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Alternate authorized

Asked by: 3678 views FAA Regulations

Where is it written that you cannot use an airport as an alternate if the nav aid is unmonitored?

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3 Answers

  1. Nathan Parker on Feb 13, 2012

    That rule isn’t written for the pilot; it’s one of the criteria used by the FAA when authorizing an airport for an alternate.

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  2. John D. Collins on Feb 13, 2012

    In order 8260.19E – Flight Procedures and Airspace. The details are excerpted below:

    2-13. Monitoring of Navigation Facilities.

    a. Monitors.

    It is FAA policy to provide a monitoring system for all electronic navigation facilities used in support of instrument flight procedures. Internal monitoring is provided at the facility through the use of executive monitoring equipment that causes a facility shutdown when performance deteriorates below established tolerances. A remote status indicator may also be provided through the use of a signal-sampling receiver, microwave link, or telephone circuit. VOR,

    VORTAC, and ILS facilities as well as new NDBs and marker beacons installed by the FAA, are provided with an internal monitoring feature. Older FAA NDBs and some nonfederal NDBs do not have the internal feature and monitoring is accomplished by other means.

    b. Monitoring Categories.
    Navigational facilities are classified in accordance with the manner in which they are monitored.

    (1) Category 1. Internal monitoring plus a status indicator installed at control point.

    (Reverts to a temporary Category 3 status when the control point is unmanned/monitoring not available.)

    (2) Category 2. Internal monitoring with status indicator at control point inoperative, but pilot reports indicate the facility is operating normally. (This is a temporary situation that requires no procedural action.)

    (3) Category 3. Internal monitoring only.

    (4) Category 4. Internal monitor not installed. Remote status indicator provided at control point. This category is applicable only to nondirectional beacons.

    2-14. Utilization of Monitoring Categories.

    a. Category 1 facilities

    may be used for instrument flight procedures without limitation.

    b. Category 2

    is a temporary condition not considered in procedures development. The Air Traffic Organization is responsible for issuing Notice to Airmen (NOTAMs) on these out-ofservice facilities when pilot reports indicate facility malfunction.

    c. Category 3 facilities

    may be used in accordance with the following limitations:
    (1) Alternate minimums must not be authorized if facility provides final approach course (FAC) guidance; is required for procedure entry; is used to define the final approach fix (FAF); or is used to provide missed approach guidance. See also paragraph 8-53b.

    (2) When a facility is used to designate a stepdown fix, alternate minimums must be no lower than the circling minimums required without the stepdown fix.

    (3) Consider denying or adjusting terminal routes that require reception of succeeding Category 3 facilities to avoid obstacles.

    (4) Dogleg airways or routes must not be predicated on these facilities.

    (5) Navigational fixes developed from crossing radials of Category 3 facilities must not be used to break a minimum en route altitude (MEA) to higher MEA (can be used as a break to a lower MEA).

    d. Category 4 facilities

    may be used in accordance with the following limitations:
    (1) Alternate minimums may be authorized when the remote status indicator is located in an FAA ATC facility, and then only during periods the control point is attended.

    (2) If the control point is other than an FAA facility, a written agreement must exist whereby an ATC facility is notified of indicated changes in facility status.


    Failure of this Category 4 status indicator or closure of the control point will render the facility and the approach procedure unusable during the outage.


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  3. Bill Trussell on Feb 13, 2012

    It is important to note that both the type of approach and the type of operation have an impact on whether an alternate airport, designated based on an approach designed using a nav aid that is not monintored.  Operations under part 91 may not have the same operations impact as other operations based on certificate requirements.
    It is recommended that you always check FDC NOTAMS in concert with operations NOTAMS to properly determine the impact to your ability to use an airport as an alternate.  Likewise, nav aid monitoring is not the only criteria for whether an airport can be used as an alternate.
    Pilots should always use the FDC NOTAMS as their guide on this issue.

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