Cold Weather Performance


  • Pilots should begin planning for operating into airports with cold temperatures during the preflight planning phase

Cold Temperature Operations:

  • Instrument approach charts will contain a snowflake symbol and a temperature when cold temperature correction must be applied. Pilots operating into airports requiring cold temperature corrections should request the lowest forecast temperature at the airport for departure and arrival times. If the temperature is forecast to be at or below any published cold temperature restriction, calculate an altitude correction for the appropriate segment(s) and/or review procedures for operating automatic cold temperature compensating systems, as applicable. The pilot is responsible to calculate and apply the corrections to the affected segment(s) when the actual reported temperature is at or below any published cold temperature restriction, or pilots with automatic cold temperature compensating systems must ensure the system is on and operating on each designated segment. Advise ATC when intending to apply cold temperature correction and of the amount of correction required on initial contact (or as soon as possible) for the intermediate segment and/or the published missed approach. This information is required for ATC to provide aircraft appropriate vertical separation between known traffic

Cold Temperature Restricted Airports:

  • A snowflake with a temperature (-12°C, for example) indicates a cold temperature altitude correction is required at this airport when reported temperature is at or below the published restricted temperature
  • Pilots familiar with cold temperature procedure in the Notice to Airman Publication (NTAP) and correcting all altitudes from the IAF to the MA final holding altitude do not have to reference the NTAP
  • Pilots wishing to correct on individual segments must reference the NTAP airport list for affected segments
  • See Notice to Airman Publication (NTAP) Graphic Notices General ( for complete list of published airports, temperature, segments, and procedure information
  • Pilots will advise ATC with the required altitude correction when making a correction to any segment other than the final segment
  • See following Cold Temperature Error Table to make manual corrections


  • For more information, reference AIM, Paragraph 7-2-3 , Altimeter Errors and AIM TBL 7-2-3, ICAO Cold Temperature Error