Advantages of assigning altitudes for each leg

February, 16, 2020 by

When controlling approach, we set up with specific strategies in mind, such as this strategy from yesterday.

One extra thing that some controllers do is that we assign an altitude for each leg. So say you have a simple four legs setup, visual example.

Airport elevation is 0ft AAL and the altitude I need to clear at is 3000ft MSL. If it were me, I’d have leg one at 6000ft, leg two at 5000ft, leg three at 4000ft, and leg four at 3000ft.

Reason behind the 1000ft incremental.

  1. It ensures 1000ft of vertical separation between each leg, so if I wanted to or had to move an aircraft to another leg, I could easily do so without having to worry about horizontal separation.
  2. It gives you a visual queue as to what leg the aircraft is on, so if they stray off the line or you lose connection, you know what the sequence is.

The main goal is to send the least amount of commands to the pilot, but this added strategy is scaleable, meaning it can be used when the traffic is very high. It definitely can reduce the mental workload.

I’ve also have pilots remark that they love this approach because even they can understand where they are in the sequence with minimal effort.

Kyle Boas is the Founder of the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and Infinite Flight Appeals team member. โ€” More