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Pilots flying VFR follow clearances like the "mall visual" or "east channel departure." These are based on features of the local area that are easy to identify.

Are procedures like this official? Where could a reference be found for these procedures?

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Which airport are you referring to? – Lnafziger Apr 3 '14 at 16:39
Alaska Supplement has many VFR departures like that, which are outlined in the section for an appropriate airport. Some TACs have preferred VFR routes (corridors) on them. – alexsh Apr 3 '14 at 16:56
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes, they are official.


I can't find a "East Channel Departure" but if you know what airport it belongs to, you can find it in the Terminal Procedures publication, either in paper form or online.

They are not VFR procedures, but rather visual IFR procedures. The MALL VISUAL would not be assigned to a VFR flight. Some airports do have special arrival/departure procedures which apply to VFR flights; these can be found in the Airport/Facilities Directory (A/FD) or on a website like http://www.airnav.com/ (for the US anyway).

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In some cases these VFR arrival/departure routes are listed and mapped in the back pages of the A/FD. – Skip Miller Apr 3 '14 at 17:34
@fooot: The procedure is visual because it requires visual contact with ground and/or appropriate landmarks to be safely flown, but is IFR because it can be used for issuing IFR clearances. Most commercial flights always operate IFR from ground to ground even if weather would be visual. – Jan Hudec Apr 3 '14 at 18:35
People use IFR/IMC and VFR/VMC very interchangeably, when they're not. This is an example of Instrument Flight Rules in Visual Meteorological Conditions. But, named departures aren't only IFR. I know of at least one airport, San Carlos Airport in California, that has named departures for VFR flights. – Jungroth Apr 3 '14 at 19:12
@Jungroth The procedures you mention at KSQL are unofficial (as far as the FAA is concerned) noise abatement procedures, sponsored by the airport. They are not official FAA / National Airspace System terminal procedures, and not to be found in the TERPS or A/FD. A visiting Part 91 VFR aircraft would not be expected to know these procedures or be able to follow them. – dvnrrs Apr 3 '14 at 19:22
@fooot: IFR is not the same as IMC: IFR is a set of rules you fly under. IMC means you can't see out the window. It is entirely possible to be flying under IFR rules, but with perfect visibility. Hence, "Visual IFR" makes sense. – abelenky Apr 3 '14 at 20:40

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