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PAR approach vs ILS approach

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Is PAR approach ( precision approach radar) comparable to ILS cat 1 approach? Or are all ILS approaches superior to PAR. Is there a way of comparing these two approaches? Despite it is called PAR (precision approach radar) it does not give the same precision as ILS, i imagine. Any thoughts on this topic? gura75

Geir Hansen

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A PAR approach is typically equivalent to a Cat 1 ILS approach, in minimums anyway. Back in the 70's they were even lower limits than the ILS to accommodate being used aboard Navy ships. It's the control part that is very different. You can only have 1 PAR approach ongoing per controller, where you can stack up aircraft on ILS approaches as long as you have the separation. Also, a PAR requires no equipment in the cockpit other than a radio. The controller on the ground interprets the radar display and gives the pilot headings to steer and glidepath corrections. I hope this all helps. Jordan

Jordan Labossiere

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I've watched PAR approaches numerous times and actually got one from a friendly Offutt AFB controller when I was in an aeroclub Sierra. There was a time when all fighter bases had them, and in fact were required for operations in hard IFR, such as existed much of the time in winter in Germany. I thought they were good to zero-zero, maybe each pilot has their own minumums based on certifications.

Dan Downs KCRP

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Not all approach radar systems are equipped for the vertical scanning needed for vertical guidance. They are most common at military and shared military/civilian use airports. I read not long ago about its use for civilian pilots where nav equipment fails and conditions are IFR. I'm not sure of civilian ATC controller requirements on currency. PAR military ground units are available as portable units for those quick built airfields in combat proximity situations.

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