Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Localizer Approach Lesson by wifiCFI


A localizer approach is a non-precision approach that provides a pilot with azimuth (lateral) guidance to the landing runway.

A localizer approach can be a stand-alone localizer or it can be associated with an ILS Approach.

In other words, an ILS Approach can be executed as a Localizer Only approach if the Glideslope function of the ILS Approach becomes inoperative.

We would suggest studying the “ILS Approach” Maneuvers Lesson prior to studying this Localizer Approach Lesson.

KOGD LOC RWY 03 Example

Full Approach Example from JOSIF (IAF)

“N736TB, proceed direct JOSIF, maintain 8600.”

While en-route to the IAF, we should perform “ABC”

A: Airspeed/ATIS

Slow airspeed to set up for approach.

Obtain the airports ATIS/AWOS.

B: Build and Brief

Build the approach in the Instrument Approved GPS if applicable.

Brief the “Briefing Section” of the approach.

While briefing, be sure to input all necessary comm and nav frequencies.

C: Checklist

Run the approach checklist.


It is important to complete the ABC’s as soon as possible.

If a pilot is “ahead” of the airplane, it makes the approach much easier.

How to Brief the Approach

1: Name of Approach

2: Approach Navigation Frequency

Brief and Input

3: Approach Course

Brief and Input

4: Runway Length and TDZE

5: Notes

6: Approach Light System

7: Missed Approach Instructions

8: MSA Altitudes

9: Final Approach Fix

10: Minimum Altitude and Visibility

11: Missed Approach Point

Timing will be used to Identify the MAP

This chart references the time from the FAF to the MAP

Hence, a timer should be started when crossing the FAF

“N736TB, maintain 8600 until established, cleared for the ILS Runway 3 Approach.”


VDP stands for “Visual Descent Point.”

At this point, the pilot will make the decision to either continue to landing or to execute the Missed Approach Procedure.

However, the pilot cannot begin the Missed Approach Procedure until reaching the Missed Approach Point.

VDP’s are only applicable for non-precision approaches.

Hence, the “LOC Only” symbol seen on the chart does not apply if flying the approach as an ILS Approach.

The Missed Approach Point

On a Localizer Approach, the Missed Approach Point (MAP) is calculated as a time from when the pilot crosses the Final Approach Fix.

As can be seen from the Instrument Approach Plate, the distance from the FAF to the MAP is 4.6NM.

Let’s assume an approach speed of 90 knots Groundspeed.

The pilot starts his/her timer at the FAF.

Then, upon reaching 3:04, the pilot will be arriving at the MAP.

At this point the pilot will make the decision to land or to execute the Missed Approach Procedure.

Instrument Rating ACS Standards

Establish proper two way radio communications.

Select, tune, and identify the proper navigation facility.

Comply with ATC/Examiner Clearances.

Establish proper airplane configurations and airspeeds.

Maintain Altitude +/- 100’.

Maintain Heading +/- 10 Degrees.

Maintain Airspeed +/- 10 KIAS.

Maintain a stabilized approach course with less than ¾ scale deflection for lateral navigation.

At MDA/MDH maintain altitude -0/+ 100’.

Execute missed approach procedures without proper runway environment criteria in sight or,

Transition to a normal landing while following proper visual glidepath indications.

Normal landing made within the runway touchdown zone.

FAA Sources Used for This Lesson

Instrument Flying Handbook

Instrument Airmen Certification Standards (ACS)

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