Approach Procedures

Radar Manoeuvring Area

The Radar Manoeuvring Area (RMA) is the airspace in which Edinburgh Radar can safely vector aircraft. The RMA is contained within the lateral limits of the Edinburgh CTR and CTA. The arrangement of the Edinburgh Radar Manoeuvring Area is the same regardless of the runway in use.

The RMA is defined as follows:

It is important that when vectoring aircraft inbound, you remain within the confined RMA airspace. If for whatever reason you need to vector an aircraft outside the RMA, you must coordinate with the appropriate area sector. At Edinburgh, there is also a chance that aircraft may leave controlled airspace if they leave the confines of the RMA. Departure routes pass through the RMA. It is Edinburgh Approach's responsibility to always separate arrivals from departures.

Traffic from the stacks usually follow this pattern:

IMPORTANT - The headings and tracks used here are only approximate. There are many factors which will affect the headings and tracks used such as wind and traffic situation . There is no requirement to follow these routes exactly as they are shown. Arrivals must always be separated from departures by INT.

During normal operations, INT will pass instructions to inbound traffic routeing through both stacks in order to perform integration of the two streams until handover to Final Director.

Traffic should normally be offered to FIN descending to altitude 4000ft (QNH) at 220kts. If any non standard altitudes or speeds are used, FIN should be informed when the aircraft is transferred. On transfer of control to FIN, controllers should use the phrase "Contact Edinburgh Director with callsign only, 128.975"

Continuous Descent Approach Procedure

The aim of a CDA is to provide pilots with ATC assistance necessary for them to achieve a continuous descent during intermediate and final approach at speeds which require minimum use of lift devices. This has significant benefits in terms of noise produced and reduces the amount of fuel that needs to be used.

The procedure requires specific speeds to be assigned to aircraft and accurate, adequate range from touchdown information.

The CDA procedure should be used for all inbound aircraft to Edinburgh.

Distance from touchdown information should be passed at the following times:

  • When first issuing descent clearance from a Flight Level to an altitude
  • Turning onto a base leg
  • If DME is unserviceable, ranges should be passed on the intercept heading to the ILS
  • If a previous estimate has become invalid, a new distance should be passed (e.g. change in landing order)

Speed Control

Speeds to be flown during approach are specified by the controller and will depend on the traffic situation at that time. On occasions, a pilot may request to maintain a higher than normal speed. If traffic situation allows this, the aircraft can be told that there is "no ATC speed restriction".

There are standard speeds which should be employed during approach:

  • During Intermediate approach, leaving the stack to the point at which a base leg is flown, 220kts should be used.
  • On a base leg and closing heading, 180kts should be used. (If spacing is becoming tight, aircraft can be slowed to 160kts when on a closing heading for the ILS)
  • On final, no later than 7nm from touchdown, 160kts until 4DME. Speed control cannot be applied beyond 4DME.

Missed Approach procedures

The missed approach procedures are as follows:

Missed Approach Procedure
Climb straight ahead to 3000 then as directed
24 Climb straight ahead to 3000 then as directed
12 Climbing turn left onto track 096. Continue climb to 3000 then continue as directed
Clmibing turn right and proceed to EDN at 3000
  • INT will be made aware of the missed approach by the tower.
  • The tower controller will hold further departures and issue any tactical headings to aircraft already departing to ensure they are separated from the missed approach aircraft.
  • INT should issue a heading and/or frequency for the aircraft to contact
  • INT should inform the relevant tower controller when outbound traffic can be resumed again

In the event of an associated radio failure with a missed approach, the aircraft should follow the procedures detailed in the UK AIP.

Terrain Clearance

Terrain clearance is the responsibility of the pilot whether or not specific heading instructions have been issued by ATC.

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