A Complete Manual for Conducting International Flight Operations




Maximum Circling Speeds

At the right  is a table for the maximum circling speeds in TERPS VS. PANS-Ops. The maximum speed for circling in PANS-Ops is significantly higher than TERPS. As mentioned earlier the reason for the higher speed is an increased protected circling area.

The chart at the right shows the differences between PANS Ops and TERPS, which may help to clarify why the PANS-Ops circling speeds are higher. Notice that the PANS-Ops minimum visibility is expressed in nautical miles and that the radius of the PANS-Ops procedures are significantly higher.


This example is taken from Gribble who is a expert on TERPS vs. PANS-Ops procedure construction. This chart also incorporates TERPS change #21, Which expanded the previous fixed circling distances based on aircraft category from 1.3 NM, 1.5 NM,1.7 NM, 2.3 NM, 4.5 NM for aircraft categories A-E respectively.

Implementation of New Circling Criteria

With TERPS 8260.3B Change 21 they have corrected for the higher TAS at higher altitudes by expanding the circling radius based on the circling MDA elevation MSL. Previously this would have remained 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, 2.3, 4.5 NM regardless of the MSL elevation.


Revision date: July 29, 2015

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