Charted Visual Flight Procedure


  • A visual approach is an approach to a runway at an airport conducted under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), but where the pilot proceeds by visual reference and clear of clouds to the airport
  • Charted Visual Flight Procedures (CVFP) are published by the Federal Aviation Administration for environmental/noise considerations and/or when necessary for the safety and efficiency of air traffic operations
    • Designed primarily for turbojet aircraft
  • These procedures depict recommended procedures for pilots to follow
  • CVFPs are not instrument approaches and do not have a Missed Approach Points (MAP)
  • Unless indicating a class Bravo airspace floor all depicted altitudes are for noise abatement purposes and recommended only
    • Pilots may fly other than recommended altitudes if operational requirements dictate
    • ATC may assign additional restrictions

Charted Visual Approach Procedure Purpose:

  • A CVFP may be developed when the Air Traffic Control (ATC) facility manager, in coordination with airport management, determines that the procedure would mitigate aircraft noise or improve safety and efficiency
  • Development of a CVFP should only be considered after PBN approach options are exhausted

Locating Charted Visual Approach Procedures:


  • Charted Visual Flight Procedure (CVFP)
    North Bay Visual Runway 17L
  • Depict prominent landmarks, courses, and recommended altitudes to specific runways
  • Most charts depict some Navigational Aid (NAVAID) information for supplemental navigation guidance, beginning within 20 Nautical Miles (NM) from the airport


  • There is an operating control tower
  • ATC will not issue clearances for CVFPs when the weather is less than the published minimum
    • Federal Aviation Regulation Part 91.155/157, visibility is determined by the PIC
    • Published weather minimums are based on minimum vectoring altitudes rather than recommended altitudes depicted on charts
  • When using parallel or intersecting/converging runways, the criteria specified in JO 7110.65 (7-4-4), Approaches to Multiple Runways, are applied
  • An aircraft not following another aircraft on the approach reports sighting a charted visual landmark, or reports sighting a preceding aircraft landing on the same runway and has been instructed to follow that aircraft
    • If instructed to follow a preceding aircraft, pilots are responsible for maintaining a safe approach interval and wake turbulence separation
  • When landmarks used for navigation are not visible at night, the approach will be annotated "procedure not authorized at night"


  • ATC: "[Callsign], cleared [Approach] approach"
  • Pilots should advise ATC if at any point they are unable to continue an approach or lose sight of a preceding aircraft
    • Missed approaches will be handled as a go-around
    • Have pre-planned climb-out options based on aircraft performance and terrain features
  • When conducting visual approaches, pilots are encouraged to use other available navigational aids to assist in positive lateral and vertical alignment with the assigned runway


  • To learn more about instrument procedures, be sure to check out the Instrument Procedures Handbook online or in paperback
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