Surveillance radar approach (SRA)

In aviation, approach surveillance radar (ASR or SRA) is a type of radar instrument approach provided with active assistance from air traffic control. The only airborne radio equipment required for radar approaches is a functioning radio transmitter and receiver. The radar controller vectors the aircraft to align it with the runway centreline. Instead of following the ILS down to a safe landing, the controller uses vectors to keep the aircraft on course until the pilot can complete the approach and landing by visual reference to the runway.

Points of attention:

  • During an SRA approach, not all instructions from the controller have to be read-back, pay close attention to the RT as described in this guide to make sure you don’t unnecessarily clutter the frequency.
  • The Schiphol SRA-Charts are no longer published through AIP/LIDO/Jeppesen, please use this link.

Step-by-step procedure:
On downwind you’ll be transferred to the SRA arrival controller who will guide you on course. Up until this point your approach will follow standard procedure.

Pilot: “Hello, KLM1774, 2000ft”

ATC: “KLM1774, this will be a surveillance radar approach runway 24, terminating at 1.5 mile from touch down, obstacle clearance altitude 570 feet, check your minima.”

Pilot: “Minima checked, KLM1774.”

ATC: “KLM1774, 10 miles from touchdown turn right heading 238, closing final approach.”

Pilot: “Right heading 238, KLM1774.”

ATC: “KLM1774, 8 miles from touchdown, on centerline, approaching the glidepath”

Pilot: “NO READBACK.”

ATC: “KLM1774, 7 miles from touchdown, Commence descent NOW to maintain a 3 degree glidepath.”

Pilot: “Commencing descent, KLM1774.”

ATC: “6NM from touchdown, altitude passing should be 1800ft. Coming slightly left of centerline, turn right heading 241.”

Pilot: “Heading 241”

ATC: “5NM from touchdown, altitude passing should be 1500ft. Correcting nicely.”

Pilot: NO READBACK

ATC: “On centerline, turn left heading 239.”

Pilot: “Heading 239”

ATC: “4NM from touchdown, altitude passing should be 1200ft. Check gear down and locked. “

Pilot: NO READBACK

Pilot: “Runway 24 in sight.”

ATC: “3NM from touchdown, altitude passing should be 900ft. Runway 24 cleared to land, wind 260 degrees at 11 knots.”

Pilot: “Cleared to land, KLM1774.”

ATC: “2NM from touchdown, altitude passing should be 600ft.”

Pilot: NO READBACK

ATC: “1.5NM from touchdown, altitude passing should be 450ft. Approach completed, continue visually.”

Pilot: NO READBACK

Upon vacating the runway, auto-handoff to S_GND on 121.700. Expedite vacating the runway, do not linger unnecessarily. Keep it rolling and vacate from intersection S2 (or earlier).

Example approach
Blackbox711 and our own Marc Eijkens.