When did they shut down opposite direction approaches?

Ajax

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
DPE yesterday asked me if I have had to deal with it yet, on his checkride atc wouldn't allow approaches opposite the wind. He had to travel about 25nm S for an ILS. Is this a knee jerk reaction, and will it stick for good?

If old, sorry please delete, I did a quick search but my HDD crashed and I'm stuck on my iPad and it's a bit more tedious to do an extensive search on this.
 

Houston

Well-Known Member
It was due to this event:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443517104577571321974520172.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

The FAA said that in their review of the incident they determined that the procedures for turning an airport around left gaps that could cause such problems. They implied that it was not a permanent policy, but just one in place until they could review everything and come up with a procedure to do so without the possibility of repeating such events.

That is what was said. We will see what happens.
 

JustinS

Well-Known Member
Yes this is very recent. Now the ATIS at our airport is about 30 seconds longer explaining to us that opposite end approaches are not allowed... This is going to be bad for all the instrument flight training that goes on from our school. It was common practice here to shoot an approach in, and fly out and shoot an approach to the opposite runway direction, and fly out again and fly to the most convenient runway again.
 

Ajax

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I did an IPC on Monday that had all sorts of directions, the same thing now would take twice as long
 

Douglas

Old School KSUX
wow, when I was flying freight I used opposite direction approaches every week.

It does seem pretty knee-jerk to me.
 

TripSix

Well-Known Member
Yes this is very recent. Now the ATIS at our airport is about 30 seconds longer explaining to us that opposite end approaches are not allowed... This is going to be bad for all the instrument flight training that goes on from our school. It was common practice here to shoot an approach in, and fly out and shoot an approach to the opposite runway direction, and fly out again and fly to the most convenient runway again.
An amended change has already come out to the initial ZOMG STOP DOING THAT EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY briefing. Though, to my understanding not all facilities can actually use the amendment because it was not disseminated via the same method (not as quickly), there is a bit of confusion in the wording, and getting someone to clarify it and brief it prior to implementation can be slightly problematic over the weekend in some places.

The restriction was placed on Part 139 airports when it involves an IFR aircraft. Assuming you use a Part 139 airport (that distinction in itself has caused a bit of confusion), would it be possible to do practice approaches VFR in the meantime? It will shake out relatively quickly. But you know how the agency is: The knee comes immediately and with a lot of pomp and circumstance. The retraction/alteration/amendment moves a bit slower and quieter :)
 

Stinger

Well-Known Member
A lot of air traffic facilities are using a 10nm final for opposite direction IFR. The departure has to be established on a heading away from conflict by the time the arrival is at 10 miles. Also, controllers aren't allowed to use visual separation for opposite direction, and that includes pilot provided visual.

For VFR practice approaches, most places are required to provide IFR separation on a practice approach. We can't just say "practice approach approved" and keep you VFR.

Here's the notice. http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Notice/N7110.596.pdf

Also, there is supposed to be changes for the 7110.65 within 30-45 days that will include these new rules, so I can't really see these going away.
 

JustinS

Well-Known Member
The restriction was placed on Part 139 airports when it involves an IFR aircraft. Assuming you use a Part 139 airport (that distinction in itself has caused a bit of confusion), would it be possible to do practice approaches VFR in the meantime?
Our airport is a Part 139 airport. I'll find out soon what happens around here...
 

TFaudree_ERAU

Mashin' dem buttons
Opposite direction operations are only considered dangerous and therefore prohibited until it shuts down an airport like Aspen. Then it's perfectly safe, and they get a waiver. Typical FAA knee jerk
 

Hooha

Well-Known Member
When they say "opposite direction approaches" do they mean shooting an approach when the winds are at your back? I haven't had any students in about a year but we used to do this ALL THE TIME with the approval of approach. Approach would contact the tower and request the procedure. The tower would approve if there wasn't a conflict. We would shoot the approach and go missed either at the MAP or at a designated point designated by approach. If approach was closed for the night then we would announce on CTAF.

If they killed all the "opposite direction approaches" then what about the circle to land procedures?? Am I missing something?
 

Stinger

Well-Known Member
When they say "opposite direction approaches" do they mean shooting an approach when the winds are at your back? I haven't had any students in about a year but we used to do this ALL THE TIME with the approval of approach. Approach would contact the tower and request the procedure. The tower would approve if there wasn't a conflict. We would shoot the approach and go missed either at the MAP or at a designated point designated by approach. If approach was closed for the night then we would announce on CTAF.

If they killed all the "opposite direction approaches" then what about the circle to land procedures?? Am I missing something?
It depends on the active runway. If the active has a tailwind for some reason, opposite direction would actually be landing into the wind. This includes visual approaches and straight in VFR arrivals. If there's no conflicting traffic for you it can still be made to happen, it just got way more restricted.

Circle to land is also affected since the approach is made to the opposite direction runway.
 

Hooha

Well-Known Member
A lot of air traffic facilities are using a 10nm final for opposite direction IFR. The departure has to be established on a heading away from conflict by the time the arrival is at 10 miles. Also, controllers aren't allowed to use visual separation for opposite direction, and that includes pilot provided visual.

For VFR practice approaches, most places are required to provide IFR separation on a practice approach. We can't just say "practice approach approved" and keep you VFR.

Here's the notice. http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Notice/N7110.596.pdf

Also, there is supposed to be changes for the 7110.65 within 30-45 days that will include these new rules, so I can't really see these going away.
Unless I mis-read the notice it sounds like the controlling tower must approve with the tracon before they release an "opposite direction" aircraft. I don't know how many times I have had to hold for IFR release. I assumed this meant that the tower was talking to approach to coordinate my departure???? How can a controller at an airport clear an aircraft for an IFR departure and not have cleared it with the TRACON? I guess my question is "How can an IFR aircraft leave in ANY direction with a clearance and be in conflict with other IFR aircraft"?
 

TripSix

Well-Known Member
A lot of air traffic facilities are using a 10nm final for opposite direction IFR. The departure has to be established on a heading away from conflict by the time the arrival is at 10 miles. Also, controllers aren't allowed to use visual separation for opposite direction, and that includes pilot provided visual.

For VFR practice approaches, most places are required to provide IFR separation on a practice approach. We can't just say "practice approach approved" and keep you VFR.

Here's the notice. http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Notice/N7110.596.pdf

Also, there is supposed to be changes for the 7110.65 within 30-45 days that will include these new rules, so I can't really see these going away.
For practice approaches, you are affording IFR separation at the point the approach clearance is issued in regards to VFR aircraft. Issuing them that approach clearance does not make them IFR, it just protects them with IFR separation. Kind of, because you can blow above/below them by 500 feet - and IFR separation that is not.

Regardless, these guidelines are for those facilities who do not have AJI sanctioned written procedures on the matter.

The link you posted is of the notice. As of this time, more information has been put out, but not in notice format.

The 10 mile thing is in the updated memo - and specifically states that requirement is for an excepted aircraft (emergency, flight check, lifeguard) only.

The visual is not (nationally) so I have absolutely no clue where that came from.

But alas, the biggest nugget is stand alone: If an aircraft requests an opposite direction operation, and there is no other traffic, the request can be honored.

Perfectly vague and spot on for the agency. I'll be curious as to how they drop that little gem in the .65.

So while everyone flails and tries to determine what "has no traffic" means and what to do with VOR (lettered) approaches - we'll be clearing VFR aircraft for approaches all day just like we always have - and to the rest say, "that's not traffic," just like we always have.

Then we'll sit and wait for a review of flow change windows. Oh...wait ;)
 

Stinger

Well-Known Member
For practice approaches, you are affording IFR separation at the point the approach clearance is issued in regards to VFR aircraft. Issuing them that approach clearance does not make them IFR, it just protects them with IFR separation. Kind of, because you can blow above/below them by 500 feet - and IFR separation that is not.
Correct, we're being required to use the 10 mile rule and turned to avoid with 3 mile separation guaranteed.

Regardless, these guidelines are for those facilities who do not have AJI sanctioned written procedures on the matter.

The link you posted is of the notice. As of this time, more information has been put out, but not in notice format.
It's basically the same, just added in Lifeguard aircraft and the "no other traffic" line.

The 10 mile thing is in the updated memo - and specifically states that requirement is for an excepted aircraft (emergency, flight check, lifeguard) only.
Yep.

The visual is not (nationally) so I have absolutely no clue where that came from.
No idea, it's ludicrous we aren't being allowed to use visual separation, even pilot applied.

But alas, the biggest nugget is stand alone: If an aircraft requests an opposite direction operation, and there is no other traffic, the request can be honored.
Yep.

Perfectly vague and spot on for the agency. I'll be curious as to how they drop that little gem in the .65.
I don't want to see it happen, but looks like we're headed that way.

So while everyone flails and tries to determine what "has no traffic" means and what to do with VOR (lettered) approaches - we'll be clearing VFR aircraft for approaches all day just like we always have - and to the rest say, "that's not traffic," just like we always have.
VOR-A approaches are okay with us, and crossing runways. Wish we could do the opposite directions without all the restrictions still.

Then we'll sit and wait for a review of flow change windows. Oh...wait ;)
 

TripSix

Well-Known Member
Just out of curiosity, is it at the local level that you are being required to execute a procedure that clearly states it applies to IFR aircraft to VFR aircraft (as in, a VFR aircraft conducting a practice approach)? Is that something being done to get the nod from AJI?

I just read the link, and that is where it states the visual blurb. My bad on that, my first read of it was via E-mail and it truncated.

But my point was just underscored to the OP. There is a quite a bit of interpretation floating around, and facilities may not all be on the same sheet of music for the time being. This too shall pass, in some form or another. Hopefully. Maybe. If not, that's what a waiver is for ;)
 

TripSix

Well-Known Member
Unless I mis-read the notice it sounds like the controlling tower must approve with the tracon before they release an "opposite direction" aircraft. I don't know how many times I have had to hold for IFR release. I assumed this meant that the tower was talking to approach to coordinate my departure???? How can a controller at an airport clear an aircraft for an IFR departure and not have cleared it with the TRACON? I guess my question is "How can an IFR aircraft leave in ANY direction with a clearance and be in conflict with other IFR aircraft"?
Where I work, the towers already had to coordinate an opposite direction departure - and in turn, we had to coordinate an opposite direction arrival.

As far as holding for your IFR release: If you are departing IFR from a towered airport, somehow your departure is being requested and granted - be it automatically, via automation, or via a landline. Who provides what separation and what request/release method is used is all spelled out in LOA's between the towers and the facility providing radar service.
 

Stinger

Well-Known Member
Yeah, pretty sure it's just a local level thing. Once we issue the approach clearance (or the point where it becomes active), that VFR practice approach is treated like an IFR except for the 500 foot vertical separation. So in our case, all of a sudden he's opposite direction and treated IFR. We can't just launch someone towards the inbound and apply visual anymore.

It'll probably be the facilities that don't do opposite direction very often that get waivers just because they're the major airports and want options, while the rest of us become hindered.

It's all definitely very confusing. And I don't know what AJI is.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah, pretty sure it's just a local level thing. Once we issue the approach clearance (or the point where it becomes active), that VFR practice approach is treated like an IFR except for the 500 foot vertical separation. So in our case, all of a sudden he's opposite direction and treated IFR. We can't just launch someone towards the inbound and apply visual anymore.
When did that happen? I remember a good number of Class D / ATA fields that would clear one for a practice approach with the stipulation of "maintain VFR, IFR separation not provided".
 

Stinger

Well-Known Member
When did that happen? I remember a good number of Class D / ATA fields that would clear one for a practice approach with the stipulation of "maintain VFR, IFR separation not provided".
Not sure when we started doing that, but it's in a letter somewhere that my facility (Class C) has to give practice approaches the same service as IFR. I've seen it done where we just tell the pilot to fly the profiles of the approach so we don't have to vector them all over the sky for spacing, but only as a last resort type thing.
 
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