On the following ILS chart, there is a number 301°. Is the number 301° indicating a track angle, heading or something else?

KMSP ILS Rwy 30R chart

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Ask yourself what makes sense. What could be published and always be useful to the pilot in all situations and would maintain the same relationship with the fixed points on the plate. $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 5, 2022 at 6:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Jim that is not a helpful comment. What might seem obvious to you could seem very perplexing to someone starting out. APP CRS only means "Approach Course" for those of us who are used to the jargon. And showing an approach angle on the bottom right glidepath has always been a confusing representation. Snappish responses might feel temporarily feel good, but they don't celebrate the learning and documentation process, which is what SE sites are about. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 7, 2022 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ @KennSebesta - That wasn’t a snappish comment. I’m sorry you took it that way. It was a comment in the vein of the Socratic method intended to stimulate critical thinking. $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 7, 2022 at 15:59

2 Answers 2


An approach plate is a map, so the directional values presented are always magnetic track angles (except near the magnetic North Pole). A heading is where the airplane points when it's flying. So, 301° is the track of the localizer course, in degrees magnetic. Makes sense, as it's the approach to Runway 30.

In the Arctic, in some areas the magnetic compass is usable and some areas it's not, so the value will include a "T" (301°T) if the track is a True Track, or an "M" (301°M) if it's a Magnetic Track. If there is no T or M, assume the value is magnetic.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you sure it's not the required bank angle? $\endgroup$
    – Jack Deeth
    Commented Mar 6, 2022 at 9:39

That is the final approach course on the localizer. You will fly that magnetic course once you are established on the localizer. Your heading used to track that final approach course will vary depending on the winds aloft.


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