4-8-6. CIRCLING APPROACH

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  • 4-8-6. CIRCLING APPROACH

    1. Circling approach instructions may only be given for aircraft landing at airports with operational control towers.
    2. Include in the approach clearance instructions to circle to the runway in use if landing will be made on a runway other than that aligned with the direction of instrument approach. When the direction of the circling maneuver in relation to the airport/runway is required, state the direction (eight cardinal compass points) and specify a left or right base/downwind leg as appropriate.
      • PHRASEOLOGY
      • CIRCLE TO RUNWAY (number),
      • or
      • CIRCLE (direction using eight cardinal compass points) OF THE AIRPORT/RUNWAY FOR A LEFT/RIGHT BASE/DOWNWIND TO RUNWAY (number).

      NOTE: Where standard instrument approach procedures (SIAPs) authorize circling approaches, they provide a basic minimum of 300 feet of obstacle clearance at the MDA within the circling area considered. The dimensions of these areas, expressed in distances from the runways, vary for the different approach categories of aircraft. In some cases a SIAP may otherwise restrict circling approach maneuvers.

    3. Do not issue clearances, such as “extend downwind leg,” which might cause an aircraft to exceed the circling approach area distance from the runways within which required circling approach obstacle clearance is assured.
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