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Mon, Aug 05, 2013

FAA Proposes Policy To Discontinue Certain Instrument Approach Procedures

Would Cancel Some NDB And VOR Approaches As NextGen Comes Online

The FAA has posted a policy proposal in the Federal Register that would mean the end to some NDB and VOR approaches around the country,

According to the posted notice, as new technology facilitates the introduction of area navigation (RNAV) instrument approach procedures over the past decade, the number of procedure available in the National Airspace System has nearly doubled. The complexity and cost to the FAA of maintaining the existing ground based navigational infrastructure while expanding the new RNAV capability is not sustainable.

The FAA is considering the cancellation of certain Non-directional Beacon (NDB) and Very High Frequency (VHF) Omnidirectional Radio Range (VOR) instrument approach procedures (IAP) at airports that have multiple instrument approach procedures. The FAA proposes specific criteria to guide the identification and selection of appropriate NDB and VOR instrument approach procedures that can be considered for cancellation. The VOR IAPs associated with this cancellation initiative would be selected from the criteria outlined below. This Notice is not a part of the FAA's VOR minimum operating network (MON) initiative.

The NDB and VOR IAPs recommended for cancellation would be selected at airports using the following criteria. It must be noted that all airports that have existing RNAV and ground-based IAPs would maintain at least one RNAV and one ground-based IAP.

Airports that would be considered for NDB or VOR IAP cancellation:

  • All airports with an NDB IAP.
  • All airports with a VOR/DME RNAV IAP, unless it is the only IAP at the airport.
  • All airports with two or more ground-based IAPs and an RNAV IAP.
  • All airports with multiple, redundant ground-based IAPs (e.g., three VOR procedures).

Additional consideration would be given to the following factors in determining the list of potential candidates for cancellation:

  • Prevailing wind runways.
  • Prevailing runway alignment during adverse weather operations.
  • If an airport has a published ILS IAP and additional ground-based IAPs, cancel the procedure to the same runway as the ILS.
  • For airports with multiple VOR and NDB IAP's, retain the IAP with the lowest minimums (if minimums are within 20 feet of each other retain the procedure that allows optimum use by all customers (i.e. VOR and VOR/DME retain VOR because there are no equipage limitations).

Airports that would not be considered for NDB or VOR IAP cancellations:

  • Airport with only RNAV/RNPs IAPs published.
  • Airport with only one ground-based procedure.
  • Airports will not be considered if cancellation would result in removing all IAPs from the airport.

The FAA is not considering the following types of procedures for cancellation:

  • PBN Procedures (RNAV or RNP).
  • ILS procedures.
  • Localizer procedures.
  • TACAN procedures.
  • Standard Instrument Arrivals (STARs).
  • Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs).

Comments must be received on or before October 1, 2013.

FMI: Read the Proposal

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