Here's a VOR approach for runway 07 at Cluj (LRCL).

On the lower left side of the chart you will see the "Straight-in" OCA(H) as N/A and then a "Circling" OCA(H) of 2540 (for category C). There is only a 6 degree offset between the final approach course and the runway, and as far as I can tell below 30 degrees (or maybe 15?) the approach is considered straight-in.

So why are straight-in approaches not allowed but circling ones are?

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    $\begingroup$ I know under TERPS you can be within the straight-in cone but not able to get straight-in minima due to excessive descent rates on final (see the VOR/DME into KASE for a classic example of this) $\endgroup$ – UnrecognizedFallingObject Nov 14 '16 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking this question specifically about the VOR rwy 7 approach that you linked to? Or are you asking this question more generally regarding any straight in approach to runway 7 at LRCL? $\endgroup$ – J Walters Nov 15 '16 at 1:59
  • $\begingroup$ @JonathanWalters just for this particular approach, why is there no straight in minima? what regulation/reason prevents a straight in $\endgroup$ – Radu094 Nov 15 '16 at 18:48

It is allowed.

Runway 07 has a published GNSS straight-in instrument approach as of 10 Nov 2016.

enter image description here

Download link here, or click image for full size.

For non-GNSS equipped planes, there are no published straight-in instrument approaches for runway 07. Only the circling VOR 07.

However, in VMC the crew may request or likely be given a visual straight-in approach to 07.

As to why there aren't published minima for a straight-in VOR approach to runway 07, I can think of two plausible reasons:

  • VOR accuracy being not good in that quadrant, maybe due to terrain interference, or interference from the tall church on short final.
  • Winds almost always favor 25, so no effort was made to certify a straight-in approach using VOR for 07.

When an aircraft intends to land on a runway for which no instrument approach procedure exists, it may descend on the instrument approach to another runway and, provided the required visual references are established at the circling MDA/H, maneuver visually for landing on the desired runway. This procedure is used when landing on the instrument runway is undesirable, due for example to wind conditions or work in progress.


A circling approach is the visual phase of an instrument approach to bring an aircraft into position for landing on a runway which is not suitably located for a straight-in approach.


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    $\begingroup$ It is worth pointing out that an aircraft may request or be given a straight in approach to runway 7 via the VOR approach even while in IMC. However, in such a scenario the approach could only be continued to landing if the requisite runway environ elements were in sight at the specified circling MDA. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Nov 15 '16 at 2:04
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    $\begingroup$ It's probably due to the close proximity of obstacles in the final approach segment and the accuracy of GPS versus VOR approaches in lateral guidance. GPS will keep them closer to centerline and away from those obstacles so they can descend lower. SInce the VOR has to keep them higher, they are too high to be in a position to land straight-in (similar to KASE approaches). $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Nov 18 '16 at 1:26

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