and qualified, then the lowest minimums
that have been established for various approved approach and runway lighting/marking
configurations may be authorized.
Table 4-7A. OpSpec C054 RVR Landing MinimumHigh-Minimums Pilot in Command
4-282 AUTOLAND OR HUD TO TOUCHDOWN OPERATIONS. Autoland or HUD to
touchdown operations are required for all CAT III operations, and many operators
use autoland or HUD for CAT II, CAT I, and VFR operations as well. Sections
the use of autoland or HUD to touchdown in any operation
unless the operator is specifically authorized via OpSpecs. OpSpecs C059 and
C060 authorize autoland or HUD to touchdown in CAT II and III operations, respectively.
OpSpec C061 or H110 authorizes autoland operations in other than CAT II/III
operations and OpSpec C062 or H111 authorizes HUD to touchdown in other than
CAT II/III operations.
A. ILS Category Classification. The ILS category
classification system provides a more comprehensive method of describing ILS
performance than the simple CAT I/II/III classification. ILS facility classification
is described in Order
A facility’s classification is defined by using two characters
(I/C, II/D, III/E, etc.).
1) The first character indicates conformance
to the facility performance category standards. This character indicates if
the ground equipment is classified as a CAT I, CAT II, or CAT III ILS.
2) The second character defines the ILS point
(Figure 4-21, Localizer Course and Glidepath Bend Amplitude limits) to which
the LOC conforms to the Facility Performance CAT III course structure tolerances.
These classifications indicate ILS conformance to a physical location on the
approach or runway as follows:
· A: 4 NM before the threshold.
· B: 3,500 feet before the threshold (CAT I decision point).
· C: Glidepath altitude of 100 feet HAT (CAT II decision point).
· T: Threshold.
· D: 3,000 feet beyond the threshold (CAT III requirement only).
· E: 2,000 feet before the runway end (CAT III requirement only).
B. Use of Autoland at U.S. CAT I Facilities
or Equivalent. For CAT I, autoland may be used at runways with facilities
other than those with published CAT II or III IAPs if the precautions discussed
in subparagraph 4-282C are followed. This is to aid pilots in achieving stabilized
approaches and reliable touchdown performance to improve landing safety in adverse
weather; for CAT II or III training; to exercise the airborne system to ensure
suitable performance; for maintenance checks; or for other such reasons. Use
of this capability may be particularly important for pilot workload relief in
stressful conditions of fatigue after long international flights; night approaches;
crosswinds or turbulence; when there may be other aircraft non-normal conditions
being addressed; or to aid safe landing performance in otherwise adverse weather,
restricted visibility, or with cluttered runways. This is true even though reported
visibility may be well above minimums (e.g., heavy rain distorting view out
the windshield, snow-covered runways where markings are not easily visible).
C. ILS Classification and CAT I Autoland Operations. ILS classification is being added to the Airport/Facility
Directory (A/FD), but not all ILS runways are included as of February 2012.
To support autoland or HUD to touchdown operations, CAT III course structure
tolerances to at least point D are highly encouraged (e.g., I/D, II/D, III/D).
All published CAT II and III approaches in the United States meet this standard.
CAT II approaches that do not support autoland operations will note this limitation
via chart note or Notices to Airmen (NOTAM). When conducting autoland operations
on a CAT I runway/ILS, runways with a I/D or I/E classification are the most
suitable and are preferred. Practice autoland or HUD to touchdown operations
may be conducted at CAT I runways in VFR conditions where the facility classification
is unknown, because the flightcrew is monitoring system performance, visually
verifying the position of the aircraft, and can determine whether to continue
to a landing or execute a missed approach in VFR conditions. Though it is not
recommended, flightcrew monitoring and increased visibility also permits practice
autoland or HUD to touchdown operations using an ILS classified as I/A, I/B,
I/C, or I/T, provided the operation is performed in VFR conditions. The flightcrew
must be ready at all times to execute a missed approach when conducting CAT
I autolands. The FAA maintains an “information only” list of ILS classification status at
D. Pre-Threshold Terrain.
1) The Flight Operations Branch (AFS-410) maintains a list of
CAT II/III runways with special terrain that may affect autoland or HUD to touchdown
operations, such as irregular pre-threshold terrain or TDZ slope. This list
is available at
Each operator and aircraft must be approved for each special terrain runway
to conduct any CAT II or III operations using autoland or HUD to touchdown.
Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 2 contains
more information about how to authorize
CAT II/III operations at special terrain runways.
2) The FAA does not analyze CAT I runways to determine if any
irregular pre-threshold terrain will impact autoland or HUD to touchdown operations. Practice
autoland or HUD to touchdown operations may be conducted
at CAT I runways where the pre-threshold terrain has not been analyzed because
the flightcrew is monitoring system performance, visually verifying the position
of the aircraft, and can determine whether to continue to a landing or execute
a missed approach in VFR conditions. All operators approved to use autoland-
or HUD-equipped aircraft should be encouraged to routinely use these systems
at suitably equipped runways during operations in VFR and in CAT I IFR conditions.
Flightcrew training should emphasize the importance of monitoring equipment
performance on all practice autolands.
E. Maintenance Return to Service and Required Practice Autolands.
An aircraft manufacturer and certification requirements may
require that a practice autoland or HUD to touchdown be performed on a published
CAT II or III approach. If so, the operator should adhere to these requirements.
If autoland is not required to be performed on a CAT II ILS, it is important
to note that an unsatisfactory approach is extremely difficult to attribute
to small errors in ILS ground equipment. Even CAT I ILS facilities that meet
CAT III signal standards are not monitored to the same tolerances as CAT II/III
facilities. An unsatisfactory approach due to a critical area incursion is something
that may be identified, but an unsatisfactory approach due to a signal or monitor
error cannot be detected by the flightcrew or maintenance.
F. Flightcrew Training. In addition to other training requirements,
flightcrew training should emphasize the importance of:
1) Monitoring equipment performance and visual verification of
aircraft position on all practice autolands.
2) Verifying that the CAT I approach does not have any charted
restrictions that would prohibit autoland or HUD to touchdown operations (“ILS
unusable within 0.5 DME,” “autopilot coupled approach not authorized below XXX feet”).
3) Requesting that ATC protect the critical area for all practice
autolands. ATC will protect the ILS critical areas if the ceiling is less than
800 feet and/or the visibility is less than 2 miles. Note that ATC is not required
and may not be able to protect the critical areas if the weather is better than 800/2.
4) Performing maintenance return to service as required by either
the manufacturer, certification, or the operator, as described in subparagraph 4-282E.
Figure 4-21. Localizer Course and Glidepath Bend Amplitude Limits
RESERVED. Paragraphs 4-283 through 4-299.