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AIM 

6/17/21 

direct to the IAF or to the IF/IAF associated with the 
sector that the aircraft will enter the TAA and join the 
approach course from that point and if required by 
that sector (i.e., sector is not labeled “NoPT), 
complete the HILPT course reversal. 

NOTE

 

If approaching with a TO bearing that is on a sector 
boundary, the pilot is expected to proceed in accordance 
with a “NoPT” routing unless otherwise instructed by 
ATC. 

5. 

Altitudes published within the TAA  replace 

the MSA altitude. However, unlike MSA altitudes the 
TAA altitudes are operationally usable altitudes. 
These altitudes provide at least 1,000 feet of obstacle 
clearance, more in mountainous areas. It is important 
that the pilot knows which area of the TAA the aircraft 
will enter in order to comply with the minimum 
altitude requirements. The pilot can determine which 
area of the TAA the aircraft will enter by determining 
the magnetic bearing of the aircraft TO the fix labeled 
IF/IAF. The bearing should then be compared to the 
published lateral boundary bearings that define the 
TAA areas. Do not use magnetic bearing to the 
right-base or left-base IAFs to determine position. 

(a) 

An ATC clearance direct to an IAF or to 

the IF/IAF without an approach clearance does not 

authorize a pilot to descend to a lower TAA altitude. 
If a pilot desires a lower altitude without an approach 
clearance, request the lower TAA altitude from ATC. 
Pilots not sure of the clearance should confirm their 
clearance with ATC or request a specific clearance. 
Pilots entering the TAA with two

way radio 

communications failure (14 CFR Section 91.185, 
IFR Operations: Two

way Radio Communications 

Failure), must maintain the highest altitude pre-
scribed by Section 91.185(c)(2) until arriving at the 
appropriate IAF. 

(b) 

Once cleared for the approach, pilots may 

descend in the TAA sector to the minimum altitude 
depicted within the defined area/subdivision, unless 
instructed otherwise by air traffic control. Pilots 
should plan their descent within the TAA to permit a 
normal descent from the IF/IAF to the FAF. In 
FIG 5

4

5, pilots within the left or right

base areas 

are expected to maintain a minimum altitude of 6,000 
feet until within 17 NM of the associated IAF. After 
crossing the 17 NM arc, descent is authorized to the 
lower charted altitudes. Pilots approaching from the 
northwest are expected to maintain a minimum 
altitude of 6,000 feet, and when within 22 NM of the 
IF/IAF, descend to a minimum altitude of 2,000 feet 
MSL until crossing the IF/IAF. 

FIG 5

4

Sectored TAA Areas 

Arrival Procedures 

5

4

12