IFR Approach & Departure Procedures coming real soon!!

Post date: Jun 19, 2019 2:00:05 AM

Bethel Regional Airport is happy to announce that the FAA has recently developed and test-flown an instrument approach procedure and a departure procedure for our airport. These procedures have been submitted for publication and will be released for public use effective June 20, 2019!

According to the draft/prototype approach plate (not yet approved for navigation), the approach will be an RNAV (GPS) procedure with LNAV and circling minimums down to 1740 MSL and 1 1/2 mile visibility straight in to runway 32 for category A and B aircraft. The approach is the standard T-style configuration with no procedure turns when starting the approach from an initial approach fix and mandatory initial approach altitudes to the initial fixes being between 4800 and 6000 MSL. The missed approach procedure directs aircraft to make a climbing left turn to 4800 direct to a holding fix about 11 NM southeast of the field, then to continue the climb to between 4800 and 6000 MSL in the hold.

This is long overdue for Bethel Regional as it will greatly enhance safety for night time visual operations as well as during inclement weather operations. Without this newly designed instrument approach procedure, pilots were required to maintain VFR-weather conditions (have at least 3 SM visibility and remain 500 feet below the clouds). For pilots coming from long distances and at "en route altitudes", Air Traffic Control would require pilots to "see the field" from no less than 4000 MSL, otherwise clearance for an approach was not possible. A shortcut that many pilots learned was to make an instrument approach to another nearby airport and then fly under the clouds visually to Bethel. Sometimes this would work, but all too often it wouldn't. These new procedures will also improve the "usability" and of Bethel Regional Airport.

Although the approach procedures are for Instrument-Rated pilots only, the Departure Procedures are intended for both VFR and IFR pilots to help provide safe navigation from the airport.