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Arrival Procedures


ATC procedures permit ILS/RNAV/GLS

instrument approach operations to dual or triple
parallel runway configurations. ILS/RNAV/GLS
approaches to parallel runways are grouped into three
classes: Simultaneous Dependent Approaches; Sim-
ultaneous Independent Approaches; and
Simultaneous Close Parallel PRM Approaches.
RNAV approach procedures that are approved for
simultaneous operations require GPS as the sensor
for position updating. VOR/DME, DME/DME and
IRU RNAV updating is not authorized.



classification of a parallel runway approach
procedure is dependent on adjacent parallel runway
centerline separation, ATC procedures, and airport
ATC final approach radar monitoring and commu-
nications capabilities. At some airports, one or more
approach courses may be offset up to 3 degrees. ILS
approaches with offset localizer configurations result
in loss of Category II/III capabilities and an increase
in decision altitude/height (50’).


Depending on weather conditions, traffic

volume, and the specific combination of runways
being utilized for arrival operations, a runway may be
used for different types of simultaneous operations,
including closely spaced dependent or independent
approaches. Pilots should ensure that they understand
the type of operation that is being conducted, and ask
ATC for clarification if necessary.


Parallel approach operations demand height-

ened pilot situational awareness. A thorough
Approach Procedure Chart review should be
conducted with, as a minimum, emphasis on the
following approach chart information: name and
number of the approach, localizer frequency, inbound
localizer/azimuth course, glideslope/glidepath inter-
cept altitude, glideslope crossing altitude at the final
approach fix, decision height, missed approach
instructions, special notes/procedures, and the
assigned runway location/proximity to adjacent
runways. Pilots are informed by ATC or through the
ATIS that simultaneous approaches are in use.


The close proximity of adjacent aircraft

conducting simultaneous independent approaches,
especially simultaneous close parallel PRM ap-

proaches mandates strict pilot compliance with all
ATC clearances. ATC assigned airspeeds, altitudes,
and headings must be complied with in a timely
manner. Autopilot coupled approaches require pilot
knowledge of procedures necessary to comply with
ATC instructions. Simultaneous independent ap-
proaches, particularly simultaneous close parallel
PRM approaches necessitate precise approach course
tracking to minimize final monitor controller
intervention, and unwanted No Transgression Zone
(NTZ) penetration. In the unlikely event of a
breakout, ATC will not assign altitudes lower than the
minimum vectoring altitude. Pilots should notify
ATC immediately if there is a degradation of aircraft
or navigation systems.


Strict radio discipline is mandatory during

simultaneous independent and simultaneous close
parallel PRM approach operations. This includes an
alert listening watch and the avoidance of lengthy,
unnecessary radio transmissions. Attention must be
given to proper call sign usage to prevent the
inadvertent execution of clearances intended for
another aircraft. Use of abbreviated call signs must be
avoided to preclude confusion of aircraft with similar
sounding call signs. Pilots must be alert to unusually
long periods of silence or any unusual background
sounds in their radio receiver.


A stuck microphone

may block the issuance of ATC instructions on the
tower frequency by the final monitor controller
during simultaneous independent and simultaneous
close parallel PRM approaches. In the case of PRM
approaches, the use of a second frequency by the
monitor controller mitigates the “stuck mike” or other
blockage on the tower frequency.


AIM, Chapter 4, Section 2, Radio Communications Phraseology and
Techniques, gives additional communications information.


Use of Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems

(TCAS) provides an additional element of safety to
parallel approach operations. Pilots should follow
recommended TCAS operating procedures presented
in approved flight manuals, original equipment
manufacturer recommendations, professional news-
letters, and FAA publications.