Section 7. Arrival Procedures

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  • Section 7. Arrival Procedures

    4-7-1. CLEARANCE INFORMATION

    Clear an arriving aircraft to a clearance limit by specifying the following:

    1. Name of fix or airport.
      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • CLEARED TO (destination) AIRPORT.
      • Or
      • CLEARED TO (NAVAID name and type if known).
      • Or
      • CLEARED TO (intersection or waypoint name and type if known).
    2. Route of flight including a STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP and STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP transition, if appropriate. Assign a STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP and STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP transition to any aircraft in lieu of other routes; e.g., airways or preferential arrival routes when the routings are the same. The clearance must include the name and transition, if necessary, of the STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP to be flown.

      TERMINAL: When the STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP transition is designed to provide course guidance to multiple runways, the facility must state intended runway number on initial contact, or as soon as practical. If the runway assignment, or any subsequent runway change, is not issued prior to 10 NM from the runway transition waypoint, radar vectors to final must be provided.

      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • (STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP name and number) ARRIVAL.
      • (STAR/RNAV STAR/FMSP name and number) ARRIVAL, (transition name) TRANSITION.
      • CHANGE/AMEND TRANSITION TO (runway number).
      • CHANGE/AMEND TRANSITION TO (runway number) TURN LEFT/RIGHT or HEADING (heading) FOR VECTOR TO FINAL APPROACH COURSE.
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Rosewood One arrival.”
      • “Rosewood One arrival, Delta transition.”
      • “Change transition to Runway 09 right.”
      • “Amend transition to Runway 22 left, turn right heading 180 for vector to final approach course.”
      • NOTE:
      • 1. If a civil pilot does not wish to use a STAR issued in an ATC clearance or any other STAR published for that location, the pilot is expected to advise ATC.
      • 2. Arrival procedure descriptive text contained within parentheses (for example, “Devine One (RNAV) Arrival”) are not included in arrival clearance phraseology.
    3. Altitude instructions, as follows:
      1. Assigned altitude; or
      2. Instructions to vertically navigate on the STAR/FMSP or STAR/FMSP transition.
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Bayview Three Arrival, Helen Transition, maintain Flight Level Three Three Zero.”
      • “Descend via the Civit One Arrival.”
      • “Descend via the Lendy One Arrival, Runway 22 left.”
      • “Cross JCT at Flight Level Two Four Zero.”
      • “Descend via the Coast Two Arrival.”
      • “Civit One Arrival, Descend and Maintain Flight Level Two Four Zero.”
    4. Issue holding instructions, EFC, and additional delay information as required.
    5. Instructions regarding further communications as appropriate.

    4-7-2. ADVANCE DESCENT CLEARANCE

    EN ROUTE

    Take the following action when exercising control of aircraft landing at an airport located in an adjacent center’s control area near the common boundary:

    1. Coordinate with the receiving facility for a lower altitude and issue a clearance to the aircraft as appropriate.
    2. Initiate this action at a distance sufficient from destination to allow for normal descent and speed reduction.

    4-7-3. SINGLE FREQUENCY APPROACHES (SFA)

    TERMINAL

    Where SFA procedures for military single-piloted turbojet aircraft on an IFR flight plan are contained in a letter of agreement, do not require a radio frequency change after the aircraft begins approach or after initial contact during an en route descent until a landing or low approach has been completed except under the following conditions:

    1. During daylight hours while the aircraft is in VFR conditions.
    2. On pilot request.
    3. When pilot cancels IFR flight plan.
    4. In an emergency situation.
    5. When aircraft is cleared for visual approach.

    4-7-4. RADIO FREQUENCY AND RADAR BEACON CHANGES FOR MILITARY AIRCRAFT

    When military single-piloted turbojet aircraft will conduct an approach wholly or partly in IFR conditions or at night, take the following action:

    NOTE: It is known that the mental distraction and the inadvertent movement of aircraft controls resulting from the pilot’s turning, reaching, or leaning to change frequencies can induce spatial disorientation (vertigo).

    1. Avoid radio frequency and radar beacon changes to the maximum extent that communications capabilities and traffic will permit. However, when changes are required:
      1. Give instructions early enough to allow the change before the aircraft reaches the approach fix or handoff point.
      2. Keep frequency/radar beacon changes to a minimum below 2,500 feet above the surface.
      3. Avoid requiring frequency/radar beacon changes during the time the aircraft is making a turn.
    2. When traffic volume requires, a frequency other than the one used by aircraft making approaches may be assigned for use in transferring control to the approach control facility.

      TERMINAL

    3. If practicable, use a frequency common to both the GCA unit and approach control to minimize frequency changes.
    4. When a GCA unit is not able to communicate on a common frequency, a change to a GCA frequency may be authorized.
    5. When a nonradar approach will be made, aircraft may be instructed to change to tower frequency when:
      1. The reported ceiling is at or above 1,500 feet and visibility is 5 statute miles or more.
      2. The aircraft reports able to proceed by visual reference to the surface.
      3. The aircraft requests and is cleared for a contact approach.
      4. The aircraft is cleared for a visual approach. f. Avoid making frequency/radar beacon changes after an aircraft begins a high altitude approach.
    6. In the event of a missed approach, do not require a frequency/radar beacon change before the aircraft reaches the missed approach altitude, the MEA, or the MVA.

    4-7-5. MILITARY TURBO JET ENROUTE DESCENT

    Provide military turbojet aircraft the same arrival procedures that are provided for nonmilitary turbojet aircraft except:

    NOTE: It is the responsibility of the pilot to request a high altitude approach if he/she does not want normal arrival handling.

    1. An en route descent may be used in a nonradar environment; however, radar capability should exist which will permit the aircraft to be vectored to the final approach course of a published high altitude instrument approach procedure or PAR/ASR approach. Do not use this procedure if other than normal vectoring delays are anticipated.
    2. Prior to issuance of a descent clearance below the highest initial approach fix altitude established for any high altitude instrument approach procedure for the destination airport inform the aircraft:
      1. Type of approach to expect.
        • EXAMPLE
        • “Expect V-O-R approach to runway three two.”
      2. Radar vectors will be provided to the final approach course.
        • EXAMPLE
        • “Expect surveillance/precision approach to runway one seven; radar vectors to final approach course.”
      3. Current weather whenever the ceiling is below 1,000 feet (USAF: 1,500 feet) or the highest circling minimum whichever is greater, or when the visibility is less than 3 miles.
        • EXAMPLE
        • “Expect ILS approach to runway eight; radar vectors to localizer course. Weather (reported weather).”
    3. If ATIS is provided and the pilot advises he/she has received the current ATIS broadcast before the descent clearance in subpara b is issued, omit those items in subpara b that are contained in the broadcast.
    4. To avoid requiring an aircraft to fly at low altitudes for an excessive distance, descent clearance should be issued at a point determined by adding 10 to the first two digits of the flight level.
      • EXAMPLE
      • For FL 370, 37 + 10 = 47 miles.

      NOTE: Turbojet en route descents are based on a rate of descent of 4,000 to 6,000 feet per minute.

    5. Do not terminate the en route descent of an aircraft without the consent of the pilot except as required by radar outage or an emergency situation.

    4-7-6. ARRIVAL INFORMATION

    EN ROUTE

    1. Forward the following information to nonapproach control towers soon enough to permit adjustment of the traffic flow or to FSSs (Alaska Only) soon enough to provide local airport advisory where applicable:
      1. Aircraft identification.
      2. Type of aircraft.
      3. ETA.
      4. Type of instrument approach procedure the aircraft will execute; or
      5. For SVFR, the direction from which the aircraft will enter Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E surface area and any altitude restrictions that were issued; or
      6. For aircraft executing a contact approach the position of the aircraft.

      NOTE: Specific time requirements are usually stated in a letter of agreement.

    2. Forward the following information to approach control facilities before transfer of control jurisdiction:

      NOTE: Transfer points are usually specified in a letter of agreement.

      1. Aircraft identification.
      2. Type of aircraft and appropriate aircraft equipment suffix.
      3. ETA or actual time, and proposed or actual altitude over clearance limit. The ETA need not be given if the arrival information is being forwarded during a radar handoff.
      4. Clearance limit (when other than the destination airport) and EFC issued to the aircraft. Clearance limit may be omitted when provided for in a letter of agreement.
      5. Time, fix, or altitude when control responsibility is transferred to the approach control facility. This information may be omitted when provided for in a letter of agreement.
        • PHRASEOLOGY
        • (Identification), (type of aircraft), ESTIMATED/OVER (clearance limit), (time), (altitude), EFC (time).
        • If required, YOUR CONTROL,
        • or
        • YOUR CONTROL AT (time, fix or altitude).

    4-7-7. WEATHER INFORMATION

    EN ROUTE

    When an available official weather report indicates weather conditions are below a 1,000-foot (USAF: 1,500-foot) ceiling or below the highest circling minimum, whichever is higher, or less than three-miles visibility for the airport concerned, transmit the weather report and changes classified as special weather observations to an arriving aircraft prior to or as part of the approach clearance when:

    1. It is transmitted directly to the pilot via center controller-to-pilot communications.
    2. It is relayed through a communications station other than an air carrier company radio or through a nonapproach control facility. You may do this by telling the station or nonapproach control facility to issue current weather.

    4-7-8. BELOW MINIMA REPORT BY PILOT

    If an arriving aircraft reports weather conditions are below his/her landing minima:

    NOTE: Determination that existing weather/visibility is adequate for approach/landing is the responsibility of the pilot/aircraft operator.

    1. Issue appropriate instructions to the aircraft to hold or proceed to another airport.
    2. Adjust, as necessary, the position in the landing sequence of any other aircraft desiring to make approaches and issue approach clearances accordingly.

    4-7-9. TRANSFER OF JURISDICTION

    Transfer radio communications and control responsibility early enough to allow the receiving facility to clear an aircraft beyond the clearance limit before the aircraft reaches it.

    4-7-10. APPROACH INFORMATION

    interpretation 7
    1. Both en route and terminal approach control sectors must provide current approach information to aircraft destined to airports for which they provide approach control services. This information must be provided on initial contact or as soon as possible thereafter. Approach information contained in the ATIS broadcast may be omitted if the pilot states the appropriate ATIS code. For pilots destined to an airport without ATIS, items 3-5 below may be omitted after the pilot advises receipt of the automated weather; otherwise, issue approach information by including the following:
      1. Approach clearance or type approach to be expected if two or more approaches are published and the clearance limit does not indicate which will be used.
      2. Runway if different from that to which the instrument approach is made.
      3. Surface wind.
      4. Ceiling and visibility if the reported ceiling at the airport of intended landing is below 1,000 feet or below the highest circling minimum, whichever is greater, or the visibility is less than 3 miles.
      5. Altimeter setting for the airport of intended landing.
    2. Upon pilot request, controllers must inform pilots of the frequency where automated weather data may be obtained and, if appropriate, that airport weather is not available.
      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • (Airport) AWOS/ASOS WEATHER AVAILABLE ON (frequency).
      1. ASOS/AWOS must be set to provide one minute weather at uncontrolled airports that are without ground-to-air weather broadcast capability by a CWO, NWS or FSS observer.
      2. Controllers will consider the long-line disseminated weather from an automated weather system at an uncontrolled airport as trend information only and must rely on the pilot for the current weather information for that airport.
      3. Controllers must issue the last long-line disseminated weather to the pilot if the pilot is unable to receive the ASOS/AWOS broadcast.

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

    3. Issue any known changes classified as special weather observations as soon as possible. Special weather observations need not be issued after they are included in the ATIS broadcast and the pilot states the appropriate ATIS code.
    4. Advise pilots when the ILS on the runway in use is not operational if that ILS is on the same frequency as an operational ILS serving another runway.
      • EXAMPLE
      • “Expect visual approach runway two five right, runway two five right I-L-S not operational.”
    5. TERMINAL: If multiple runway transitions are depicted on a STAR procedure, advise pilots of the runway assignment on initial contact or as soon as possible thereafter.

    4-7-11. ARRIVAL INFORMATION BY APPROACH CONTROL FACILITIES

    1. Forward the following information to nonapproach control towers soon enough to permit adjustment of the traffic flow or to FSSs soon enough to provide local airport advisory where applicable:
      1. Aircraft identification.
      2. Type of aircraft.
      3. ETA.
      4. Type of instrument approach procedure the aircraft will execute; or
      5. For SVFR, the direction from which the aircraft will enter Class B, Class C, Class D, or Class E surface area and any altitude restrictions that were issued; or
      6. For aircraft executing a contact approach, the position of the aircraft.

      NOTE: Specific time requirements are usually stated in a letter of agreement.

    2. Forward the following information to the tower when the tower and TRACON are part of the same facility:
      1. Aircraft identification.
      2. Type aircraft if required for separation purposes.
      3. Type of instrument approach procedure and/or runway if differing from that in use.

      NOTE: The local controller has the responsibility to determine whether or not conditions are adequate for the use of ATTS data on the CTRD where a facility directive authorizes its use for the transfer of arrival data.

      • REFERENCE
      • FAA Order JO 7210.3, Para 12-2-4, Use of Modify and Quick Look Functions.
      • FAA Order JO 7210.3, Para 12-8-4, Use of STARS Quick Look Functions.
    3. Where the collocated or satellite tower has ATTS data displayed on its CTRD, the ATTS modify or quick look functions may be used to forward arrival data provided that a facility directive at the collocated tower or a letter of agreement with the satellite tower exists which outlines procedures for using ATTS for transferring this data.
    4. Forward the following information to centers:
      1. Where two or more instrument approach procedures are published for the airport, the particular procedure which an aircraft can expect or that it will be vectored toward the airport for a visual approach.
      2. Highest altitude being used by the approach control facility at the holding fix.
      3. Average time interval between successive approaches.
      4. Arrival time of aircraft over the holding fix or, if control has been transferred to you before an aircraft has reached the fix, a statement or other indication acknowledging receipt of control responsibility.
      5. Revised EFC if different by 10 minutes or more from that issued by the center.
      6. Missed approaches if they affect center operations.
      7. Information relating to an unreported or overdue aircraft.

    4-7-12. AIRPORT CONDITIONS

    1. EN ROUTE. Before issuing an approach clearance or en route descent, and subsequently as changes occur, inform an aircraft of any abnormal operation of approach and landing aids and of destination airport conditions that you know of which might restrict an approach or landing. This information may be omitted if it is contained in the ATIS broadcast and the pilot states that he/she has received the appropriate ATIS code.
      • NOTE:
      • 1. Airport conditions information, in the provision of en route approach control service, does not include the following:
        • a. The airport surface environment other than the landing area(s) (e.g. TAXIWAY, APRON or SERVICE keyword NOTAMs).
        • b. Obstruction information (e.g. OBST NOTAMs) for aircraft that will be cleared for an instrument approach.
        • c. Information pertaining to cold temperature compensation.
      • 2. When advised of special use airspace (SUA) or military training route (MTR) activation, appropriate action is taken to separate nonparticipating IFR aircraft from those activities when required, and/or to issue applicable advisories as warranted. When meeting this requirement, there is no requirement for controllers to additionally issue the associated D NOTAM activating that SUA or MTR to the pilot. Accordingly, D NOTAMs for SUA that contain the accountability codes SUAE, SUAC, and SUAW are not required to be issued.
      • 3. Although a pilot may have obtained NOTAM information during pre−flight briefings, airport conditions may have changed in flight. Therefore a pilot stating, or a controller asking, if they “have the NOTAMS” does not relieve the controller of the responsibility of issuing airport conditions that might restrict an approach or landing. Additionally, controller instructions to contact FSS to obtain the NOTAMs does not relieve the controller of their responsibilities specified in this paragraph.
    2. TERMINAL. On first contact or as soon as possible thereafter, and subsequently as changes occur, inform an aircraft of any abnormal operation of approach and landing aids and of destination airport conditions that you know of which might restrict an approach or landing. This information may be omitted if it is contained in the ATIS broadcast and the pilot states the appropriate ATIS code.
    3. Issue RwyCC contained in a FICON NOTAM to aircraft in accordance with one of the following:
      1. Before or when an approach clearance is issued.
      2. Before an en route descent clearance is issued.
      3. TERMINAL. Prior to departure.
      4. As soon as possible after receipt of any subsequent changes in previously issued RwyCC information.
    4. RwyCC may be issued in lieu of the complete FICON NOTAM. Issue the complete FICON NOTAM upon pilot request, workload permitting.
      • EXAMPLE
      • Boston Runway Two Seven, field condition, three, three, three, one hundred percent, two inches dry snow over compacted snow. Observed at one five three zero zulu.

      NOTE: RwyCC may be transmitted via the ATIS as prescribed in Paragraphs 2−9−3, Content; 3−3−1, Landing Area Condition; 3−9−1, Departure Information; and 3−10−1, Landing Information.

    5. TERMINAL. Where RCRs are provided, transmit this information to USAF and ANG aircraft. Issue the RCR to other aircraft upon pilot request.

      NOTE: USAF offices furnish RCR information at airports serving USAF and ANG aircraft.

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