Study Go Around Procedures When on Visual Approach

  • Home 2009 Study Go Around Procedures Whe....

Study Go Around Procedures When on Visual Approach

48TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 20-24 April 2009

WP No. 94

Study Go Around Procedures When on Visual Approach

Presented by Israel

Introduction

1.1 Visual approach procedures are globally used as an important tool in the controller’s daily work, mostly to expedite traffic, increase capacity and also for environmental issues (fuel saving).

1.2 The subject has been discussed in the Air Traffic Services (ATS) Committee of the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA), as the members of the committee were made aware of the fact that the missed approach after a non-published visual approach is not clear.

1.3 This working paper will provide an overview of the various procedures in use in case of missed approach while on visual approach, will research all relevant documents, and will recommend Policy.

Discussion

2.1 Visual Approach Definitions

2.1.1 ICAO

ICAO Doc 4444 PANS-ATM defines a visual approach as:

“An approach by an IFR flight when either part or all of an instrument approach procedure is not completed and the approach is executed in visual reference to terrain”.

 

Also in ICAO Doc 4444 PANS-ATM chapter 6, paragraph. 6.5.3 Visual approach:

“6.5.3.1 subject to the conditions in 6.5.3.3, clearance for an IFR flight to execute a visual approach may be requested by the flight crew or initiated by the controller. In the latter case, concurrence of the flight crew shall be required.

6.5.3.2 Controllers shall exercise caution in initiating a visual approach when there is a reason to believe that the flight crew concerned is not familiar with the aerodrome and its surrounding terrain. Controllers should also take into consideration the prevailing traffic and meteorological conditions when initiating visual approaches.

6.5.3.3 AN IFR flight may be cleared to execute a visual approach provided that the pilot can maintain visual reference to the terrain and:

a) The reported ceiling is at or above the approved initial approach level for the aircraft so cleared: or

b) The pilot reports at the initial approach level or at any time during the instrument approach procedure that the meteorological conditions are such that with reasonable assurance a visual approach and landing can be completed.

6.5.3.4 Separation shall be provided between an aircraft clear to execute a visual approach and other aircraft.

6.5.3.5 for successive visual approaches, separation shall be maintained by the controller until the pilot of a succeeding aircraft reports having the preceding aircraft in sight. The aircraft shall then be instructed to follow and maintain own separation from the preceding aircraft. When both aircraft are of a heavy wake turbulence category, or the preceding aircraft is heavier wake turbulence category than the following, and the distance between the aircraft is less than the appropriate wake turbulence minimum, the controller shall issue a caution of possible wake turbulence. the pilot in command of the aircraft concerned shall be responsible for ensuring that the spacing from a preceding aircraft of the heavier wake turbulence category is acceptable. if it is determined that additional spacing is required, the flight crew shall inform the ATC unit accordingly, stating their requirements.

6.5.3.6 Transfer of communication to the aerodrome controller should be effected at such a point or time that information on essential local traffic, if applicable, and clearance to land or alternative instructions can be issued to the aircraft in timely manner.”

 

In ICAO Annex 4 Aeronautical Charts, Chapter 12, there is a description of a visual approach chart, the function of which is “to provide flight crews with information which will enable them to transit from the en-route/descent to approach phases of flight to the runway of intended landing by means of visual reference.” There is also a definition of “visual approach procedure” which reads: “A series of predetermined manoeuvres by visual reference, from the initial approach fix, or where applicable, from the beginning of a defined arrival route to a point from which a landing can be completed and thereafter, if a landing is not completed, a go-around procedure can be carried-out.”

2.1.2 United States of America (USA; AIP ENR 1-55)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a different definition to visual approach and also defines “contact approach:

“A visual approach is conducted on an IFR flight plan and authorizes a pilot to proceed visually and clear of clouds to the airport. The pilot must have either the airport or the preceding identified aircraft in sight. ATC may authorize this type approach when it will be operationally beneficial. Visual approaches are an IFR procedure conducted under Instrument Flight Rules in visual meteorological conditions.

Contact approach- Pilots operating in accordance with an IFR flight plan, provided they are clear of clouds and have at least 1 mile flight visibility and can reasonably expect to continue to the destination airport in those conditions, may request ATC authorization for a “contact approach.”

 

2.1.3 Canada (AIP RAC 9.6.1)

In Canada the same terms are used, but these have been defined differently:

Visual approach-“An approach wherein an aircraft on an IFR flight plan, operating in VMC under the control of ATC and having ATC authorization, may proceed to the airport of destination.”

Contact approach -“An IFR flight plan having an ATC clearance may deviate from the IAP and proceed to the destination airport by visual reference to the surface of the earth “.

 

2.1.4 Israel

There is no general reference or definition to visual approach in the Israeli AIP.

In the aerodrome section / Ben Gurion Airport under visual approach the following is written:

“Radar vectoring to visual approach will be issued in accordance to MVA in case of missed approach, the pilot shall follow ATC instructions”.

 

It is important to mention that Ben Gurion Airport RNAV visual approach procedure chart is available in the Israeli AIP.


2.2 Published Missed Approach Procedures

2.2.1 ICAO

ICAO documentation does not contain a general missed approach procedure to follow in case of a visual approach.

2.2.2 United States of America (AIP ENR 1-55)

On visual approach; “A visual approach is not an IAP1 and therefore has no missed approach segment. If a go around is necessary for any reason, aircraft operating at controlled airports will be issued an appropriate advisory/clearance/instruction by the tower. At uncontrolled airports, aircraft are expected to remain clear of clouds and complete a landing as soon as possible. If a landing cannot be accomplished, the aircraft is expected to remain clear of clouds and contact ATC as soon as possible for further clearance. Separation from other IFR aircraft will be maintained under these circumstances.”

And on ‘contact approach’ only phraseology is provided: “Cleared contact approach (and if required) at or below (altitude) (routing) if not possible (alternative procedures) and advise.”

 

2.2.3 Canada (AIP RAC 9.6.1)

On visual approach; “A visual approach is not an IAP and therefore has no missed approach segment. If a goaround is necessary for any reason, aircraft operating at controlled airports will be issued an appropriate advisory/clearance/ instruction by the tower. At uncontrolled airports, aircraft crews are required to remain clear of clouds and are expected to complete a landing as soon as possible. If a landing cannot be accomplished, the aircraft crew is required to remain clear of clouds and is expected to contact ATC as soon as possible for further clearance. ATC separation from other IFR aircraft will be maintained under these circumstances.”

On ”contact approach” the following is found; “ATC will issue specific missed approach instructions if there is any doubt that a landing will be accomplished.”

2.2.4 Israel

The following is written in the Israeli an AIP: “follow ATC instructions”, except for one airport (Ovda), where an RNAV visual approach procedure is available including missed approach procedure;

Rwy 20R: if visual contact with terrain (day) or runway lights (night) was not established at 1.8 DME (INBOUND), turn LEFT to NURIT climbing to 5000 feet or as instructed by OVDA tower. Rwy 02L : if visual contact with terrain (day) or runway lights (night) was not established upon reaching 3000 feet (2500 feet for aeroplanes operating under chapter 13 (far121)),climb 3500 feet straight ahead to OVD VOR, expect further ATC instructions.

 

2.2.5 Survey results

An IFATCA survey on visual approaches was conducted among some MAs (following replies were received: Australia, Netherlands, Greece, New Zealand, Finland, Norway, USA) by the Israeli Air Traffic Controllers Association during November 2008 and showed that the way the procedures are applied globally is ambiguous. Another DFS survey among German pilots (IFALPA working paper draft refers to 09ATS026 by Cpt. Stefan Fiedler) and a discussion in the IFALPA ATS Committee, showed also the different opinions on the subject. A quote from the Australian reply to the Israeli survey gives a good assessment of the situation: “There have always been queries from NonAustralian pilots to the instruction “Make Visual Approach” or “Cleared for visual Approach”. We do a lot of visual approaches in Australia mainly because the weather is often very good with high cloud bases and excellent visibility. The uncertainty exhibited by overseas pilots would indicate many local variations.” NATCA (USA): “All visual approaches must be conducted in VFR conditions while precision approaches are normally conducted in IFR conditions, with restricted visibility necessitating the need for a published missed approach procedure. If an aircraft conducts a missed approach on a visual approach, this would be no different from a missed approach by an aircraft in the traffic pattern. Normally tower controllers would tell the aircraft how to fly the pattern or what ever local procedure applied.”


2.3 Combining the definitions and published procedures above and regarding the common practice, the following questions arise:

  • What kind of missed approach procedure will the pilot execute?
  • In case the VFR circuit altitude is part of this procedure, is the circuit altitude the same for IFR flights?
  • What is the pilot expected to do when he is not able to communicate with ATC due to a blocked frequency, communication failure or an inability to transmit?

2.3.1 What kind of missed approach procedure will the pilot execute?

When discussing “go around procedure during visual approach” it must also be considered that visual approaches can be made to locations where aerodrome control is not being provided. Also, visual approaches can be conducted into aerodromes where there are no facilities available for instrument approaches and, consequently, no instrument missed approach procedures are published. From the pilots’ point of view uncertainty arises what to do in case of a missed approach when a flight is cleared to fly a visual approach after having been cleared to fly an instrument approach to the same or even a different runway (swing over/side step). Possible options could be to remain in the visual pattern or proceed on a published instrument missed approach procedure. In the IFALPA ATS working group, it was finally agreed that the ideal solution covering all cases could not be easily found. It also became clear that a single, concessive, but clear solution is better than the present ambiguous situation. In the absence of specific instructions in the AIP, and to eliminate all uncertainty, a clear statement by ATC is preferred. As a fall back procedure the Eurocontrol ATM Procedures Development Sub-Group (APDSG) in WP48.03 conclude “An aircraft conducting a missed approach during visual approach should, when available, follow the applicable procedures for missed approach published for instrument approaches for the runway in question”

These solutions create some problems:

Pilot point of view

What happens if for the same runway there is more than one IAP and there is more than one missed approach procedure.

ATC point of view

When executing instrument approach the full procedure including the missed approach is protected. The general intention for executing visual approach is to expedite traffic; therefore the descending incoming traffic in the approach sequence might be in conflict with the go around traffic climbing according to the charts. (Mix mode) The circling manoeuvres may be carried out in more than one direction. For this reason, different patterns are required to establish the aircraft on the prescribed missed approach course depending on its position.

What is clear from the above mentioned is that there is no correlation between the pilot action and the air traffic controllers’ expectations. As long as pilot and controller are communicating then the situation is solvable. However, when communication is lost due to radio failure, it might impair safety

In this case an explicit visual approach procedure /chart must be available in the AIP. And the most appropriate option could be to follow this specific visual approach missed approach procedure or to follow ATCO instruction.

2.3.2 In case the VFR circuit altitude is part of this procedure, is the circuit altitude the same for IFR flights?

Circuit altitude for IFR traffic is not defined separately, altitude in the circuit pattern can be found in the visual circuit chars, the altitudes and the circuit pattern vary depending on the type of aircraft. Another possible reference can be the “circling to land” procedure. Visual approach is part of IFR; can we expect that the circuit altitude will be as specified in the “circling to land” procedure? Or that the pilot will climb to the circuit altitude he was issued before the missed approach?

2.3.3 What is the pilot expected to do when he is not able to communicate with ATC due to a blocked frequency, communication failure or an inability to transmit?

In case of radio failure the ATCO might expect the pilot to follow a missed approach pattern according to the ICAO procedures as in Doc 4444 PANS-ATM Chapter 15-3.Air ground communication failure. This procedure does not give an exact answer to the go around procedure and it is subject to the meteorological conditions, either VMC or IMC.

2.4 Taking into account the variables that need to be considered in the development of a missed approach procedure during a visual approach, (terrain ,noise abetment , runway layout ,airspace design etc …) it appears that publishing a global procedure could face a lot of obstacles . Therefore it would be preferable to have ICAO Standards on the requirements for such a go around procedure. This way it can be dealt by the local authorities in a safe and manner

2.5 It is should be mentioned that procedures and regulations cannot cover all cases ,and judgment is an important factor in daily work of the ATCO. If the missed approach was not due to meteorological condition deterioration, and in respect to air traffic management, a visual missed approach procedure is preferred. (Entering back to the circuit according to ATC instructions and best judgment).

Conclusions

3.1 There is no reference to missed approach segment in the visual approach procedure as in ICAO Doc 4444 PANS-ATM.

3.2 There is no correlation between the pilot actions to the ATCO expectations in regard to “missed approach” during a visual approach.

3.3 From an ATCO point of view the most appropriate option is to follow the procedure as specified in the AIP / visual approach chart. An explicit visual approach procedure /chart should be available in the AIP.

3.4 In the absence of specific instructions in the AIP, and to eliminate all uncertainty, ATC should announce the missed approach procedure in case of a visual approach as the preferred solution.

3.5 One global procedure would be the best solution, however taking into account the many variables that need to be considered in the development of a missed approach procedure during visual approach; it appears that one global procedure is not achievable and realistic. In that matter ICAO should publish Standards for the requirements for such a procedure so that local authorities can develop procedures that are appropriate for the local situation.

3.6 If the missed approach was not due to meteorological condition deterioration, and in respect to air traffic management, a visual missed approach procedure is preferred. (Entering back to the circuit according to ATC instructions).

It is recommended that:

4.1 IFATCA Policy is;

Missed approach procedures for visual approaches should be published in the AIP.

And is included on page 3 2 3 27 (new section/page) of the IFATCA Technical and Professional Manual.

4.2 IFATCA Policy is;

In the absence of specific instructions in the AIP, and to eliminate all uncertainty, a clear instruction via voice communication by ATC should be preferred.

And is included on page 3 2 3 27 (new section/page) of the IFATCA Technical and Professional Manual.

4.3 IFATCA Policy is;

In case a missed approach is executed, but not due to deterioration in meteorological conditions, a visual missed approach procedure is preferred for ATC, (proceeding back to the circuit according to ATC instructions).

And is included on page 3 2 3 27 (new section/page) of the IFATCA Technical and Professional Manual.

4.4 MAs should urge their local authority to create a visual approach chart including a missed approach procedure.

4.5 IFATCA should approach ICAO to set Standards on the requirements for such a go around procedure.

Last Update: September 29, 2020  

December 21, 2019   299   Jean-Francois Lepage    2009    

Comments are closed.


  • Search Knowledgebase