Multiple IFR Arrivals into Satellite Airports

Acquired Taste

Trusted Contributor
Just recently started classroom for radar at my facility and the question came up for whether you can have an aircraft cleared for an approach at a satellite airport if a preceding arrival has not cancelled IFR yet. My classroom instructor says it's not legal and you absolutely cannot clear the second aircraft before the first one cancels. His reasoning was if the second one goes NORDO or something and proceeds to conduct the approach, you don't have positive sep. However at RTF we were taught that you can clear the second aircraft, you just can't switch them to advisory before you get a cancellation. If you didn't get a cancellation by the time #2 got to about 1 mile from FAF, you had to break him out. Same procedure was in place if you released a guy off a satellite and they didn't get airborne and ID'd before the arrival was close to the FAF.

Can someone direct me to the right rules in the .65 and what do you guys who actually work a lot of traffic do about this?


POC Brackett Tower
We have 7 satellites with instrument approaches, and many more one could do a Visual Approach into. If I have multiple aircraft on approaches to a satellite I tell the first one it's important they cancel IFR ASAP. Until I have cancellation from #1, I put #2 in holding or issue vectors to burn time.

On several occasions AC #1 didn't cancel in the air and Flight Service has no cancellation either. Now we have to call the airport and try to get someone to see if that AC is on the ground or whatever before letting #2 land.

I've never had one go far enough past the INREQ or ALNOT phase to affect me before finding someone on the ground to verify the AC landed.

I work the tower/RATCF at KNFW. I guess I had no idea because nearly every squadron at our base does visuals inbound, and not once has approach ever called us to ask if they landed or cancelled.
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