Approaching airports without a STAR

For those airports large enough to handle some smaller transport jets (737 for example), how would you approach airports that do not have published STAR charts? Likewise, how about departing said airports without published SIDs?

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whats a STAR chart???

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Standard Terminal Arrival Route. It’s basically a map of the route that takes you within the vicinity of an airport.

Here is an example:


Here is some info for you.

I can’t help you with your problem unfortunately I just know what it is.


Use common sense, maintain runway heading for at least 5/6 miles then turn for SID.

For a STAR approach make your flight plan turn slowly to a 30 degree intercept. Plus follow all ATC instructions.

Thanks for that helpful info :)

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No problem but a goggle search would have probably have helped.

Yeah… that’s funny :]

whilst not all airports will have a STAR or SID, they will still have published procedures for arrivals and departures which you should be able to search for an " ‘ICAO’ CHART" on your favourite search engine…

Generally the airport will have a chart depicting the FAF (final approach fix) for each runway, possibly about 10nm from touchdown at platform height. Then they will have a bunch of way points set around the compass about 20-25nm out from the field for NSEW arrivals. You will either be vectored to one of these or told to fly to one of these and then fly to and intercept the LOC at the FAF.

It happens quite a lot around the world. No great shakes.

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I’ve got two examples how I’ve proceeded if I don’t have a SID or STAR available. I don’t know whether this is 100% realistic, but since I’m not owning a CPL I’ll let this question aside :)

Hint number one: Always go through the written stuff.
Bournemouth (EGHH) doesn’t have a published SID chart, but departure procedures are written down in another chapter of the aeronautical information publication.
The principle is the same as on a SID chart, just in written form. The same can be applied to missing STAR procedures if there’s any written information. If not I come to the second hint I can give you:

Use instrument approach charts.
Here I’ve got Olympia Regional Airport (KOLM) which doesn’t have a STAR nor any written routes comparable to a STAR. But we can gain a lot of information from the IAC plates.
On these charts we may find transition routes from any fix further out to a fix on final approach. Just have a look at it and you might find what suites your plans.

I hope I could help you a little, happy landings :)


@DaYooper. MaxSez: Welcome Aboard… Get yourself The Aviators Bible; “The Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge” (FAA-H-8083-3B) Free in PDF Form from Do a bit of research before you put your trust in the Forum. Get acclimatized learn to trust but variety data here. There are snakes on this plane. The responses on this thead are a prime example, 60/40 correct. I go with @David_Lockwood and @Yuan_Tugo on the responses herein so far.


There’s some good answers here, but I am also particularly interested in procedures from beginning of descent to the terminal area. Is it a combination of pilot’s discretion and/or ATC?

Well in both real life and also in IF the PIC has the final say and should have it planned out as part of your overall flight plan. In real life ATC will have more of a say of when an aircraft can descend and at what speeds, here in the IF Virtual World you as the PIC will have more control on this as as we only have the Approach ATC frequency rather than any central frequencies.

The important part to work out is how high and fast you should be for a given distance from an airport.

For example I have made a table for the following distances away from the airport, if you search this forum for “descending for beginners “ ther are some examples of how to work out your Height, speed, VS speed for these distances, working them out will help you to understand how and why it works.

150. CRUISE. M0.82 0 in the cruise.
100 FL320. M0.69 -2500
42. FL120. 260KTS -2000

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