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Richard McDonald Woods

Terminal Control Area (TMA or TCA) entry on approach

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Is it true that the entry point to a TCA is always the Initial Approach Fix (IAF)?

 

Not sure I understand. TCA is a north americanism (TMA or terminal manoeuvring area everywhere else in the world).

 

Controlled airspace is built up like an upside down wedding cake with a CTZ (control zone) at the bottom, extending up generally around 1,500 agl, a CTA above the CTZ extending to around 3,000ft, then the TMA above that up to the base of class C airspace at FL195.

 

Since you'll descend from class C into the TMA from above rather than entering laterally it isn't a fixed point; and this will be considerably higher than the IAF.

 

Additionally, not every approach has an IAF anyway.

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