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Thu, Jul 05, 2018

FAA Looks To Cancel Some Circling Approaches

Issues Criteria For Consideration In The Federal Register

The FAA is finalizing specific criteria to guide the identification and selection of appropriate circling procedures that can be considered for cancellation. These procedures include certain circling procedures (to include circling-only instrument approach procedures (IAPs) and circling minima charted on straight-in IAPs). The circling procedures associated with this cancellation initiative will be selected based on the criteria outlined in the statement of policy.

According to a document published in the Federal Register, the National Airspace System (NAS) is currently in transition to a “NextGen NAS.” During this transition, the FAA is managing the technology and procedures to support both the legacy (NavAid-based) NAS as well as the NextGen (satellite-based) NAS. As new technology has facilitated the introduction of area navigation (RNAV) instrument approach procedures over the past decade, the number of procedures available in the NAS has nearly doubled. The complexity and cost to the FAA of maintaining the instrument flight procedures inventory while expanding the new RNAV capability is not sustainable. Managing two versions of the NAS requires excess manpower, infrastructure, and information management which is costly and unsupportable in the long-term. To mitigate these costs, the FAA has a number of efforts underway to effectively transition from the legacy to the NextGen NAS. One area of focus for this transition is instrument flight procedures (IFPs). The FAA seeks to ensure an effective transition from ground-based IFPs to greater availability and use of satellite-based IFPs while maintaining NAS safety.

In its continued effort to "right-size" the NAS through optimization and elimination of redundant and unnecessary IAPs, on October 6, 2017, the FAA published a proposed policy and request for comment that identified the following criteria to guide the identification and selection of appropriate circling procedures to be considered for cancellation. 82 FR 46738.

The FAA proposed that all circling procedures will continue to be reviewed through the established IAP periodic review process. As part of that review process, the FAA proposed that each circling procedure be evaluated against the following questions:

  • Is this procedure a designated MON airport procedure?
  • If multiple IAPs serve a single runway end, is this the lowest circling minima for that runway?

When a candidate has been identified, Aeronautical Information Services would send a notification of procedure cancellation memorandum and completed checklist to the appropriate Regional Service Area, Operations Support Group. The Regional Service Area, Operations Support Group would follow the same notification process used for standard IFP requests.

Consistent with FAA procedures outlined in the procedure cancellation memorandum, comments regarding the aforementioned circling procedure would need to be submitted within 30 days of the timestamp on the communication media through which it was delivered. Comments would be directed to the Regional Service Area, Operations Support Group for dissemination to Aeronautical Information Services. Comments would be adjudicated by Aeronautical Information Services within 30 days of the timestamp on the communication media through which it was received. A final decision would be forwarded to Regional Service Area, Operations Support Group to disseminate to commenter(s). The cancellation of the part 97 instrument procedure will be published in the Federal Register.

(Source: Federal Register)

FMI: www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/06/28/2018-13875/criteria-and-process-for-the-cancellation-of-standard-instrument-approach-procedures-as-part-of-the

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