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Well-known member
Dec 4, 2001
There has been a little conversation at my company about whether or not an RNAV equipped airplane can be given direct to the airport routing from ATC. The pilots saying we can't accept the clearance claim that since you are being cleared direct to the airport and not an IAF, you have no specific way to get onto an approach.

Also, if you are cleared direct Omaha by ATC, are you cleared direct KOMA, or direct OVR?
ATC will clear you just about anyway you want. Technically you should file to an IAF if you are absolutly sure which approach would be prevailing. The details of this only matter in lost comm. You get vectors of course with comm to the appropiate final or a specific clearance in a non-radar. In an actual lost comm. ATC more likely than not will clear a path for you by the most obvious and direct path that you will likely take to an IAF to start an approach. Of course if you lost comm. 100 miles from TEB and weather permitted I hope you would find a less active airport to land at under VFR. If you are unclear on your clearance to KOMA or OVR then ask.
I'm not sure, but ...

I have wondered about the VOR vs. airport "cleared direct" clearance myself.

I have noticed there seems to be an increasing trend of renaming navaids with something other than a city/airport name (a la Maverick, Volunteer, Seminole, Gators, Dolphin, etc.). Personally I like it a lot better as it does remove all the confusion.

As to which one you're being cleared to, check your filed/assigned routing. If the VOR is on your routing, that's probably what they mean. If not, I'd say it's the airport. If there's any doubt, of course, it's always good to seek clarification.

Tailwinds, y'all ...


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