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PAPI Availability For CAT II ILS Operations

  • March 18, 2016
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There is some discussion going around our operations department on if we need to have PAPIs in-service during CAT II ILS Operations. Discussions with our Tower and FAA equipment repair techs has not getten us any closer to an answer. Interested to hear what others think on this.

Scenerio: The Airport is operating under Category II operations with an active ILS. Does the PAPI system for that runway need to be operational to be within compliance?

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Another possible source for an answer reference required visual slope equipment, separate from any airport regs, may be minimum equipment requirements by your operational airlines.  I have heard that some may require visual vertical guidance as an internal airline requirement.  Ask your airline pilots if there are any such requirements on their books...if so, you'll know what to expect once a failed PAPI is notam'ed out of least before their dispatchers start calling asking when it will be back up.

That is a great question. We def. want our PAPI systems working but at times they have gone out of service for a day or needed to be removed to be sent back to the Manufacturer for refurbishment (wildlife damage issues, physical damage, etc...). We keep spare parts but the major items like the legs, frangables, and outer boxes are not kept in stock. We can get those parts overnighted, but given the location of the Airport is in one of the foggest areas, its been a question we've been asking lately. 

I'm curious, why would you not want your PAPI's in service?

Well there is nothing on the approach plate regarding PAPI outages.  Sometimes the approach plates will specify increased minimums in the event of an equipment failure.

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