Let’s say I am holding on a published hold in lieu of a procedure turn but not yet cleared for the approach. Upon receiving approach clearance (say on the outbound leg of the hold) would I have to cross the fix an additional time before proceeding inbound?

I have attached a picture as an example and a red X where the approach clearance is received.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I'm a little confused at your question. As ATC, if I issued the approach clearance when you were at the red X, I would expect you to continue on the outbound leg, turn inbound, and cross HXO inbound to the runway. Are you asking if I would expect you to do another full hold after receiving the approach clearance? (I would not.) $\endgroup$
    – randomhead
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 17:26
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    $\begingroup$ You can always request a "victory lap" if you want to do one more turn around the pattern! $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ If I were cleared for the approach at the red X, I would, assuming that I was at an appropriate altitude (not too high), immediately begin my turn inbound to HXO and once at HXO begin the approach. $\endgroup$
    – user22445
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


You don't need to do a full turn around the holding pattern, you can just cross the IAF and proceed inbound. This is from the AIM 5-4-9(a)(5):

The holding pattern maneuver is completed when the aircraft is established on the inbound course after executing the appropriate entry. If cleared for the approach prior to returning to the holding fix, and the aircraft is at the prescribed altitude, additional circuits of the holding pattern are not necessary nor expected by ATC.


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