Clear aircraft for “standard” or “special” instrument approach procedures only.
To require an aircraft to execute a particular instrument approach procedure, specify in the approach
clearance the name of the approach as published on the approach chart. Where more than one procedure is
published on a single chart and a specific procedure is to be flown, amend the approach clearance to specify
execution of the specific approach to be flown. If only one instrument approach of a particular type is
published, the approach needs not be identified by the runway reference.
An aircraft conducting an ILS or LDA approach must be advised at the time an approach clearance is issued
when the glideslope is reported out of service, unless the title of the published approach procedure allows
(for example, ILS or LOC Rwy 05).
Standard instrument approach procedures (SIAP) must begin at an initial approach fix (IAF) or an
intermediate fix (IF) if there is not an IAF.
Where adequate radar coverage exists, radar facilities may vector aircraft to the final approach course in
accordance with Paragraph 5-9-1, Vectors to Final Approach Course, and Paragraph 5-9-2, Final Approach Course
Where adequate radar coverage exists, radar facilities may clear an aircraft to any fix 3 NM or more prior
to the FAF, along the final approach course, at an intercept angle not greater than 30 degrees.
Controllers must not disapprove a pilot request to cold temperature compensate in conjunction with the
issuance of an approach clearance.
CLEARED (type) APPROACH.
(To authorize a pilot to execute his/her choice of instrument approach),
CLEARED (specific procedure to be flown) APPROACH.
(Where more than one procedure is published on a single chart and a specific procedure is to be flown),
CLEARED (ILS/LDA) APPROACH, GLIDESLOPE UNUSABLE.
(To authorize a pilot to execute an ILS or an LDA approach when the glideslope is out of service)
CLEARED LOCALIZER APPROACH
(When the title of the approach procedure contains “or LOC”)
CANCEL APPROACH CLEARANCE (additional instructions as necessary)
(When it is necessary to cancel a previously issued approach clearance)
“Cleared (V-O-R/I-L-S/Localizer) Approach.”
“Cleared L-D-A Runway Three-Six Approach.”
“Cleared Localizer Back Course Runway One-Three Approach.”
“Cleared (GPS/RNAV Z) Runway Two-Two Approach.”
“Cleared BRANCH ONE Arrival and (ILS/RNAV) Runway One-Three Approach.”
1. Clearances authorizing instrument approaches are issued on the basis that, if visual contact with the
ground is made before the approach is completed, the entire approach procedure will be followed unless the
pilot receives approval for a contact approach, is cleared for a visual approach, or cancels their IFR flight
2. Approach clearances are issued based on known traffic. The receipt of an approach clearance does not
relieve the pilot of his/her responsibility to comply with applicable Parts of Title 14 of the Code of Federal
Regulations and the notations on instrument approach charts which levy on the pilot the responsibility to
comply with or act on an instruction; for example, “Straight-in minima not authorized at night,” “Procedure
not authorized when glideslope/glidepath not used,” “Use of procedure limited to aircraft authorized to use
airport,” or “Procedure not authorized at night” or Snowflake icon with associated temperature.
3. In some cases, the name of the approach, as published, is used to identify the approach, even though a
component of the approach aid, other than the localizer on an ILS is inoperative.
4. Where more than one procedure to the same runway is published on a single chart, each must adhere to all
final approach guidance contained on that chart, even though each procedure will be treated as a separate
entity when authorized by ATC.
5. The use of alphabetical identifiers in the approach name with a letter from the end of the alphabet; for
example, X, Y, Z, such as “HI TACAN Z Rwy 6L or RNAV(GPS) Y Rwy 04”, denotes multiple straight-in approaches
to the same runway that use the same approach aid.
6. Alphabetical suffixes with a letter from the beginning of the alphabet; for example, A, B, C, denote a
procedure that does not meet the criteria for straight-in landing minimums authorization.
7. 14 CFR Section 91.175(j) requires a pilot to receive a clearance to conduct a procedure turn when
vectored to a final approach course or fix, conducting a timed approach, or when the procedure specifies “NO
8. An aircraft which has been cleared to a holding fix and prior to reaching that fix is issued a clearance
for an approach, but not issued a revised routing; that is, “proceed direct to....” may be expected to proceed
via the last assigned route, a feeder route (if one is published on the approach chart), and then to commence
the approach as published. If, by following the route of flight to the holding fix, the aircraft would overfly
an IAF or the fix associated\ with the beginning of a feeder route to be used, the aircraft is expected to
commence the approach using the published feeder route to the IAF or from the IAF as appropriate; that is, the
aircraft would not be expected to overfly and return to the IAF or feeder route.
9. Approach name items contained with in parenthesis; for example, RNAV (GPS) Rwy 04, are not included in
approach clearance phraseology.
10. Pilots are required to advise ATC when intending to apply cold temperature compensation to instrument
approach segments. Pilots must advise ATC of the amount of compensation required for each affected segment on
initial contact or as soon as possible. Pilots are not required to advise ATC when correcting on the final
segment only. Controllers may delay the issuance of an approach clearance to comply with approved separation
requirements when informed that a pilot will apply cold temperature compensation (CTC). Pilots will not apply
altitude compensation, unless authorized, when assigned an altitude prior to an approach clearance.
Consideration should be given to vectoring aircraft at or above the requested compensating altitude if
possible. This eliminates pilots having to climb once on the approach.
FAA Order 8260.3, United States Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS).
For aircraft operating on unpublished routes, issue the approach clearance only after the aircraft is:
Established on a segment of a published route or instrument approach procedure, or (See FIG 4-8-1)
The aircraft is established on a segment of a published route at 5,000 feet.
“Cleared V-O-R Runway Three Four Approach.”
Assigned an altitude to maintain until the aircraft is established on a segment of a published route or
instrument approach procedure. (See FIG 4-8-2.)
Aircraft 1 is cleared direct LEFTT. The MVA in the area is 3,000 feet, and the aircraft is at 4,000
feet. “Cross LEFTT at or above three thousand five hundred, cleared RNAV Runway One Eight Approach.” The
MVA in the area is 3,000 feet and Aircraft 2 is at 3,000 feet. “Cleared direct LEFTT direct CENTR,
maintain three thousand until CENTR, cleared straight-in RNAV Runway One Eight Approach.”
1. The altitude assigned must assure IFR obstruction clearance from the point at which the approach
clearance is issued until established on a segment of a published route or instrument approach procedure.
2. If the altitude assignment is VFR-on-top, it is conceivable that the pilot may elect to remain high until
arrival over the final approach fix which may require the pilot to circle to descend so as to cross the final
approach fix at an altitude that would permit landing.
3. An aircraft is not established on an approach until at or above an altitude published on that segment of
FAA Order 8260.3 United States Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS), Para 11-3
Except for visual approaches, do not clear an aircraft direct to the FAF unless it is also an IAF, wherein the
aircraft is expected to execute the depicted procedure turn or hold-in-lieu of procedure turn.
Intercept angles greater than 90 degrees maybe used when a procedure turn, a hold-in-lieu of procedure turn
pattern, or arrival holding is depicted and the pilot will execute the procedure.
If a procedure turn, hold-in-lieu of procedure turn, or arrival holding pattern is depicted and the angle of
intercept is 90 degrees or less, the aircraft must be instructed to conduct a straight-in approach if ATC does not
want the pilot to execute a procedure turn or hold-in-lieu of procedure turn. (See FIG 4-8-3)
CLEARED STRAIGHT-IN (type) APPROACH
1. Restate “cleared straight-in” in the approach clearance even if the pilot was advised earlier to expect a
2. 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
“Cleared direct SECND, maintain at or above three thousand until SECND, cleared straight-in ILS Runway
Aircraft 1 can be cleared direct to XYZ VORTAC, or SECND because the intercept angle is 90 degrees or less.
Aircraft 2 cannot be cleared to XYZ VORTAC because the intercept angle is greater than 90 degrees.
Aircraft 2 can be cleared to SECND if allowed to execute the hold-in-lieu of procedure turn pattern.
Except when applying radar procedures, timed or visual approaches, clear an aircraft for an approach to an
airport when the preceding aircraft has landed or canceled IFR flight plan.
Where instrument approaches require radar monitoring and radar services are not available, do not use the
phraseology “cleared approach,” which allows the pilot his/her choice of instrument approaches.
For RNAV-equipped aircraft operating on unpublished routes, issue approach clearance for conventional or RNAV
SIAP including approaches with RF legs only after the aircraft is: (See FIG 4-8-4).
Established on a heading or course direct to the IAF at an intercept angle not greater than 90 degrees and
is assigned an altitude in accordance with b2. Radar monitoring is required to the IAF for RNAV (RNP)
approaches when no hold-in-lieu of procedure turn is executed.
Aircraft 1 can be cleared direct to CENTR. The intercept angle at that IAF is 90 degrees or less. The
minimum altitude for IFR operations (14 CFR, section 91.177) along the flight path to the IAF is 3,000
feet. If a hold in lieu of procedure turn pattern is depicted at an IAF and a TAA is not defined, the
aircraft must be instructed to conduct a straight-in approach if ATC does not want the pilot to execute a
hold-in-lieu procedure turn. “Cleared direct CENTR, maintain at or above three thousand until CENTR,
cleared straight-in RNAV Runway One-Eight Approach.”
Established on a heading or course direct to the IF at an angle not greater than 90 degrees, provided the
following conditions are met:
(a) Assign an altitude in accordance with b2 that will permit a normal descent to the FAF.
NOTE: Controllers should expect aircraft to descend at approximately 150-300 feet per
nautical mile when applying guidance in subparagraph h2(a).
(b) Radar monitoring is provided to the IF.
(c) The SIAP must identify the intermediate fix with the letters “IF.”
(d) For procedures where an IAF is published, the pilot is advised to expect clearance to the IF at
least 5 miles from the fix.
“Expect direct CENTR for RNAV Runway One-Eight Approach.”
Established on a heading or course direct to a fix between the IF and FAF, at an intercept angle not greater
than 30 degrees, and assigned an altitude in accordance with b2.
Aircraft 1 is more than 5 miles from SHANN. The minimum altitude for IFR operations (14 CFR Section
91.177) along the flight path to SHANN is 3,000 feet. SHANN is a step down fix between the IF/IAF (CENTR)
and the FAF. To clear Aircraft 1 to SHANN, ATC must ensure the intercept angle for the intermediate
segment at SHANN is not greater than 30 degrees and must be cleared to an altitude that will allow a
normal descent to the FAF. “Cleared direct SHANN, cross SHANN at or above three thousand, cleared RNAV
Runway One-Eight Approach.”
Aircraft 2 cannot be cleared direct to CENTR unless the aircraft is allowed to execute the hold-in-lieu of
procedure turn. The intercept angle at that IF/IAF is greater than 90 degrees. The minimum altitude for IFR
operations (14 CFR Section 91.177) along the flight path to the IAF is 3,000 feet. “Cleared direct CENTR,
maintain at or above three thousand until CENTR, cleared RNAV Runway One-Eight approach.” The pilot is
expected to proceed direct CENTR and execute the hold-in-lieu of procedure turn.
Aircraft 2 can be cleared direct LEFTT. The intercept angle at that IAF is 90 degrees or less. The minimum
altitude for IFR operations (14 CFR Section 91.177) along the flight path to the IAF is 3,000 feet. “Cleared
direct LEFTT, maintain at or above three thousand until LEFTT, cleared RNAV Runway One-Eight Approach.” The
pilot does not have to be cleared for a straight-in approach since no hold-in-lieu of procedure turn pattern
is depicted at LEFTT.
Clear RNAV-equipped aircraft conducting RNAV instrument approach procedures that contain radius to fix (RF)
Via published transitions, or
In accordance with paragraph h.
Do not clear aircraft direct to any waypoint beginning or within an RF leg.
Do not assign fix/waypoint crossing speeds in excess of charted speed restrictions.
1. RNAV approaches (containing RF legs) that commence at 10,000 feet or above require special procedures
that will be site specific and specified in a facility directive.
2. An RF leg is defined as a curved segment indicating a constant radius circular path about a defined turn
center that begins at a waypoint. RF legs may have maximum airspeeds charted for procedural containment that
must be followed.
3. If an aircraft is vectored off the procedure, expect the aircraft to request a return to an IAF.
1. The segment between THIRD and FORTH in FIG 4-8-5 is an RF leg.
2. The straight segments between waypoints in FIG 4-8-5 are TF legs.
Where a terminal arrival area (TAA) has been established to support RNAV approaches, use the procedures under
subparagraph b above. (See FIG 4-8-6.)
1. Aircraft that are within the lateral boundary of a TAA, and at or above the TAA minimum altitude, are
established on the approach and may be issued an approach clearance without an altitude restriction.
2. The TAA minimum altitude may be higher than the MVA/MIA. If an aircraft is below the TAA minimum
altitude, it must either be assigned an altitude to maintain until established on a segment of a published
route or instrument approach procedure, or climbed to the TAA altitude.
Aircraft 1: The aircraft is at or above the minimum TAA altitude and within the lateral boundary of the TAA.
“Cleared R NAV Runway One Eight Approach.”
Aircraft 2: The MVA is 3000 feet and the aircraft is level at 4000 feet. The TAA minimum altitude is 4200
feet. The aircraft must be assigned an altitude to maintain until established on a segment of the approach.
“Cross RIGHT at or above three thousand, cleared R NAV Runway One Eight Approach.”
Aircraft 3: The aircraft is inbound to the CHARR IAF on an unpublished direct route at 7,000 feet. The
minimum IFR altitude for IFR operations (14 CFR Section 91.177) along this flight path to the IAF is 5,000
feet. “Cleared direct CHARR, maintain at or above five thousand until entering the TAA, cleared RNAV Runway
One Eight Approach.”
When GPS TESTING NOTAMs are published and testing is actually occurring, inform pilots requesting or cleared for
a RNAV approach that GPS may not be available and request intentions. Do not resume RNAV approach operations until
certain that GPS interference is no longer a factor or such GPS testing exercise has ceased.
During times when pilots report GPS anomalies, request the pilot's intentions and/or clear that aircraft for an
alternative approach, if available and operational. Announce to other aircraft requesting an RNAV approach that
GPS is reported unavailable and request intentions.
When clearing an aircraft for an RNAV approach, and a GPS NOTAM is published (a WAAS NOTAM is not issued), both
GPS and WAAS may become unavailable. Therefore, when a GPS anomaly is reported, request the pilot's intentions.
NOTE: WAAS UNAVAILABLE NOTAMs are published to indicate a failure of a WAAS system component.
Airborne GPS/WAAS equipment may revert to GPS-only operation which satisfies the requirements for basic RNAV
(GPS) approaches to the airport of intended landing or filed alternate airport, if airborne equipment is
approved for such operations.