Archive for category North America

Bermuda BDA/TXKF

Bermuda
BDA/TXKF

OVERVIEW 

The airport is located at the NE end of the island. A ridge runs NE/SW 100m short of the threshold to RWY 12 with obstructions up to 145ft amsl. To the N of the approach lights to RWY 30 there is another ridge with a lighthouse standing 223ft amsl.

DESCENT

Minimum altitude for jet aircraft flying over the Bermuda Islands Restricted Area (R3017) is 5,000 feet amsl.

APPROACH

Caution: Expect turbulence on approach. Strong winds from various directions are not uncommon; winds in excess of 45 knots are most common from 080 to 130. Winds from the N can produce marked windshear and downdraughts on approach to RWY 30.

ILS DME IDBA reads D0.2 at the threshold on approach to RWY 30.

RUNWAY AND AIRPORT FACILITIES

Pilot control of airport lighting is available outside of ATC hours. On frequency 122.8 MHz, keying the PTT switch 3, 5 or 7 times within 5 seconds will activate the airport lighting as follows:

7 times within 5 seconds – Highest intensity
5 times within 5 seconds – Medium intensity
3 times within 5 seconds – Lowest intensity

The lights will remain illuminated for 15 minutes after the last keying operation. It is recommended that initially the PTT switch is keyed 7 times, to turn on all available lights at maximum intensity. As the airport is approached, the intensity of some of the lights may be reduced if desired by keying 5 or 3 times as appropriate. Some of the lights will illuminate only at a fixed intensity. A further keying operation should be made prior to final approach to ensure the lights remain illuminated during the approach and landing.

RWY 12 PAPIs steeper than normal.

TAKEOFF AND DEPARTURE

Departure clearance procedures can be found on Jeppesen chart 10-9.

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Aruba, Aruba AUA/TNCA

Aruba, Aruba
AUA/TNCA

DESCENT

Initial routing is normally towards the BEA VOR followed by radar vectors or visual for left base RWY 11. During busy periods traffic maybe routed towards the overhead for right hand downwind.

APPROACH

Note on RWY 11 approach chart reads “WARNING: Procedure not authorised when tall vessels are transiting approach area.”

RUNWAY AND AIRPORT FACILITIES

RWY 11 has a noticeable upslope giving the illusion of being high on approach.

TAKEOFF AND DEPARTURE

Note the noise abatment procedures hidden on Jeppesen chart 10-9A, and use of the Apron Management Unit frequency (Jeppesen 10-9B refers).

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Caution: Birds in the vicinity of the airport.

 

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St John’s, Antigua ANU/TAPA

St John’s, Antigua
ANU/TAPA

 OVERVIEW

The airport is situated on the NE side of the island. Terrain peaks at 1,450ft amsl 6.5nm to the SW. Terrain in the immediate airport vicinity is a significant feature. 600m to the S of RWY 07 threshold terrain rises to 460ft amsl and 1,000m to the N to 375ft amsl.

To the NW of the airport hills and obstructions rise to 600ft amsl which, when approaching from the NW obscure RWY 07/25 until abeam St. John’s town (3nm W of the airport).

2nm finals to RWY 07 lies a ridge that runs 200-300ft amsl but less than 1nm to the R of the approach path this rises to 386ft.

The island of Monserrat lies 32nm to the SW with terrain rising to 3,000ft amsl. The Soufriere Hills Volcano has errupted several times in recent years with little or no warning. Check the Met Office Volcanic Ash Advisories (VAA) for information on erruptions and ash cloud scatter.

APPROACH

If positioning left base, avoid overflying the hills W of St. John’s Harbour due to possible GPWS alerts.

VOR DME approaches to both RWYs are offset significantly and are steeper than normal. PAPIs do not match approach path angle.

Note: Whilst RWY 25 has a lower approach minima there are no approach lights to this RWY.

Caution:

Expect turbulence and windshear on approach to RWY 07 with winds from the S or SE.

RUNWAY AND AIRPORT FACILITIES

The first 450m of RWY 07 has a 0.53% up-slope giving a maked hump at the RWY 07 touch down point; the remainder of the RWY has a down-slope which increases to 1% for the last 300m.

All heavy aircraft turning on the intersection of RWY 07/25 and the disused RWY 10/28, should turn counter-clockwise using RWY 07 and clockwise using RWY 25, to avoid jet blast affecting aircraft parked W of the intersection.

TAKEOFF AND DEPARTURE

Noise abatement procedures for RWY 07 can be found on Jeppesen chart 13-1.

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Anchorage, Alaska ANC/PANC

Anchorage, Alaska
ANC/PANC

OVERVIEW

Anchorage International Airport (Ted Stevens) is on the Knik Arm of the Cook Inlet at the base of the Chugach Mountains. There is high ground surrounding the airport with the highest MSA being 9700ft to the E. The airfield is 4nm SW of Anchorage. The airfield is busy overnight with large freighter aircraft.

There are strict noise abatement procedures in force – see preferential RWY use programme (Jeppesen 10-4B).

Time Zone: Alaskan Standard Time (AKST = GMT – 9) DST commences 13 Mar 2011.

DESCENT

Expect arrival as per the charts with radar vectors to ILS RWY 14/32. Expect a descent restriction to FL250 until ANC 90 DME when the Sustina Military Operations Area (MOA) is active (N of PANC).

APPROACH

Expect Radar vectors to final Approach from about 4000ft. There are no precision approaches to RWY 25 or RWY 32. No descent below 1600’ MSL until manoeuvring for a safe landing (Jepp 10-4A).

RUNWAY AND AIRPORT FACILITIES

The RWYs are 07L/R, 25L/R, 14, 32; all in excess of 10,000’. LVPs: RWY 7L (Cat II) & RWY 7R (Cat III).
RFFS is CAT 9.

TAKE-OFF AND DEPARTURE

There are Minimum Climb gradients on RWY 7L/7R. Expect vectors to an assigned route or depicted fix. Expect further clearance to filed altitude/level within 10 minutes after departure.

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San Jose, Costa Rica SJO/MROC

San Jose, Costa Rica
SJO/MROC

ILS 07

OVERVIEW

Airfield elevation is 3021 ft amsl with significant terrain in the area.

DESCENT

High ground in all quadrants particularly from NE to SE. Mount Barva is a volcano situated only 10 nm NE of the airfield and is over 9,000 feet amsl. There is additional higher ground about 30 nm E of the airfield.

APPROACH

Instrument arrivals to RWY 07 only, with visual manoeuvring available to 25.

RUNWAY AND AIRPORT FACILITIES

PAPIs available for RWY 07 only.

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Kangerlussuaq, Greenland SFJ/BGSF

Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
SFJ/BGSF

LOC DME 09

OVERVIEW

The airport at Kangerlussuaq is located near the west coast of Greenland, at the head of Sondrestrom Fjord, about 90 miles east of the coast line. The fjord is orientated generally southwest-northeast, is approximately 1 nm wide and rises to approximately 2,000 feet amsl at either side.. The main portion of the Greenland Ice Cap begins about 30 miles to the east of the field, rising to an elevation of about 6,000 feet one hundred miles to the east.

WEATHER

Prevailing wind is easterly at 5-10 kt. Winds from the northeast are off the Ice Cap, thus are cool and dry, and are nearly always accompanied by excellent visibility. Winds up the fjord from the southwest are more moist but it is rare that the airfield is closed due to low cloud or poor visibility. Winds are generally light, averaging from 6 to 10 kts and not usually exceeding 20 kts. Winds of 35 to 60 kts occur only rarely. A light surface wind may be accompanied by strong winds and considerable turbulence a few hundred feet above the ground.

Low visibility is mostly associated with precipitation of some type; the snow season is September to April.

Dense fog is seldom experienced, and then usually in connection with precipitation. Pure radiation fog is very unusual. Advection fog occurs frequently in the fjord itself, but will seldom reach the airport because of its inland location. It is very unusual for the ceiling to be less than 5,000 feet or the visibility less than seven miles unless it is raining or snowing. Kangerlussuaq has a very low frequency of conditions of ceiling below 300 feet and/or visibility below one mile.

DESCENT

Caution: DME-DME updating is limited in this region, expect FMS Map shift.

APPROACH

Rwy 09 – The missed approach climb gradient required for the MKR LOC DME approach to Rwy 10 is 5%.
Reported surface wind may not reflect a tailwind on final approach.

Rwy 27 – No instrument approaches due to terrain.
Expect downdraughts during the visual circuit.

RUNWAY AND AIRPORT FACILITIES

Rwy 10 has a marked upslope on the first 3000 ft, however ‘Distance to Go’ numerals in thousand of feet are provided.
Caution: Wild Caribou in the vicinity of the airfield.
RFF is adequate for all types when used as an ETOPS alternate.
Communications between the Flight Deck and Ground agents may be via VHF, instead of using the flight interphone.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

The listed operating hours are Summer 0900-2100, Winter 1000-2200 UTC, however the airfield is is available within 60 minutes (usually less) in an emergency and therefore qualifies as an ETOPS Adequate airport H24. Contact Sondrestrom Information to activate the airfield out of hours.

Magnetic variation is approximately 35 degrees west (2007). Surface winds passed by ATC or on ATIS are in degrees magnetic, all other winds are in degrees true.

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St. Thomas I., Virgin Islands STT/TIST

St. Thomas I., Virgin Islands
STT/TIST

ILS 10/Cirling 28

OVERVIEW

The island of St. Thomas rises steeply from the sea with hilly terrain located to the North and East of the Airfield. The highest point of the island is 1795ft 1.2 nmls North of the runway.
Flocks of large birds are common in the vicinity of the airport.
ILS coding weak and only receivable when close to the localiser.
Exercise caution – extensive VFR traffic.

DESCENT

Radar descent and vectoring to an ILS by SAN JUAN control.

APPROACH

The approach is over water with high ground to the left of the approach path. Northerly winds can create a potential for turbulence and low level wind shear. Pilots may encounter false illusory indications during night approaches when using outside visual cues for vertical  guidance. Use of ILS glide slope and frequent cross reference to aircraft altimeter recommended to maintain proper approach profile.

Rwy 10 – Right hand traffic pattern. MIRL pilot activated on 118.8. PAPI’s set at 3°. REILs.

RUNWAY AND AIRPORT FACILITIES

Runways and taxiways are of asphalt construction. Use gate numbers painted on the ramp, NOT those on the building. Caution with vehicles and equipment parked on edge by ramp.
Ramp co-ordinates – N1820.1 W06458.3

TAKE-OFF & DEPARTURE

Rwy 28 Preferential runway. All turns for take-off should be to the LEFT to avoid damage to buildings across the road from the eastern end of the runway.

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Kelowna, BC Canada YLW/CYLW

Kelowna, BC Canada
YLW/CYLW

OVERVIEW

Kelowna Airport is located in the Okanogan Valley in south central British Columbia. The airfield elevation is 1,409ft ASL and there is significant mountainous terrain in all quadrants with the highest being 8,700ft to the S and SE of the field. The runway is 16/34 which is aligned with the north-south orientation of the valley in that area. The airport is located on the north end of the city of Kelowna and just east of Okanogan Lake

DESCENT

The Kelowna instrument approach procedures have a transition from the Princeton VOR (YDC) or the Kamloops NDB to a DME arc via TOSUS. Vancouver centre will normally clear the flight to proceed direct to TOSUS at 9,000ft and then to Kelowna airport “for an approach”. Ensure that all MSAs and step-down fixes are respected during the descent to landing.

APPROACH

ILS DME 1 RWY 16 has a steeper than normal glideslope angle of 3.20.

RUNWAY AND AIRPORT FACILITIES

Runway is approximately 60m wide with a slight down slope from north to south.

Note should be taken of the taxiway restrictions on Jeppesen chart 11-1.

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Puerto Vallarta, Mexico PVR/MMPR

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
PVR/MMPR

VOR 04/VOR 22
Steep & offset approaches

OVERVIEW

Puerto Vallarta is located on the south shore of the River Ameca estuary on the Mexican Pacific coast. It is in a valley with mountainous terrain to the N, S and E of the field.

 DESCENT

Initial descent clearance is given by Mexico City Radar with a hand over at about 40nm. Radar vectoring is usually available from PVR approach and must be carefully monitored due to the terrain.
VOR/DME arrivals are via a fix and DME arc.

Note: Maximum 250 KIAS at or below 10,000 ft and maximum 200 KIAS when within 10 nm of the field and at or below 3,000 ft.

APPROACH

VOR/DME approaches to both ends of the runway are offset and steeper than normal (between 3.2° and 3.5°) but PAPIs at both ends are set at 3°.
Rwy 22 is preferential rwy due prevailing sea breezes. Expect 15 DME arc procedure via COMAL, followed by VOR DME 3 approach.
Circling is prohibited south-east of the runway.

TAKE-OFF AND DEPARTURE

Observe the minimum PVR VOR crossing altitudes that are quoted for most SIDs

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Puerto Plata, Dom Rep POP/MDPP

Puerto Plata, Dom Rep
POP/MDPP

VOR 26/Circling 08

OVERVIEW

Puerto Plata airport is on the coast. There is high ground inland reaching over 1,100 ft amsl by 5nm SE and over 4,000 ft amsl by 14nm SW. 7nm W the terrain reaches 2,621 ft amsl. There is a ridge reaching 336 ft amsl approximately 1.7nm SE of the RWY, extending E, and further high ground inland, 50nm SSW with the highest point reaching nearly 10,500 ft amsl.

APPROACH

Inbound from the NE expect clearance direct to PIVEL for a straight in VOR DME instrument approach for RWY 26 or circling manoeuvre to break right joining downwind left hand to RWY 08.
There are instrument approaches to RWY 26 only, due to terrain to the W. Circling is to the N over the sea, and note the phrase “Manoeuvring prohibited more than 4 nm West” equates to approximately 5 DME.
The VOR/DME is located at the centre of the airport and indicates approximately 1 mile at either touchdown point.

RUNWAY AND AIRPORT FACILITIES

The RWY can be slippery when wet, especially the turning circles.
The RWY surface is uneven.
The RWY lights are not particularly bright or conspicuous on approach to the RWY from the E or downwind.
Note that there are no approach lights to either RWY.

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Expect turbulence with strong SW to SE winds. Moist trade winds (prevailing Easterlies) encourage convective cloud and rain showers in the afternoon. Hurricanes are rare but possible between June and November.
Between midnight and day-break low stratus is common.

The weather conditions can change rapidly due to the nearby high ground and high humidity.

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