TP-308 Annex E “Terrain and Obstacle Data” course

Direct Approach is pleased to announce that Transport Canada has now approved our new TP-308 Annex E “Terrain and Obstacle Data” distance learning course. 

In accordance with Transport Canada’s requirements for training i.a.w. CARS 803.02, instrument approach designers must be trained to use the approved criteria. The new TP308 Annex E (formerly Annex J) TOD criteria is subject to training requirements.

If you require this training for your TP308 Change 5.3 or Change 6.0 qualifications, please contact us for details!

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Haradh, Saudi Arabia

Direct Approach is proud to announce that the newly designed GNSS LNAV/VNAV approaches designed for Saudi Aramco at Haradh, Saudi Arabia have been successfully flight checked and certified.

Congratulations to Aramco on behalf of Direct Approach!

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Clinton / Bleibler (CYIN)

Direct Approach congratulates Clinton / Bleibler aerodrome (CYIN) on the successful flight check of their new RNAV (GNSS) RWY 11 instrument approach.

On May 9th the new straight-in GNSS approach was flown and all aspects of the approach were confirmed. Once processed by Nav Canada this new procedure will be published in the Canada Air Pilot. This approach is in addition to the RNAV (GNSS) 29 approach and SENRI RNAV (GNSS) Departure.

Bleibler Garmin 2

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Englehart and District Hospital

Direct Approach recently completed a periodic review of the COPTER RNAV (GNSS) 041° instrument approach to the Englehart and District Hospital helipad at Englehart, Ontario.
All sponsored instrument approaches in Canada, regardless if they are published in the Canada Air Pilot (CAP) or Restricted Canada Air Pilot (R-CAP), must undergo a full periodic review including flight check every 4 years to ensure approach TP308 design criteria and regulatory compliance. This review also ensures that all obstacles, either manmade or natural, or properly accounted for.

The periodic review verified that all aspects of the instrument approach were safe and effective, and therefore the approach was signed off for another 4 year cycle.

Direct Approach is proud to have been of service to the Englehart and District Hospital and people of the region.




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Steensby Inlet, Nunavut

Designing new instrument approaches and departures from a not yet built runway presents some very unique challenges. This was the case for the new Baffinland Iron Mines runway project at Steensby Inlet on northern Baffin Island.

In conjunction with the engineering firm of Hatch Mott MacDonald which is doing the airfield work, Direct Approach was commissioned to design new GNSS approaches and departures for the planned new aerodrome at Steensby Inlet, Nunavut. Construction of this aerodrome is slated to begin in 2013, with completion anticipated towards the end of 2014. The new aerodrome is part of Baffinland’s Mary River project, which will include a new deep water port and 150km rail line.

Because of the length of time required to process new instrument approaches and have them ready for the anticipated opening in 2014, the design and flight check needed to be completed before the end of the normal 2012 flying season at this very northern site.

Careful coordination between the engineers, site personal, and Direct Approach were required in order to ensure an on-schedule and successful design and flight check. A helicopter from Mary River was required to airlift large markers to the new site, which then needed to be positioned on the precise planned runway threshold locations. This provided a visual check of the future runway location and approach alignment.

On September 4th, using a Summit Air Dornier 228 based in Mary River, a full flight check was successfully flown for the GNSS approaches to the planned Runway 14 True and Runway 32 True, as well as GNSS and standard “1/2” diverse departures. The approach limits are planned to reach as low as 280 ft above the aerodrome as the engineers are able to design the aerodrome to meet non-precision standards. This will ensure maximum all weather access to this remote region.

Direct Approach congratulates Baffinland Iron Mines and Hatch Mott MacDonald on their expertise and dedication to ensuring safe and effective all weather air access to their future Steensby Inlet aerodrome!

More information can be found at:

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Nav Canada – Level of Service policy review – Instrument approach services

Nav Canada has initiated a level of Service policy review of how it develops and more importantly maintains instrument approaches and departures in Canada. The link to their notice is:

All Restricted Instrument Approaches (RIPs) in Canada are currently maintained under contractual service agreements. Historically Nav Canada has been maintaining the instrument approaches and departures that are published in the Canada Air Pilot (CAP) without charge for that service.

It is quite likely that as a result of this LOS review, sites that do not meet Nav Canada’s specific level of service threshold, as determined by Nav Canada, will be required to have a pay-for-services contract in place to provide ongoing maintenance, and conduct the full cyclic review for all CAP approaches and departures. By regulation, these reviews are required every four years. That maintenance contract could be with either Nav Canada, or a company like Direct Approach.

While Direct Approach would be more than happy to provide those approach maintenance services, we also realize that this will have a financial impact on the airports, towns, local air carriers, non-scheduled and corporate flight operators, resource companies, or any other stakeholder needing these IFR procedures. That is why Direct Approach wanted to make sure you were aware of these changes, and to make sure the stakeholders are aware of these change, and have the opportunity to voice their concerns to Nav Canada as part of the LOS review process.

Direct Approach would be pleased to offer any assistance, or answer any questions you may have about the process in general. Please feel to contact us at 604-970-2527, or by e-mail at


CBBC – Reviewed GNSS approach

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Bella Bella (CBBC) – Periodic Review

On behalf of its client Pacific Coastal Airlines, Direct Approach recently completed a regulatory review and flight check of the RNAV (GNSS) RWY 13 restricted approach into Bella Bella, BC.

All instrument flight procedures must by regulation undergo a complete design review and be re-flight checked every four years.

Through the use of an exemption permitting a steeper than standard missed approach climb gradient, the restricted approach into Bella Bella provides a significantly lower approach than the RNAV (GNSS) A, which is the Canada Air Pilot version. This provides a significant operational advantage for Pacific Coastal, as well as all other authorized uses, and therefore benefits the local community through more reliable air service to this remote coastal community.

Direct Approach congratulates Pacific Coastal Airlines for their dedication to providing safe and reliable air services to this community.

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More than just North America

While most of Direct Approach’s work is in North America, we also have extensive experience with designing IFR approaches and departures around the world.

We have designed new procedures based upon PANS-OPS in Australia, Peru, and The Republic of Guinea in Western Africa.

For Rio Tinto at Beyla, Guinea we created the first GNSS based approaches and departures in that country. These were created in cooperation with HART Aviation, l’Agence de la Navigation Aerienne (ANA) and flight checked together with ASECNA (the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar ).

Also on behalf of Rio Tinto and HART Aviation we designed a high altitude helicopter approach near their exploration site at La Pampa, Peru.

Would your flight operations benefit from the consistency and reliability offered by having GNSS based IFR approaches and departures? Direct Approach can design to all of the recognized standards contained in ICAO’s PANS-OPS, FAA’s TERPS, and Canada’s TP308.

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Sturgeon Falls – West Nipissing General Hospital

Direct Approach recently completed a periodic review of the COPTER RNAV (GNSS) 193° instrument approach to the West Nipissing General Hospital helipad at Sturgeon Falls, Ontario.

All sponsored instrument approaches in Canada, regardless if they are published in the Canada Air Pilot (CAP) or Restricted Canada Air Pilot (R-CAP), must undergo a full periodic review every 4 years to ensure approach design criteria and regulatory compliance. This review also ensures that all obstacles, either manmade or natural, or properly accounted for.

In the case of WNGH, it was found during the flight check and post flight check review that the normal land use documentation for the town’s new water tower was not properly completed and therefore this obstacle was not accounted for. This was remedied, and an adjustment to the approach subsequently made.

The approach is therefore renewed for another 4 years to serve the emergency medical air access needs of the West Nipissing region.

Direct Approach is proud to have been of service to the Sturgeon Falls / West Nipissing General Hospital.

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Vancouver Harbour 5 Departure

Direct Approach recently completed the latest regulatory review of the Vancouver Harbour (Heli) Public – CBC7 – Harbour Five Departure.

All sponsor supported instrument flight procedures must be routinely reviewed for accuracy and criteria compliance. In the case of the Helijet sponsored Harbour 5 Departure, there is no helicopter departure design criteria. Therefore a special Transport Canada exemption has been used to permit the use of prominent geographic points, the Shoal Marker and Lions gate Bridge (mid span), to substitute for the normal Departure End of Runway (DER). From there a standard heading to intercept a VOR track type construction is used.

With the renewal of this specialized helicopter IFR departure procedure, Helijet International continues to maintain its operational advantage of all weather operations between its Vancouver and Victoria Harbour bases.

Burnaby Shoal Marker

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