From the minimum vector altitude (MVA) can be obtained: Only the obstacle clearance, only the navigation reception, or both?


1 Answer 1


From the FAA's Pilot/Controller Glossary:

MINIMUM VECTORING ALTITUDE (MVA)- The lowest MSL altitude at which an IFR aircraft will be vectored by a radar controller, except as otherwise authorized for radar approaches, departures, and missed approaches. The altitude meets IFR obstacle clearance criteria. It may be lower than the published MEA along an airway or J-route segment. It may be utilized for radar vectoring only upon the controller's determination that an adequate radar return is being received from the aircraft being controlled. Charts depicting minimum vectoring altitudes are normally available only to the controllers and not to pilots.

The definition only mentions obstacle clearance. Because radar vectors do not require any navigation capability on the part of the pilot, NAVAID reception is not guaranteed.
However, given that radar vectors must (in the absence of CPDLC) be issued via voice radio communications, the MVA should ensure adequate radio reception with the ATC facility. This may or may not always hold true.


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