How ATC Handles VTF

September, 13, 2020 by

VTF (vectors-to-final) approaches are defined as the final approach segment extended over the FAF (final approach fix). They have a longer glidepath which allows air traffic controllers to increase traffic flow.

Rather than having a pilot follow their flight plan, radar controllers will issue vectors and an intercept, unless a visual approach is requested.

Prior to a session, the controller can look at all approaches and note the fixes that VTF approaches begin at. Then, they can cross check flight plans against their notes to determine if it is VTF or not.

This isn’t completely foolproof in Infinite Flight since some IAFs (initial approach fixes) are the same as the initial fix of the VTF approach. In real life, controllers can automatically know if an aircraft is VTF or not.

Note that this is not an official procedure. It is not included in the ATC Manual and is not enforced by IFATC.

References: ESSP

Editors note: Sorry to those who are receiving these by email, something happened with our email campaign and it didn’t send. Fun. Fixed!

Luca Caviness is an editor for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Supervisor. He is also a real-world student pilot.