Vanderhoof, BC – New GPS approaches and departures

On 15 December 2011 new GNSS approaches and departures, which were developed by Direct Approach, were published in the Canada Air Pilot. As described in an article recently published in the Vanderhoof Omineca Express ( ) these new instrument approaches will greatly improve all weather air access to the region.

Direct Approach congratulates the District of Vanderhoof on being proactive in enhancing aviation safety and improving the level of service to their airport.

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Neepawa – New GNSS approaches

On behalf on our client HyLife Foods, Direct Approach was commissioned to design two new RNAV GNSS approaches for Neepawa Manitoba. The Neepawa airport is located approximately 26 nautical miles north east of Brandon, and 90 nm west of Winnipeg. It has a single paved and lighted runway 3508 ft in length.

 Two standard “T” style GPS “LNAV” approaches were designed, one to either runway end. The proposed approach minima for the RNAV (GNSS) RWY 04 is approximately 540 feet HAT (height above touchdown), while the RNAV (GNSS) RWY 22 approach HAT is slightly lower at approximately 450 ft.

 Direct Approach completed the standard flight verification on December 19th 2011. The approaches will now be submitted for publication in the Canada Air Pilot (CAP). These approaches, once published by Nav Canada, will provide improved all weather access into Neepawa, and not only for HyLife’s current flight operations, but for all IFR capable flights.

 Direct Approach congratulates HyLife on their significant efforts to improve the efficiency of their flight operations, as well as to improve their overall flight safety through establishing these new IFR GNSS approaches!

 More about HyLife can be found at:

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Thor Lake, NT

On behalf of Det’on Cho Logistics and Avalon Precious Metals, Direct Approach Consulting was commissioned to design a new GPS instrument approach to the Thor Lake (NT) runway.

Thor Lake is an exploration site currently with a 1006 ft private gravel runway. There are plans to lengthen the runway once the site actives increase, with the potential for much larger aircraft.

Direct Approach assisted CBR Technologies in having the aerodrome registered and published in the Canada Flight Supplement (CFS). Normally only runways over 1500 ft in length are registered and published in the CFS. However because registration is required to obtain an ICAO site identifier, a special case to have this site processed was required. The Thor Lake registration is complete, and the new identifier CTH2 issued.

The straight-in RNAV (GNSS) RWY 23 approach is a standard “T” design GPS approach to a minimum descent altitude (MDA) of 512 ft above aerodrome elevation, or just above the minimum permissible for an aerodrome that does not meet any TP312 OLS standards.

A standard flight check was completed on September 7th 2011 using a DHC-6 “Twin Otter” from Air Tindi. The approach checked perfectly, and is ready for submission to Nav Canada for publication in the R-CAP.

Direct Approach Consulting provides all types of instrument approach and departure design services, specializing in GNSS (GPS) fixed wing and helicopter approaches, and is qualified in TP308, TERPS, and PANS-OPS criteria. More information can be found at

Edit: The unfortunate recent air accident at Yellowknife involving Thor Lake personnel in no way involved the new instrument approach described here.

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Creston, BC (CAJ3)

Direct Approach recently completed the required periodic review of the Creston BC (CAJ3) instrument procedures. Included in this cyclic review were the RNAV (GNSS) RWY 15 approach, and BOXAT RNAV (GNSS) Departure. Both these are published in the Restricted Canada Air Pilot (R-CAP)

Transport Canada regulations required that all R-CAP approaches and departures undergo a full review every 4 years. In addition to a review of the TP308 design criteria, this also includes the requirement to complete a flight check.

These GPS based approach and departure procedures have been updated and will be re-submitted to Nav Canada for renewal.

On the GPS approach into Creston
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South Cariboo Regional Airport – 108 Mile Ranch

Direct Approach has designed, successfully flight checked,
and submitted new GPS approaches and departures for the South Cariboo Regional

To properly design new instrument flight procedures to serve
the best interests of our clients, Direct Approach must consider many factors.
In the case of 108 Mile Ranch, a comprehensive survey of the Obstacle
Limitation Surface (OLS) areas identified that there were obstacles that
penetrated the Non-instrument OLS. By regulation this meant that the approaches
could only be published in the Restricted Canada Air Pilot (R-CAP) and not the
CAP. Therefore only commercial operators could fly IFR approaches at the 108
Mile Ranch airport, and the existing NDB/DME approach would need to be moved
from the CAP to R-CAP.

Direct Approach provided guidance to the South Cariboo
Regional District to ensure they would meet the appropriate OLS clearances and
thereby ensure both their new and current approaches and departures were eligible
for CAP publication.

The new RNAV (GNSS) RWY 15 and RNAV (GNSS) RWY 33
approaches, as well as the new ALTAG and MIBTI RNAV (GNSS) Departures, are expected
to be published 25 August 2011.

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Clinton / Bleibler Ranch (CBR4), BC

The Clinton / Bleibler Ranch (CBR4) GNSS project was interesting for a number of reasons. The Bleibler Ranch runway is on private land and was previously unregistered. In order to qualify for an instrument approach that can be flown by a private pilot the approach must be published in the Canada Air Pilot (CAP). An according to Transport Canada regulations, any aerodrome with approach that is to be published in the CAP must meet at least the equivalent aerodrome obstacle limitation surface (OLS) clearance standards contained in AC 301-001 Table 2. Direct Approach assisted the client to have a survey completed of the aerodrome’s approach and transitional surfaces to determine any OLS penetrations. The items that were subsequently found as violating those surfaces were then cleared.

 Once the OLS was determined and the non-instrument standards for the appropriate wingspan category complied with, the aerodrome was registered with TransportCanadafor publication in the Canada Flight Supplement (CFS).

 The new RNAV (GNSS) approach was designed to transition the aircraft from the nearby airways to the east for a simple and effective straight-in approach to Runway 29. The approach minima permit final descent down to just above 500 ft Height Above Aerodrome (HAA), which is the lowest permitted for a Non-instrument category aerodrome.

 The new IGSIT RNAV (GNSS) departure will permit a “1/2” type route departure off both Runway 11 and Runway 29 transitioning onto V325 at IGSIT which is a new waypoint north of the current Ashcroft NDB.

 The approach and departures were successful flight checked on April 8th 2011 by Direct Approach and are now being submitted for publication in the CAP.

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CYGE – Golden, BC
Regulatory Review

On Feb 02, 2011 Direct Approach completed the regulatory review flight check of the RNAV (GNSS) B approach for Golden, BC.

Restricted approaches in Canada are those which do not meet the standard TP308 design standards. These approaches are published in the Restricted Canada Air Pilot (R-CAP). An R-CAP approach can often provide an operational benefit when using a steeper than normal missed approach climb gradient. This does not imply that a restricted approach is less safe than a TP308 compliant approach. It does mean however that due to the special circumstances the use of that procedure is limited to authorized users only.

Transport Canada requires that restricted approaches must be fully reviewed and flight checked again every four years to ensure continued safety.

The Golden RNAV (GNSS) B approach is a restricted version of the public and TP308 compliant RNAV(GNSS) A approach. The difference is generally in the vertical whereby the “B” approach achieves a lower minimum descent altitude (MDA) by using a steeper than normal missed approach climb. Being missed approach limited is common for approaches in mountainous areas.

The current regulatory review and update completed by Direct Approach resulted in a slightly realigned final segment and missed approach track. This was the result of an analysis of the previous final segment alignment, as well as new information with respect to Class F blasting area airspace.

As a result of the regulatory review and successful flight check, Direct Approach Consulting is able to ensure the continued viability and safety of the Golden RNAV (GNSS) B instrument approach.

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Revelstoke, BC (CYRV) – RNAV (GNSS) A

CYRV – Revelstoke, BC

On Feb 02, 2011 Direct Approach completed the flight check of a new RNAV (GNSS) approach for Revelstoke, BC. This approach was commissioned by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District to provide improved all weather air access.

Revelstoke airport is located deep in the Arrow Lakes valley. Surrounded by very high terrain to over 10,000 ft in elevation, this approach proved to be an extreme challenge and proves the value and versatility of GNSS for instrument approaches.

The new “RNAV (GNSS) A” instrument approach will be submitted for publication in the Restricted Canada Air Pilot (R-CAP). The circling only approach has a minimum descent altitude (MDA) of 4380 ft above sea level, which is still 2925 ft above the runway elevation. The very high approach minimums reflect the very challenging terrain and runway location, and compares to other sites such as Castlegar, BC. 

Future improvements in GNSS technology and anticipated changes in instrument approach design criteria will likely bring some relief and provide for slightly lower approach limits. It is anticipated that Transport Canada will soon authorize the use of FAA Doc 8260.54A design criteria. The narrower GNSS “LP” (Localizer Performance) final segment, combined with the narrower and more flexible missed approach area should provide operational gains for sites like Revelstoke. However, air operators will need to be equipped and authorized to use these enhanced approaches.

In addition to helping provide emergency air ambulance service, the approach will also provided improved access for outdoor enthusiasts. Revelstoke Mountain Resort ( ) is home to some of the finest skiing in the region.

Direct Approach was glad to be able to assist the Shuswap Regional District and Revelstoke in the design of their new GNSS instrument approach.

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