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Arrival Procedures

Procedure The aircraft on the offset course approach must see the runway-landing environment and, if ATC

has advised that traffic on the straight-in approach is a factor, the offset course approach aircraft

must visually acquire the straight-in approach aircraft and report it in sight to ATC prior to reach-

ing the DA for the offset course approach.


The Clear of Clouds point is the position on the offset final approach course where aircraft

first operate in visual meteorological conditions below the ceiling, when the actual weather

conditions are at, or near, the minimum ceiling for SOIA operations. Ceiling is defined by the

Aeronautical Information Manual.

6. SOIA PRM approaches utilize the same dual

communications procedures as do other PRM



At KSFO, pilots conducting SOIA operations select the

monitor frequency audio when communicating with the

final radar controller, not the tower controller as is

customary. In this special case, the monitor controller’s

transmissions, if required, override the final controller’s

frequency. This procedure is addressed on the AAUP.

(a) SOIA utilizes the same AAUP format as

do other PRM approaches. The minimum weather

conditions that are required are listed. Because of the

more complex nature of instructions for conducting

SOIA approaches, the “Runway Specific” items are

more numerous and lengthy.

(b) Examples of SOIA offset runway specific


(1) Aircraft must remain on the offset

course until passing the offset MAP prior to

maneuvering to align with the centerline of the offset

approach runway. 

(2) Pilots are authorized to continue past

the offset MAP to align with runway centerline when:

[a] the straight−in approach traffic is in

sight and is expected to remain in sight,

[b] ATC has been advised that “traffic is

in sight.” (ATC is not required to acknowledge this


[c] the runway environment is in sight.

Otherwise, a missed approach must be executed.

Between the offset MAP and the runway threshold,

pilots conducting the offset PRM approach must not

pass the straight−in aircraft and are responsible for

separating themselves visually from traffic conduct-

ing the straight−in PRM approach to the adjacent

runway, which means maneuvering the aircraft as

necessary to avoid that traffic until landing, and

providing wake turbulence avoidance, if applicable.

Pilots maintaining visual separation should advise

ATC, as soon as practical, if visual contact with the

aircraft conducting the straight−in PRM approach is

lost and execute a missed approach unless otherwise

instructed by ATC.

(c) Examples of SOIA straight−in runway

specific notes:

(1) To facilitate the offset aircraft in

providing wake mitigation, pilots should descend on,

not above, the glideslope/glidepath.

(2) Conducting the straight−in approach,

pilots should be aware that the aircraft conducting the

offset approach will be approaching from the

right/left rear and will be operating in close proximity

to the straight−in aircraft.

7. Recap.

The following are differences between widely spaced

simultaneous approaches (at least 4,300 feet between

the runway centerlines) and Simultaneous PRM close

parallel approaches which are of importance to the pi-


(a) Runway Spacing. Prior to PRM simulta-

neous close parallel approaches, most ATC−directed

breakouts were the result of two aircraft in−trail on

the same final approach course getting too close

together. Two aircraft going in the same direction did

not mandate quick reaction times. With PRM closely

spaced approaches, two aircraft could be alongside

each other, navigating on courses that are separated

by less than 4,300 feet and as close as 3,000 feet. In

the unlikely event that an aircraft “blunders” off its

course and makes a worst case turn of 30 degrees

toward the adjacent final approach course, closing

speeds of 135 feet per second could occur that

constitute the need for quick reaction. A blunder has

to be recognized by the monitor controller, and

breakout instructions issued to the endangered

aircraft. The pilot will not have any warning that a