Section 2. Instrument Approach Data


ARTCCs are responsible for the tabulation and reporting of instrument approach data for those nontower, nonapproach control, or VFR tower airports under the ARTCC's jurisdiction to which instrument approaches are conducted. Instrument approach data are used primarily to determine the need and priority order of approach aids, such as ILS and VOR. Therefore, it is not necessary to report instrument approaches made to purely military airports unless the FAA is responsible for providing the aids for that airport. One count must be recorded for each approach meeting the criteria.

  1. An instrument approach is an approach made to an airport by an aircraft on an IFR flight plan when the visibility is less than 3 miles or the ceiling is at or below the minimum initial approach altitude.
  2. Where no weather reporting service is available at nontower satellite airports, the following criteria in descending order must be used to determine valid instrument approaches.
  1. A pilot report.
  2. If the flight has not canceled its IFR flight plan prior to reaching the initial approach fix.
  3. The official weather as reported for any airport located within 30 miles of the airport to which the approach is made.

Instrument approaches must be reported for all airports where instrument approaches are conducted. Reporting is the responsibility of the facility having the authority for clearing the approach. Therefore, the ARTCC is responsible to report instrument approaches for the nontower airports and nonapproach control (VFR) airports in its area. At airports where there is an FAA VFR tower, the ARTCC and the tower must determine which facility must maintain the count. If the tower counts the approaches, it must forward the appropriate totals to the ARTCC for inclusion in the center's monthly report. (VFR towers do not report instrument approaches to Washington.) When the ARTCC provides approach control on a part-time basis; i.e., during periods when the primary approach control facility is closed, the ARTCC must forward the instrument approach count for those hours to the primary approach control facility for inclusion in their monthly report.


FAA Form 7230-16 is a worksheet furnished for the purpose of recording instrument approaches. It does not have a specific arrangement allowing each facility to tailor it to its own needs. Instrument approaches will be counted by the standard air carrier, air taxi, general aviation, and military categories. At the end of the month, the totals, by airport, will be transferred to FAA Form 7230-12. FAA Form 7230-16 must be retained in the facility's files.


FAA Form 7230-12 is a monthly form, submitted by both ARTCC and terminal approach control facilities, for reporting the number of instrument approaches made at airports for the month. The facility's name and location will be entered; two digits each will be used for the month and the year (January would be 01), and the three-letter identifier filled in at the top of the form. ARTCCs must check box H: ARTCC or CERAP. ARTCCs must not enter any data in the block for instrument approaches terminating at a primary approach airport. ARTCCs list all airports, using a three-character identifier, under the heading “Instrument Approaches to Nonapproach Control Airport,” with the respective monthly totals by category. If an ARTCC has more airports than can be listed on the front, continue on the back of the form. In this case, the ARTCC's identifier and the month and the year must be entered again on the back. Only ARTCCs and approach controls submit this form. Under no circumstances should two facilities report the same airport. Therefore, it may be necessary for facilities to make arrangements to ensure no duplicate reporting of instrument approaches.

  1. Distribute FAA Form 7230-12 as follows (it may be combined in one envelope with the other monthly forms):
  1. The original and one copy to the Service Area office not later than the 2nd workday (Monday-Friday) of the following month.
  2. One copy to the facility's files (with FAA Form 7230-16).
  3. One copy to the local airport officials as requested.
  1. Correct any errors in the forms sent in last month by completing a new form, circling the revised fields, and marking the form “AMENDED COPY.” Amended copies of forms more than 1 month old will not be accepted unless approval has been obtained from Safety and Operations Support by the Service Area office. Send amended copies along with the current reporting month's forms to the Service Area office.

If the report contains data for an airport which is under the administrative jurisdiction of another Service Area office, forward a copy to that Service Area office.