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Why is there a FAF database identifier with the code [FS044] even though it says no FAF and why is there an RNAV fix symbol for that point? The code [FS044] means FAF for the approach (What is the difference between VOR(D), VOR(V) and VOR(S) seen in the table?). Also, why there is no FAF in VOR A, B, and C charts, what is the reason for this?

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When you fly this approach with old school radio based navigation, you turn from the VOR onto a 224° track and maintain this track for 3 min (for CAT A & B aircraft) or 2 min (for CAT C & D aircraft). Then you turn left to intercept the 044° course towards the VOR (the 224° radial). The final approach starts once you are established on the VOR radial and you are now allowed to descend from 2300' to the MDA. But notice that there is no fixed point, where this happens. The exact location depends on the exact ground speed (and therefore wind) during the outbound leg and how exactly the turn onto final is flown. There is therefore no FAF for this approach.

In the US, the point where you are established would be called the FAP (final approach point), but this terminology is used only for precision approaches under ICAO rules (see e.g. this answer).

However, if you fly this approach in a modern aircraft with RNAV capabilities (e.g. using a FMS), the computer needs to know how to establish the aircraft onto final approach. It does not receive the VOR information (the pilot can and should still cross-check it), so the computer needs the fix [FS044] to define the final approach segment between this fix and the runway. The fix is stored in the database as a FAF, but it does not legally form the FAF for this approach because it is not required to use it (and non-RNAV equipped aircraft could not even identify it).

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  • $\begingroup$ I understand what you mean, but how do we define a non-fixed waypoint? In the profile section, the distance to the threshold is given as 6.2 DME and I think the point is defined that way, but I guess that's just the case on FMS, right? If so, wouldn't it be a problem for airplanes using RNAV to fly different racetrack legs for 2 or 3 minutes for this descent, in terms of flying over this point defined as FAF in the FMS system? Because the distance the plane will fly may not be enough to catch this point. $\endgroup$
    – pilot162
    Mar 1, 2023 at 3:36
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    $\begingroup$ @pilot162 The fix [FS044] is at a fixed location, 6.2NM from the VOR (in the database its exact coordinates will be stored). If you are non-RNAV, then you don't have to fly over this point, you just turn after 2/3 min and use the VOR to align with the runway. If you are RNAV, you can ignore the 2/3 min. The FMS will compute an outbound leg followed by a turn that ends up at [FS044], regardless of the timing for the outbound leg. $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Mar 1, 2023 at 7:26
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much! $\endgroup$
    – pilot162
    Mar 1, 2023 at 8:40

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