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En Route Procedures

l. Radar surveillance of holding pattern airspace


1. Whenever aircraft are holding, ATC will

usually provide radar surveillance of the holding

airspace on the controller’s radar display.

2. The controller will attempt to detect any

holding aircraft that stray outside the holding airspace

and will assist any detected aircraft to return to the

assigned airspace.


Many factors could prevent ATC from providing this

additional service, such as workload, number of targets,

precipitation, ground clutter, and radar system capability.

These circumstances may make it unfeasible to maintain

radar identification of aircraft to detect aircraft straying

from the holding pattern. The provision of this service

depends entirely upon whether controllers believe they are

in a position to provide it and does not relieve a pilot of their

responsibility to adhere to an accepted ATC clearance.

3. ATC is responsible for traffic and obstruction

separation when they have assigned holding that is

not associated with a published (charted) holding

pattern. Altitudes assigned will be at or above the

minimum vectoring or minimum IFR altitude.

4. If an aircraft is established in a published

holding pattern at an assigned altitude above the

published minimum holding altitude and subsequent-

ly cleared for the approach, the pilot may descend to

the published minimum holding altitude. The holding

pattern would only be a segment of the IAP if it is

published on the instrument procedure chart and is

used in lieu of a procedure turn.

m. For those holding patterns where there are no

published minimum holding altitudes, the pilot, upon

receiving an approach clearance, must maintain the

last assigned altitude until leaving the holding pattern

and established on the inbound course. Thereafter, the

published minimum altitude of the route segment

being flown will apply. It is expected that the pilot

will be assigned a holding altitude that will permit a

normal descent on the inbound course.


7110.65R CHG 2