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Both of these issues can be mitigated by a careful pre-study of the airport environment and an [[Effective Briefings|effect, threat based briefing]].
Both of these issues can be mitigated by a careful pre-study of the airport environment and an effective [[Effective Briefings|threat based briefing]].
==Related Articles==
==Related Articles==

Latest revision as of 18:42, 2 December 2019

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Category: General General
Content source: SKYbrary About SKYbrary
Content control: SKYbrary About SKYbrary


A side-step manoeuvre, allowed by some NAAs, is an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) approach profile to closely spaced parallel runways in which the aircraft conducts the approach to one of the runways but lands on the other.


Side-step manoeuvres are only permitted on parallel runways that are separated by 1200' or less. Where side-step manoeuvres are authorised, ATC may clear an aircraft to conduct a standard instrument approach procedure to either one of the parallel runways to be followed by a straight−in landing on the adjacent runway. The ATC clearance will specify the approach procedure to be flown as well as the landing runway. For example, "cleared ILS approach runway 26 left, side-step to runway 26 right", or similar wording. Pilots are expected to commence the side−step manoeuvre as soon as possible after the runway or runway environment is in sight. Compliance with any minimum altitudes, that are associated with stepdown fixes, is expected, even after the side−step manoeuvre is initiated.

Approach Minima

Approaches conducted to a side−step manoeuvre are limited to a Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) regardless of the approach flown. Landing minimums for the adjacent runway will be based on non-precision approach criteria and are, therefore, higher than the precision minimums to the primary runway. Side-step minimums will be equivalent to, or higher than, the non-precision minimums for the approach conducted. Side-step minimums will also normally be lower than the published circling minimums.

A typical minima block for a approach which includes side-step criteria is depicted below.

Sidestep minima.jpg

Go-around from a Side-step Manoeuvre

If a Go Around is required, either during the approach or during the side-step manoeuvre, the published missed approach procedure for the approach flown is to be followed.


Although the risks associated with the side-step manoeuvre are not as significant as those inherent to a circling approach, the profile is not without risk. The most significant of these is landing on the wrong surface. This can happen in one of two ways:

  1. failure to conduct the side-step - distraction or inattention leading to landing on the runway to which the approach was conducted rather than on the runway to which landing clearance was given
  2. missidentification of the landing runway - side-step manoeuvres, in the past, have resulted in the aircraft landing on a taxiway situated between the two parallel runways

Both of these issues can be mitigated by a careful pre-study of the airport environment and an effective threat based briefing.

Related Articles

Further Reading

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)

  • ICAO Annex 6: Operation of Aircraft;
  • ICAO Doc 8168: Procedures for Air Navigation Services - Aircraft Operations (PANS-OPS) Vol I - Flight Procedures);