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Independent visual approaches – Sydney Airport

IVA training video

Watch the training video on conducting IVAs at Sydney Airport.

Sydney Airport (YSSY) operates two parallel runways set at 1,037 metres apart. Using a procedure called independent visual approaches (IVA), two aircraft can be on final approach at the same time while operating in visual meteorological conditions.

IVAs are safe and efficient to perform and may be used at Sydney during parallel operations in the Runway 16 or Runway 34 direction.

Depending on the meteorological conditions, an IVA may be initiated from a circuit or from an ILS approach once the pilot is visual.

A thorough understanding of the rules and procedures by all pilots is vital. Below is a list of important instructions and advisory information for conducting IVAs at Sydney:

  • Report visual and/or runway in sight as soon as possible
  • Manage your airspeed on the base leg of the circuit to ensure you do not overshoot the centreline
  • Fly accurate headings when being vectored to final approach
  • The vector for final will not be greater than 30 degrees
  • Remain on the ‘Director’ frequency until you are established on final approach
  • ATC will provide surveillance or vertical separation until cleared for an IVA
  • Do not pass through your assigned runway centreline
  • Other aircraft will be operating on the adjacent approach
  • Traffic information will be provided if another aircraft is within 1NM on final approach
  • Flight crew must respond to any TCAS alerts in accordance with the procedures in the aircraft’s flight manual
  • The phraseology will include “cleared independent visual approach”
  • Accurately track the extended runway centreline
  • Once you are cleared for the IVA, then the requirements of the procedure must be followed
  • If for any reason, including radio failure or radio congestion, contact cannot be established or maintained with Director preventing instructions being issued by ATC or a vectoring request being made by the flight crew to enable intercept of the final approach course for the assigned runway, then an aircraft should initiate a turn in order to track the extended centreline of the assigned runway
  • The layout of Sydney Airport has shown that wake turbulence encounters are possible even through the required standard is in place
  • The ILS critical area is not protected.

Pilots must remember that it is imperative they are fully aware of their responsibility to fly accurate heading and fly onto final without overshooting the runway centreline.

Useful references

Information on IVAs can be found at www.airservicesaustralia.com > Publications > Aeronautical Information Package (AIP)
AIP DAP East Sydney IVA user guide page 1 and page 2
AIP ENR 1.1. – 23.1 ATIS Broadcast Change
AIP ENR 1.1 – 25.2.1 Description of the IVA Procedure including pilot responsibilities
AIP GEN 2.2 – 12 Definition of IVAs