Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), page 223

Index   222 -- Page 223 -- 224


approach control facilities. Pilot requests to practice
instrument approaches may be approved by ATC
subject to traffic and workload conditions. Pilots
should anticipate that in some instances the controller

may find it necessary to deny approval or withdraw
previous approval when traffic conditions warrant. It
must be clearly understood, however, that even
though the controller may be providing separation,
pilots on VFR flight plans are required to comply with
basic VFR weather minimums (14 CFR Sec-
tion 91.155). Application of ATC procedures or any
action taken by the controller to avoid traffic
conflictions does not relieve IFR and VFR pilots of
their responsibility to see-and-avoid other traffic
while operating in VFR conditions (14 CFR
Section 91.113). In addition to the normal IFR
separation minimums (which includes visual separa-
tion) during VFR conditions, 500 feet vertical
separation may be applied between VFR aircraft and
between a VFR aircraft and the IFR aircraft. Pilots not
on IFR flight plans desiring practice instrument
approaches should always state ‘practice' when
making requests to ATC. Controllers will instruct
VFR aircraft requesting an instrument approach to
maintain VFR. This is to preclude misunderstandings
between the pilot and controller as to the status of the
aircraft. If pilots wish to proceed in accordance with
instrument flight rules, they must specifically request
and obtain, an IFR clearance.

b. Before practicing an instrument approach,
pilots should inform the approach control facility or
the tower of the type of practice approach they desire
to make and how they intend to terminate it,
i.e., full-stop landing, touch-and-go, or missed or
low approach maneuver. This information may be
furnished progressively when conducting a series of
approaches. Pilots on an IFR flight plan, who have
made a series of instrument approaches to full stop
landings should inform ATC when they make their
final landing. The controller will control flights
practicing instrument approaches so as to ensure that
they do not disrupt the flow of arriving and departing
itinerant IFR or VFR aircraft. The priority afforded
itinerant aircraft over practice instrument approaches
is not intended to be so rigidly applied that it causes
grossly inefficient application of services. A
minimum delay to itinerant traffic may be appropriate
to allow an aircraft practicing an approach to
complete that approach.

A clearance to land means that appropriate separation on
the landing runway will be ensured. A landing clearance
does not relieve the pilot from compliance with any
previously issued restriction.

c. At airports without a tower, pilots wishing to
make practice instrument approaches should notify
the facility having control jurisdiction of the desired
approach as indicated on the approach chart. All
approach control facilities and ARTCCs are required
to publish a Letter to Airmen depicting those airports
where they provide standard separation to both VFR
and IFR aircraft conducting practice instrument
d. The controller will provide approved separation
between both VFR and IFR aircraft when authoriza-
tion is granted to make practice approaches to airports
where an approach control facility is located and to
certain other airports served by approach control or
an ARTCC. Controller responsibility for separation
of VFR aircraft begins at the point where the
approach clearance becomes effective, or when the
aircraft enters Class B or Class C airspace, or a TRSA,
whichever comes first.

e. VFR aircraft practicing instrument approaches
are not automatically authorized to execute the
missed approach procedure. This authorization must
be specifically requested by the pilot and approved by
the controller. Separation will not be provided unless
the missed approach has been approved by ATC.

f. Except in an emergency, aircraft cleared to
practice instrument approaches must not deviate from
the approved procedure until cleared to do so by the
g. At radar approach control locations when a full
approach procedure (procedure turn, etc.,) cannot be
approved, pilots should expect to be vectored to a
final approach course for a practice instrument
approach which is compatible with the general
direction of traffic at that airport.

h. When granting approval for a practice
instrument approach, the controller will usually ask
the pilot to report to the tower prior to or over the final
approach fix inbound (nonprecision approaches) or
over the outer marker or fix used in lieu of the outer
marker inbound (precision approaches).
i. When authorization is granted to conduct
practice instrument approaches to an airport with a

Airport Operations 4-3-23

Page 223 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM.pdf)
AIM: Official Guide to Basic Flight Information and ATC Procedures

Index   222 -- Page 223 -- 224