San Francisco Approach, We Are Cleared for the RNAV (GPS) what?

03 Jun 2013

On June 27th, 2013 a new type of instrument approach procedure will be available, an RNAV (GPS) PRM. The first ones will be published at San Francisco (KSFO) for runway 28R and 28L. RNAV (GPS) PRMWhy the new procedure? Due to runway construction at KSFO the ILS and LDA for runway 28L will be out of service. To be able to continue to use Simultaneous Offset Instrument Approaches (SOIA) at KSFO the FAA developed the new RNAV (GPS) PRM procedure.

Air Carriers that are authorized in Ops Spec C052 for PRM approaches and RNAV (GPS) approaches to either VNAV or LNAV minimums can use the RNAV (GPS) PRM approach without any additional authorization until August 22nd, 2013. After August 22nd, Air Carriers will need to have Ops Specs C052 updated to include RNAV (GPS) PRM as an approach type if they want to use this new type of instrument approach.

It is anticipated that the runway construction at KSFO will be complete by August 22nd and the ILS and LDA PRM approaches will be back in service. The RNAV (GPS) PRM approach is destined to have the same fate as the Microwave Landing System (MLS). Although the FAA says they may use RNAV (GPS) PRM approaches at some other airport in the future, I think it will slowly fade away as brief piece of aviation history.

If you are already approved for PRM procedures it should be pretty simple to get the approval for RNAV (GPS) PRM approaches added to your Ops Spec C052. See the 8900.1, Volume 4, Chapter 2, Section 5 for more details.

RNAV (GPS) PRM Approach TrainingNo special authorization is required for Part 91 operators to use an RNAV (GPS) PRM approach, although training is required for pilots operating transport category aircraft (AIM 5-4-16).

Advanced Aircrew Academy has an online course available on ILS LDA PRM approaches which includes information on the new RNAV (GPS) PRM approaches along with other changes like no notification to the FAA Command Center required if you are not approved and incorporates the updated FAA video.