La Palma, Canary Islands SPC/GCLA

La Palma, Canary Islands

NDB 01/Circling 19
Offset approaches, runway slope, terrain, turbulence & windshear

La Palma airfield is on the E coast of the island. The highest point on the island is nearly 8,000ft amsl and there is significant terrain both to the W of the airfield and across the bay to the N.


Turbulence/windshear may occur approaching either runway, especially with Westerly winds. It is recommended that the actual FMC/FMGC wind during the approach is monitored and compared with the reported surface wind. Windshear conditions have been reported when there is a large discrepancy between these winds.

Both NDB and DME are required for an instrument approach.


When reaching minimums, visual contact with the RWY may be difficult, due to the dark tarmac surface. Two large, white wind turbines are more easily visible, situated on promontory immediately E of the airport terminal building; look to the left of the left-hand turbine for the flashing RWY End Indicator Lights which are visible well before the  RWY. Final approach track offset 14 degrees from runway center line.


Whenever tailwaind component does not exceed 10kts and/or crosswind 25kts use RWY 01.

WIND PHENOMENA (Jeppesen page 10-9a)

“Hillside wind generates strong turbulence in an area of up to 10 NM, within altitudes of 1000′ to 1500′. It is produced for rwy 01 by wind direction btn 210 degrees and 310 degrees, with an intensity of 15 kts or more and QNH less than 1008 hPa. Additionally hillside wind can be found with QNH of 1000-1003 hPa with intensities less than 15 kts. A strong windshear effect can be produced in short final position (of up to 50′) with variations of direction and intensity of 10 kts and 10 degrees btn the airport’s anemometers. Under such circumstances, when wind direction is close to 330 degrees, the effects of windshear and turbulence can appear to be combined. When the hillside wind has a direction of 210 degrees-310 segrees and an intensity higher than 15 kts, an approach is not recommended.

It is recommended that aircrews have a basic level of recent experience in the airport.”


This video is of the NDB 01 approach and shows clearly the layout of terrain to the west of the approach and the difficulties in becoming visual with the runway until close to the coast line.


NDB RWY 01 with text commentary

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