Clearance for circling/sidestep approach at non-towered airport

newmanth
  • Clearance for circling/sidestep approach at non-towered airport newmanth

    When coming in on an instrument approach at a nontowered airport, the approach/center controller will clear you for the approach and approve your frequency change to the CTAF.

    Once you're cleared for a particular approach and have changed frequencies, if you later decide you need to deviate from the planned approach (i.e. sidestep or circle instead of straight-in) do you need to get a revised clearance from the approach controller or is clearance for sidestep or circling implied?

  • Quoted from the Instrument Procedures Handbook, page 4-6:

    APPROACH CLEARANCE

    The approach clearance provides guidance to a position from where you can execute the approach, and it also clears you to fly that approach. If only one approach pro- cedure exists, or if ATC authorizes you to execute the approach procedure of your choice, the clearance may be worded as simply as “… cleared for approach.” If ATC wants to restrict you to a specific approach, the controller names the approach in the clearance—for example, “…cleared ILS Runway 35 Right approach.”

    When the landing will be made on a runway that is not aligned with the approach being flown, the controller may issue a circling approach clearance, such as “…cleared for VOR Runway 17 approach, circle to land Runway 23.”

    So if they name the approach, you are restricted to that approach.

    I searched the rest of the book for items specifically related to non-towered operations, and found nothing that contradicted that.

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