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In US, the weather minimums for an alternate airport are typically 600-2 for precision approaches and 800-2 for non-precision approaches at ETA, unless otherwise specified at US Terminal Procedure Publication.

When it comes when we actually fly the approach,

  • a) Is the DA raised to 600 for precision approaches?
  • b) Is the MDA raised to 800 for non-precision approaches?
  • c) Is the visibility requirement raised to 2SM for approaches at an airport?

Do alternate minimums work similar to inoperative components, use of alternate altimeter settings, NOTAM to change the actual minimums we use to fly, or a purely preflight planning number for selecting alternate airport?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think they affect the actual approach at all. They affect whether you can put that airport in your flight plan as alternate. But when you are there, you shoot the approach as defined. Or you shoot it anyway, because you don't have fuel to go anywhere else any more. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Mar 30 '16 at 12:24
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From the FAA Instrument Procedures Handbook, section 6-4: "The 600-2 and 800-2 rules, or any exceptions, only apply to flight planning purposes, while published landing minimums apply to the actual approach at the alternate."

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    $\begingroup$ this has the makings of a good answer, but I think it needs more explanation. $\endgroup$ – rbp Mar 30 '16 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ I guess you could add " Alternate limits are just artificial flight planning limits. If you can't land at the intended destination you will have an increased margin of weather limits because the weather should be well above normal minimums when you reach the alternate airport." $\endgroup$ – Mike Sowsun Mar 30 '16 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ @rbp - I think this answer is fine: correct, succinct, and to the point. Published landing minimums apply... what else needs be said? $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Mar 30 '16 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ i won't rewrite what's already on meta: meta.stackexchange.com/a/7659/157449 $\endgroup$ – rbp Mar 30 '16 at 16:02

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