A guide to understanding the Canarsie Approach

Hello! Do you know this visual approach at John F. Kennedy International Airport? This Guide will provide some good information about it, from the history behind it, to how to perform it.

The history of the Canarsie Approach

In the New York area, there are three major airports, each one very close to the other. They are: John F. Kennedy (KJKF), La Guardia (KLGA) and Newark Liberty (KEWR).

If you thought about an ILS approach to runway 13L, it would not be possible, since you have LGA in the space, creating an insufficient separation. In this context, the Canarsie Visual was created in the 1970s.

This approach requires pilots to come in from the south west, overflying the Canarsie VOR and turning to either 13L or R on short final.

How to perform it [follow the image ahead]

[As the chart suggests] When cleared for Parkway Visual to Runway 13L/R maintain at or above 2000’ until abeam Rockaway Point. Remain west of Rockaway Point, thence east of Kingsborough Community College. Remain east of the Shore Parkway. Cross Brooklyn Coast Guard Air Station at or above 1500’. Remain east of the Shore Parkway until Canarsie Pier.

Since you crossed the CRI VOR, you should apply a 041 heading until you reach Jamaica Bay. In the case you are going to land at runway 13R, begin your descent. If you are going to land at runway 13L, keep the altitude.

Once you reach the red point, you have two ways:

i) 13R - You have already commenced the descent, so you just have to align to the runway and continue descending until you land.

ii) 13L - You have to start your descent now and you have to make a right turn, following the Crossbay Parkway until you reach the Shore Parkway intersection, although keep slightly south until you reach the Aqueduct Race Track, then align with the runway, keep the descent and land.

Last, but not least… have fun (with security)!

Some remarks

  • Weather minimums for the Canarsie Visual are 3sm visibility and 2500’ ceiling;
  • When winds are from the east 13L is mostly used for landing and 13R for take-off.

Thank you for reading it! Safe flights!


It’s actually called the parkway visual :)
Great guide though, it’s one of my favorite visual approaches!


Like these sort of posts! It is mostly about long hauls, liveries, etc., not so much about challenging airports/approaches, procedures and skills of flying.
Thank you for this information, I’ll give it a try soon.


I’ve done this approach IRL!

Lovely topic, and thanks for the advice!


Yes! Finally, somebody is willing to speak up and cover this thrilling approach! Great guide, always worth it to read!

Typically, you will perform the trademark visual after following the RNAV (GPS) Z approach for either runway.

00610RZ13L (skyvector.com)


Very nice! I’ve done too, but as a passanger. It is very nice! Thanks for reading it!


Wow! Thanks for this in-depth tutorial. I actually live close to JFK, and I see this approach done very often. Now I know how it is done. Thanks!!


My pleasure! Thanks for reading it!

Born and raised New Yorker now live in Florida but I recently flew up there and we actually were very close to airport (JFK) east of the parkway then did a sharp turn over the reach and landed but thanks for this much needed

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A question, is this the only way to land on 13L?

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New Yorker here who lives right under the Canarsie approach, no it is not. The ILS for runway 13 left is used in poor weather conditions, I saw it happen last night.

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Btw sorry for the very late reply

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I believe this happens only when weather is really really poor, I remember back during the storm this summer ANA flight 110 did 3 go arounds (maybe more) for 4R and then used this approach to finally land

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I tried the Parkway Visual in IF. Due to the low scenery resolution around JFK, you need to plot the path in GPS in order to follow it properly. ASALT@2000 CRI@1500 DMYHL, then MAYMA JONAT for 13R or UXHUB JEVNI for 13L.

Coming in over the Rockaway coast, you can see the blurry Coast Guard station to the right…

Then making the turn just before the barely visible Aqueduct Racetrack…

and bonk

In the next KJFK update, it would be nice to have some 3D visual markers to aid in the approach, like how we have the checkerboards at Kai Tak.

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Correct, if the weather is good enough to do the Canarsie approach, it’ll be done over the ILS.

Would be nice. IRL, there’s lights along the Canarsie approach that help at night. Can be seen here: https://youtu.be/HAvsue88nj8?si=KiWUo1x-d--2REkr

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I’d say in about 1 in 500 Canarsie landings, they land on 13R like you did, it’s almost always 13L.

I can see why. The turn for 13R is really tight and unless you are panning in virtual cockpit view, you can’t see the airport until you are on top of it.

Speaking of the devil… planes have been arriving all day on 13L and just saw this guy land 13R! He passed over super low! Short stop on the runway as well… Another reason they don’t usually use this runway at all is it’s usually used for departures.