Interpretation 12

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  • Date of Interpretation Applicable 7110.65 section
    3/23/2015 4-8-11

    Background Information

    Request for an interpretation of the meaning of "to the extent possible."


    Request for an interpretation of the meaning of "to the extent possible" regarding accommodating VFR practice approaches.


    The complete phrase used in FAA Order JO 7210.3, paragraph 10-4-5, VFR Practice Approaches, is " the extent possible within existing resources." This means that within the limits and capabilities of the facility, IFR separation must be provided to all VFR aircraft conducting practice instrument approaches at secondary airports listed in the facility's practice approach Letter to Airmen (LTA). Controllers must afford standard separation in all cases when these operations are authorized. Additionally, users expect that separation will be provided as described in the LTA.

    When temporary conditions impacting a controller's ability to provide standard separation exist, (e.g. traffic volume, workload, etc.) pilots must be advised that there will be a delay until the operation can be approved. Facility personnel may not withhold these services indefinitely.

    Facilities must evaluate secondary airports to determine what level of service will be provided. In this evaluation, availability and adequacy of existing resources must be considered. Assets such as radar coverage, radio transmitter and receiver performance, and similar requirements must be adequate and dependable to ensure standard separation services can be consistently provided.

    FAA Order JO 7110.65, paragraph 4-8-11, Practice Approaches, states that controllers are to "authorize, withdraw authorization, or refuse to authorize practice approaches as traffic conditions require." This provision does not permit operational personnel, in any instance, to conduct VFR practice approach operations at any airport listed in the LTA without providing standard separation.
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