March 2015 Issue

Protected Airspace For Circling Approaches

As noted in this article’s main text, the FAA recently revised its criteria describing how much airspace is required to perform the circling maneuver. The new criteria consider the altitude at which the aircraft is circling. The higher the altitude, the greater the true airspeed when circling at the same indicated airspeed, and thus the greater the turn radius, which makes expanding the protected airspace desirable. The downside? Many minimum descent altitudes for circling approaches will be going up. The two tables below compare the previous criteria to the new.

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