PRM approach?

Liming Lu

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PRM approach?
« on: May 08, 2021, 07:13:32 PM »
Hello everyone,

I am interested in the local procedures of USA. I noticed there are some PRM procedures in major airports. And I've watched some videos about it, but so far I haven't seen it put in use in any airports(or maybe I didn't notice?),so here are my questions:

1) Do PRM procedures often use when there are a lot of traffic?
2) Does any airport in VATUSA use PRM? If yes, when and how it works?
Thanks.:)

Evan Reiter

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Re: PRM approach?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2021, 03:57:31 PM »
Hi Liming,

Although I don't control at a VATUSA facility that has PRM approaches, I have seen them used on the network and in real life. I'll do my best to provide some info.

1) Yes - at the airports where PRM approaches are published, they are routinely used when traffic warrants. I have flown PRM approaches at KATL regularly. I believe they are also common at KSFO.

2) I would imagine, like in real life, VATUSA facilities simulate the use of PRM approaches when traffic and weather conditions warrant. Specifically, I would imagine KATL to be a regular user of PRM approaches.

In real life, PRM approaches require special aircrew training and procedures. In practice, this is accomplished with simulator training plus additional briefing material pilots must go through prior to flying them. You'll hear if a PRM approach is in use with the ATIS, and with your approach assignment (normally given when you first contact the "Approach" controller). Flying a PRM approach is identical to a non-PRM approach, except for two things:

a) Once you've been switched to Tower, you must listen to a "monitor" frequency on a second radio. The controller may tell you to speed up, slow down, or can issue a "breakout".

b) If traffic on the closely-spaced runway doesn't fly its approach correctly, you may be given a "breakout" instruction: a turn and a climb or descent so that you can escape the risk caused by the other aircraft.

Hopefully one of the folks from a facility that uses PRM approaches on the network can provide a little more information on how they're simulated.

If you have any other questions, I'll do my best to answer them as well.


Evan Reiter
Boston Virtual ARTCC Community Manager
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Daniel Everman

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Re: PRM approach?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2021, 07:57:17 PM »
1) Yes - at the airports where PRM approaches are published, they are routinely used when traffic warrants. I have flown PRM approaches at KATL regularly. I believe they are also common at KSFO.

SFO actually had its PRM approaches deleted within the last few cycles, and the LDA that they used alongside it is gone now. It required some really specific weather minimums that didn't occur often so .308s were more practical when it wasn't VMC.
Daniel Everman
ZMP FE #retired | Grill Enthusiast

Liming Lu

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Re: PRM approach?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2021, 12:48:31 AM »
1) Yes - at the airports where PRM approaches are published, they are routinely used when traffic warrants. I have flown PRM approaches at KATL regularly. I believe they are also common at KSFO.

2) I would imagine, like in real life, VATUSA facilities simulate the use of PRM approaches when traffic and weather conditions warrant. Specifically, I would imagine KATL to be a regular user of PRM approaches.

Thanks for your information.Got it. I will pay attention while I'm flying although I havenot seen it now.

By the way, are there special frequency for PRM approaches in real operation?
(For example, I noticed when ILS 9L with PRM, crews need to monitor 32.55 but it seems not approach controllers' frequency?)

Are there controllers only monitor traffic on final (or they need to work on 2 frequencies and work for arrival traffic and monitor traffic on final at the same time)?

Jeremy Peterson

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Re: PRM approach?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2021, 02:26:44 PM »
1) Yes - at the airports where PRM approaches are published, they are routinely used when traffic warrants. I have flown PRM approaches at KATL regularly. I believe they are also common at KSFO.

2) I would imagine, like in real life, VATUSA facilities simulate the use of PRM approaches when traffic and weather conditions warrant. Specifically, I would imagine KATL to be a regular user of PRM approaches.

Thanks for your information.Got it. I will pay attention while I'm flying although I havenot seen it now.

By the way, are there special frequency for PRM approaches in real operation?
(For example, I noticed when ILS 9L with PRM, crews need to monitor 32.55 but it seems not approach controllers' frequency?)

Are there controllers only monitor traffic on final (or they need to work on 2 frequencies and work for arrival traffic and monitor traffic on final at the same time)?

See this: https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/training/prm/media/PRM_training.pdf
Jeremy Peterson (HP)
VATUSA National Operations Manager
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Evan Reiter

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Re: PRM approach?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2021, 04:20:45 PM »
By the way, are there special frequency for PRM approaches in real operation?
(For example, I noticed when ILS 9L with PRM, crews need to monitor 32.55 but it seems not approach controllers' frequency?)

Are there controllers only monitor traffic on final (or they need to work on 2 frequencies and work for arrival traffic and monitor traffic on final at the same time)?
Looking at the KATL ILS PRM RWY 9L approach, the pilot would initially contact Atlanta Approach on 127.90 (or perhaps another frequency - there are often several in use, and the one listed isn't always the one you'll get). Probably at least one frequency change later, another Atlanta Approach controller will give you the approach clearance. Everything is "normal" up to this point.

Once you're cleared for the approach, you'll hear "Contact Atlanta Tower on 123.85". When you make the switch, you use COM1 to talk to Tower on 123.85 and get a landing clearance. You also need to listen to the PRM monitor frequency of 132.55 on COM2. In the event of a breakout or any other instruction, that will come from a dedicated approach controller working on 132.55 whose only job it is to monitor the parallel aircraft to ensure each is following the approach and the spacing works as it should.


Evan Reiter
Boston Virtual ARTCC Community Manager
[email protected]

Liming Lu

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Re: PRM approach?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2021, 06:46:43 AM »
By the way, are there special frequency for PRM approaches in real operation?
(For example, I noticed when ILS 9L with PRM, crews need to monitor 32.55 but it seems not approach controllers' frequency?)

Are there controllers only monitor traffic on final (or they need to work on 2 frequencies and work for arrival traffic and monitor traffic on final at the same time)?
Looking at the KATL ILS PRM RWY 9L approach, the pilot would initially contact Atlanta Approach on 127.90 (or perhaps another frequency - there are often several in use, and the one listed isn't always the one you'll get). Probably at least one frequency change later, another Atlanta Approach controller will give you the approach clearance. Everything is "normal" up to this point.

Once you're cleared for the approach, you'll hear "Contact Atlanta Tower on 123.85". When you make the switch, you use COM1 to talk to Tower on 123.85 and get a landing clearance. You also need to listen to the PRM monitor frequency of 132.55 on COM2. In the event of a breakout or any other instruction, that will come from a dedicated approach controller working on 132.55 whose only job it is to monitor the parallel aircraft to ensure each is following the approach and the spacing works as it should.

Got it. Thanks

Brad Costello

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Re: PRM approach?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2021, 10:01:45 PM »
I have never seen NorCal use them. I have been flying for years into SFO where they have them and its always either been the visual or staggered ILS approaches.