U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
Air Traffic Organization Policy

ORDER
JO 7110.65
U
Effective Date:
February 9, 2012
 
     
Subject:  Air Traffic Control
     Includes:  Change 1 effective 7/26/12, Errata to Change 1 effective 7/26/12,
    Change 2 effective 3/7/13, and Errata to Change 2 effective 3/7/13.
    Change 3 effective 8/22/13.
 

Section 4. Approaches

7-4-1. VISUAL APPROACH

A visual approach is an ATC authorization for an aircraft on an IFR flight plan to proceed visually to the airport of intended landing; it is not an instrument approach procedure. Also, there is no missed approach segment. An aircraft unable to complete a visual approach must be handled as any go-around and appropriate separation must be provided.

REFERENCE-
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 2-1-20, Wake Turbulence Cautionary Advisories.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 3-10-2, Forwarding Approach Information by Nonapproach Control Facilities.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 7-2-1, Visual Separation.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 7-4-4, Approaches to Multiple Runways.

7-4-2. VECTORS FOR VISUAL APPROACH

A vector for a visual approach may be initiated if the reported ceiling at the airport of intended landing is at least 500 feet above the MVA/MIA and the visibility is 3 miles or greater. At airports without weather reporting service there must be reasonable assurance (e.g. area weather reports, PIREPs, etc.) that descent and flight to the airport can be made visually, and the pilot must be informed that weather information is not available.

PHRASEOLOGY-
(Ident) FLY HEADING OR TURN RIGHT/LEFT HEADING (degrees) VECTOR FOR VISUAL APPROACH TO (airport name).

(If appropriate)

WEATHER NOT AVAILABLE.

NOTE-
At airports where weather information is not available, a pilot request for a visual approach indicates that descent and flight to the airport can be made visually and clear of clouds.

REFERENCE-
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 5-9-1, Vectors to Final Approach Course.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 7-2-1, Visual Separation.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 7-4-3, Clearance for Visual Approach.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 7-4-4, Approaches to Multiple Runways.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 7-6-7, Sequencing.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 7-7-3, Separation.

7-4-3. CLEARANCE FOR VISUAL APPROACH

ARTCCs and approach controls may clear aircraft for visual approaches using the following procedures:

NOTE-
Towers may exercise this authority when authorized by a LOA with the facility that provides the IFR service, or by a facility directive at collocated facilities.

a. Controllers may initiate, or pilots may request, a visual approach even when an aircraft is being vectored for an instrument approach and the pilot subsequently reports:

1. The airport or the runway in sight at airports with operating control towers.

2. The airport in sight at airports without a control tower.

b. Resolve potential conflicts with all other aircraft, advise an overtaking aircraft of the distance to the preceding aircraft and speed difference, and ensure that weather conditions at the airport are VFR or that the pilot has been informed that weather is not available for the destination airport. Upon pilot request, advise the pilot of the frequency to receive weather information where AWOS/ASOS is available.

PHRASEOLOGY-
(Call sign) (control instructions as required) CLEARED VISUAL APPROACH RUNWAY (number);

or

(Call sign) (control instructions as required) CLEARED VISUAL APPROACH TO (airport name)

(and if appropriate)

WEATHER NOT AVAILABLE OR VERIFY THAT YOU HAVE THE (airport) WEATHER.

REFERENCE-
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 7-2-1, Visual Separation.

c. Clear an aircraft for a visual approach when:

1. The aircraft is number one in the approach sequence, or

2. The aircraft is to follow a preceding aircraft and the pilot reports the preceding aircraft in sight and is instructed to follow it, or

NOTE-
The pilot need not report the airport/runway in sight.

3. The pilot reports the airport or runway in sight but not the preceding aircraft. Radar separation must be maintained until visual separation is provided.

d. All aircraft following a heavy jet/B757 must be informed of the airplane manufacturer and/or model.

EXAMPLE-
“Cessna Three Four Juliet, following a Boeing 757, 12 o'clock, six miles.”

or

“Cessna Three Four Juliet, following a Seven fifty seven, 12 o'clock, six miles."

REFERENCE-
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para.2-4-21, Description of Aircraft Types.

e. Inform the tower of the aircraft's position prior to communications transfer at controlled airports. ARTS/STARS functions may be used provided a facility directive or LOA specifies control and communication transfer points.

f. In addition to the requirements of para 7-4-2, Vectors for Visual Approach, and subparas a, b, c, d, and e, ensure that the location of the destination airport is provided when the pilot is asked to report the destination airport in sight.

g. In those instances where airports are located in close proximity, also provide the location of the airport that may cause the confusion.

EXAMPLE-
“Cessna Five Six November, Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport is at 12 o'clock, 5 miles. Cleveland Hopkins Airport is at 1 o'clock 12 miles. Report Cleveland Hopkins in sight.”

REFERENCE-
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 7-4-4, Approaches to Multiple Runways.

7-4-4. APPROACHES TO MULTIPLE RUNWAYS

a. All aircraft must be informed that approaches are being conducted to parallel, intersecting, or converging runways. This may be accomplished through use of the ATIS.

b. When conducting visual approaches to multiple runways ensure the following:

1. Do not permit the respective aircrafts' primary radar targets to touch unless visual separation is being applied.

2. When the aircraft flight paths intersect, ensure standard separation is maintained until visual separation is provided.

c. In addition to the requirements in para 7-2-1, Visual Separation, para 7-4-1, Visual Approach, para 7-4-2, Vectors for Visual Approach, and para 7-4-3, Clearance for Visual Approach, the following conditions apply to visual approaches being conducted simultaneously to parallel, intersecting, and converging runways, as appropriate:

1. Parallel runways separated by less than 2,500 feet. Unless standard separation is provided by ATC, an aircraft must report sighting a preceding aircraft making an approach (instrument or visual) to the adjacent parallel runway. When an aircraft reports another aircraft in sight on the adjacent final approach course and visual separation is applied, controllers must advise the succeeding aircraft to maintain visual separation. However, do not permit a heavy/B757 aircraft to overtake another aircraft. Do not permit a large aircraft to overtake a small aircraft.

2. Parallel runways separated by at least 2,500 feet, but less than 4,300 feet.

(a) Standard separation is provided until the aircraft are established on a heading which will intercept the extended centerline of the runway at an angle not greater than 30 degrees, and each aircraft has been issued and one pilot has acknowledged receipt of the visual approach clearance, and the other pilot has acknowledge receipt of the visual or instrument approach clearance.

NOTE-
1.
The intent of the 30 degree intercept angle is to reduce the potential for overshoots of the extended centerline of the runway and preclude side­by­side operations with one or both aircraft in a “belly­up” configuration during the turn. Aircraft performance, speed, and the number of degrees of the turn are factors to be considered when vectoring aircraft to parallel runways.

2.Variances between heading assigned to intercept the extended centerline of the runway and aircraft ground track are expected due to the effect of wind and course corrections after completion of the turn and pilot acknowledgment of a visual approach clearance.

 REFERENCE-
FAA Publication, Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Chapter 15 “Effect of Wind.”
.

(b) Visual approaches may be conducted to one runway while visual or instrument approaches are conducted simultaneously to other runways, provided the conditions of subpara (a) are met.

(c) Provided aircraft flight paths do not intersect, and when the provisions of subparas (a) and (b) are met, it is not necessary to apply any other type of separation with aircraft on the adjacent final approach course.

3. Parallel runways separated by 4,300 feet or more.

(a) When aircraft flight paths do not intersect, visual approaches may be conducted simultaneously, provided standard separation is maintained until one of the aircraft has been issued and the pilot has acknowledged receipt of the visual approach clearance.

(b) Visual approaches may be conducted to one runway while visual or instrument approaches are conducted simultaneously to other runways, provided the conditions of subpara (a) are met.

(c) Provided the aircraft flight paths do not intersect, when the provisions of subparas (a) and (b) are met, it is not necessary to apply any other type of separation with aircraft on the adjacent final approach course.

(d) Each aircraft must be assigned headings which will allow the aircraft to intercept the extended centerline of the runway at an angle not greater than 30 degrees.

NOTE-
1. The intent of the 30 degree intercept angle is to reduce the potential for overshoots of the extended centerline of the runway and preclude side-by-side operations with one or both aircraft in a "belly-up" configuration during the turn.  Aircraft performance, speed, and the number of degrees of the turn are factors to be considered when vectoring aircraft to parallel runways.

2. Variances between heading assigned to intercept the extended centerline of the runway and aircraft ground track are expected due to the effect of wind and course corrections after completion of the turn and pilot acknowledgement of a visual approach clearance.

REFERENCE-
FAA Publication, Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Chapter 15 "effect of Wind."

4. Intersecting and converging runways. Visual approaches may be conducted simultaneously with visual or instrument approaches to other runways, provided:

(a) Standard separation is maintained until the aircraft conducting the visual approach has been issued and the pilot has acknowledged receipt of the visual approach clearance.

(b) When aircraft flight paths intersect, radar separation must be maintained until visual separation is provided.

NOTE-
Although simultaneous approaches may be conducted to intersecting runways, staggered approaches may be necessary to meet the airport separation requirements specified in para 3-10-4, Intersecting Runway Separation.

REFERENCE-
FAAO 7110.79, Charted Visual Flight Procedures.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 7-4-5, Charted Visual Flight Procedures (CVFP). USA/USN Not Applicable.
FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 7-7-3, Separation.

7-4-5. CHARTED VISUAL FLIGHT PROCEDURES (CVFP). USA/USN NOT APPLICABLE

Clear an aircraft for a CVFP only when the following conditions are met:

a. There is an operating control tower.

b. The published name of the CVFP and the landing runway are specified in the approach clearance, the reported ceiling at the airport of intended landing is at least 500 feet above the MVA/MIA, and the visibility is 3 miles or more, unless higher minimums are published for the particular CVFP.

c. When using parallel or intersecting/converging runways, the criteria specified in para 7-4-4, Approaches to Multiple Runways, are applied.

d. An aircraft not following another aircraft on the approach reports sighting a charted visual landmark, or reports sighting a preceding aircraft landing on the same runway and has been instructed to follow that aircraft.

PHRASEOLOGY-
(Ident) CLEARED (name of CVFP) APPROACH.

7-4-6. CONTACT APPROACH

Clear an aircraft for a contact approach only if the following conditions are met:

a. The pilot has requested it.

NOTE-
When executing a contact approach, the pilot is responsible for maintaining the required flight visibility, cloud clearance, and terrain/obstruction clearance. Unless otherwise restricted, the pilot may find it necessary to descend, climb, and/or fly a circuitous route to the airport to maintain cloud clearance and/or terrain/obstruction clearance. It is not in any way intended that controllers will initiate or suggest a contact approach to a pilot.

b. The reported ground visibility is at least 1 statute mile.

c. A standard or special instrument approach procedure has been published and is functioning for the airport of intended landing.

d. Approved separation is applied between aircraft so cleared and other IFR or SVFR aircraft. When applying vertical separation, do not assign a fixed altitude but clear the aircraft at or below an altitude which is at least 1,000 feet below any IFR traffic but not below the minimum safe altitude prescribed in 14 CFR Section 91.119.

NOTE-
14 CFR Section 91.119 specifies the minimum safe altitude to be flown:
(a) Anywhere.
(b) Over congested areas.
(c) Other than congested areas. To provide for an emergency landing in the event of power failure and without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.
(d) Helicopters. May be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paras (b) and (c) above if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface.

e. An alternative clearance is issued when weather conditions are such that a contact approach may be impracticable.

PHRASEOLOGY-
CLEARED CONTACT APPROACH,

And if required,
AT OR BELOW (altitude) (routing).

IF NOT POSSIBLE, (alternative procedures), AND ADVISE.

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