I'm looking at the SERFR4 arrival into San Francisco. There's two waypoints, STOKD and MAKRS, which are shown on the plate but aren't actually connected to the route. Can anyone help explain why they're there, as there's no mention of either elsewhere in the route. Thanks!

SERFR4 Arrival: https://flightaware.com/resources/airport/SFO/STAR/SERFR+FOUR+(RNAV)/pdf

  • $\begingroup$ If it's printed on the chart, then ATC doesn't need to spell it out if they want to send you there for some reason? $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Commented May 13, 2020 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


Coming from Southern California, you'll often be filed to one of those points, and then on to SERFR for that arrival. Putting those two points on the page gives perspective of what direction one is coming in from.

It's all RNAV stuff, so is having them on the chart strictly necessary in order to navigate? No. But it gives a little bit of a picture of what you're expecting to see on the Navigation Display.

Also, as mentioned in the comment, if ATC needs to reroute somebody off of what they filed & over one of those points & then to SERFR, having the point on the page may reduce copying errors when the controller spells out "cleared direct MAKRS, Mike Alpha Kilo Romeo Sierra" -- it at least gives the pilot something to reference when that clearance is being read to him. Things that reduce the frequency congestion ("Was that Mike Kilo Alpha Romeo Sierra? I don't have that in the database..." "No, it's Mike Alpha Kilo Romeo Sierra" "Oh, okay, Mike Alpha Kilo Romeo Sierra, we'll use that.") are beneficial.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ To your first point it's interesting to note that STOKD is on the high altitude chart and MAKRS is on the low with STOKD marked as a reporting point. They both are also on the boundary between LA Center and Oakland Center, so you'd be getting an ATC handoff at those fixes. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Commented May 13, 2020 at 18:12

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