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Aviation Glossary :: Instrument Approach Procedure  Aviation Glossary :: Instrument Approach Procedure FAA Written Test Preparation
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At Dauntless, our editorial staff maintains the web's largest unified glossary of aviation terms. This glossary is built from a combination of official, quasi-official, and proprietary sources (including original material that we develop oursselves). Uniquely, we often provide multiple definitions of a given term so that you can find that which best applies to you. In order to maximize your learning efficiency, this glossary (and similar ones for our international users) is incresingly fully integrated into our aviation learning apps, including our FAA written test prep and FAA practical test prep software and apps. If you like this glossary, you'll love them with their polished learning environments and world's best and clearest content (please do give them a try.).

Instrument Approach Procedure
Instrument Approach Procedure
Instrument approach procedure (IAP) is a series of predetermined maneuvers by reference to flight instruments with specified protection from obstacles and assurance of navigation signal reception capability. It begins from the initial approach fix, or where applicable, from the beginning of a defined arrival route to a point:
  1. From which a landing can be completed; or
  2. If a landing is not completed, to a position at which holding or en route obstacle clearance criteria apply.
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source: FAA Federal Aviation Regulations (CFR 14 Part 1)

Used in an ATC clearance to authorize a pilot to conduct flight at any altitude from the minimum IFR altitude up to and including the altitude specified in the clearance. The pilot may level off at any intermediate altitude within this block of airspace. Climb/descent within the block is to be made at the discretion of the pilot. However, once the pilot starts descent and verbally reports leaving an altitude in the block, he/she may not return to that altitude without additional ATC clearance. Further, it is approval for the pilot to proceed to and make an approach at destination airport and can be used in conjunction with:
  1. An airport clearance limit at locations with a standard/special instrument approach procedure. The CFRs require that if an instrument letdown to an airport is necessary, the pilot shall make the letdown in accordance with a standard/special instrument approach procedure for that airport, or
  2. An airport clearance limit at locations that are within/below/outside controlled airspace and without a standard/special instrument approach procedure. Such a clearance is NOT AUTHORIZATION for the pilot to descend under IFR conditions below the applicable minimum IFR altitude nor does it imply that ATC is exercising control over aircraft in Class G airspace; however, it provides a means for the aircraft to proceed to destination airport, descend, and land in accordance with applicable CFRs governing VFR flight operations. Also, this provides search and rescue protection until such time as the IFR flight plan is closed.
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source: FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary

A route depicted on instrument approach procedure charts to designate routes for aircraft to proceed from the en route structure to the initial approach fix (IAF).
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source: FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary

A series of predetermined maneuvers for the orderly transfer of an aircraft under instrument flight conditions from the beginning of the initial approach to a landing or to a point from which a landing may be made visually. It is prescribed and approved for a specific airport by competent authority. (See SEGMENTS OF AN INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURE.)
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source: FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary

A series of predetermined maneuvers for the orderly transfer of an aircraft under instrument flight conditions from the beginning of the initial approach to a landing or to a point from which a landing may be made visually. It is prescribed and approved for a specific airport by competent authority. (See SEGMENTS OF AN INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURE.) (Refer to 14 CFR Part 91.) (Refer to AIM.)

  1. U.S. civil standard instrument approach procedures are approved by the FAA as prescribed under 14 CFR Part 97 and are available for public use.
  2. U.S. military standard instrument approach procedures are approved and published by the Department of Defense.
  3. Special instrument approach procedures are approved by the FAA for individual operators but are not published in 14 CFR Part 97 for public use.

A series of predetermined maneuvers by reference to flight instruments with specified protection from obstacles from the initial approach fix, or where applicable, from the beginning of a defined arrival route to a point from which a landing can be completed and thereafter, if a landing is not completed, to a position at which holding or en route obstacle clearance criteria apply.

Report an issue with this definition

source: FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary

A series of predetermined maneuvers for the orderly transfer of an aircraft under instrument flight conditions from the beginning of the initial approach to a landing or to a point from which a landing may be made visually. It is prescribed and approved for a specific airport by competent authority. (See SEGMENTS OF AN INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURE.) (Refer to 14 CFR Part 91.) (Refer to AIM.)
  1. U.S. civil standard instrument approach procedures are approved by the FAA as prescribed under 14 CFR Part 97 and are available for public use.
  2. U.S. military standard instrument approach procedures are approved and published by the Department of Defense.
  3. Special instrument approach procedures are approved by the FAA for individual operators but are not published in 14 CFR Part 97 for public use. (See INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURE.)
Report an issue with this definition

source: FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary

A series of predetermined maneuvers by reference to flight instruments with specified protection from obstacles from the initial approach fix, or where applicable, from the beginning of a defined arrival route to a point from which a landing can be completed and thereafter, if a landing is not completed, to a position at which holding or en route obstacle clearance criteria apply. (See INSTRUMENT APPROACH OPERATIONS.)
Report an issue with this definition

source: FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary

Instrument Approach Procedures (IAP): A series of predetermined maneuvers for the orderly transfer of an aircraft under IFR from the beginning of the initial approach to a landing or to a point from which a landing may be made visually.
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source: FAA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25A)

IAP: the procedure for a given ILS approach
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source: ICAO English Pro Aviation Glossary


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Disclaimer: While this glossary in most cases is likely to be highly accurate and useful, sometimes, for any number of editorial, transcription, technical, and other reasons, it might not be. Additionally, as somtimes you may have found yourself brought to this page through an automated term matching system, you may find definitions here that do not match the cotext or application in which you saw the original term. Please use your good judgement when using this resource.


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