The U.S. FAA is warning pilots against unauthorized use of special instrument procedures, reminding in an Information for Operators (InFO) that these procedures are for specific users. Such special instrument procedures were either intended for private use or require special conditions, equipment, limitations or training, the agency said in the InFO. They can be developed for either commercial or non-commercial operators but require specific authorization by the FAA Flight Standards Service and are marked as such on charts.
“Flight crews must not request nor accept an air traffic control clearance for a special instrument procedure without specific FAA-Flight Standards authorization,” the FAA cautions, noting that pilots have accepted and flown such procedures without FAA authorization or a valid navigation chart. “These actions introduce a potential adverse safety impact as operators may not have special training and required equipage to safely operate utilizing special instrument procedures.”
The use of these procedures has become “muddled” in recent years as new technologies have facilitated their distribution to a broader pilot community than intended, NBAA said, adding a number of downloadable aviation databases include special instrument procedures.
"Access to the actual procedure charts is tightly controlled, but some operators are choosing to fly these special procedures anyway," said NBAA director of air traffic services and infrastructure Heidi Williams. "We often see special instrument procedures at mountain airports, and with ski season approaching, the InFO serves as a good reminder for our members to verify that they are flying these procedures with proper authorization."