If I need to do a course reversal before initiating an approach, do I need to notify ATC that I'm going to do the course reversal, or is it implied that I'm going to do it?

For example:


If I'm approaching the VIR VOR with a course of 230, I would need to do a course reversal to get established on the outbound course. Should I notify ATC that I'm going to do the course reversal?

  • $\begingroup$ Why would you do a course reversal? Wouldn't you just turn prior to the IAF to intercept the outbound course? $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Apr 26, 2017 at 23:27
  • $\begingroup$ Which country or regulator are you asking about? Bolivia? $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Apr 26, 2017 at 23:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JonathanWalters Because ICAO states the following about base turns: "Unless the procedure specifies particular entry restrictions, reversal procedures shall be entered from a track within ±30° of the outbound track of the reversal procedure. However, for base turns, where the ±30° direct entry sector does not include the reciprocal of the inbound track, the entry sector is expanded to include it." So with a course of 230 I would be outside of the "entry sector" for the base turn. $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2017 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Pondlife Yes, Bolivia. $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2017 at 23:52
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If in doubt, it's better to advice ATC one time too many. $\endgroup$ Apr 27, 2017 at 4:29

1 Answer 1


It is implied.

When you are cleared for the approach you are cleared for the procedure turn, or base turn as indicated on the plate. Since your current heading puts you outside the entry sector, you do a racetrack to get aligned with the entry to the base turn.

It is always good to know when you have to call and when you don't because there could be heavy traffic, high workload, or who knows what. But if we're talking a competency ride or something like that, you should know whether you need to make the call or not. All that said, one can of course report the course reversal if there is doubt.

In this instance, there is no requirement to report the turn.


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