Final Approach Confusion

This isn’t a major problem at all, just a learning curve for myself and others out there who are confused about this situation. When communicating with ‘approach’ IFATC at Boston Logan International this morning I was instructed to continue on course to my destination, before final. I was then told “Number 1, cleared to land for the ILS approach runway 27.” I continued the approach and landed using the ILS. I didn’t request the ILS as I was originally planning to land manually. When told you are cleared to land using the ‘ILS’ does this mean you have to land using this system and not land visually? If so, can I request to land without the ILS?


Landing with ILS means that you are landing with guidence from the ILS. It does not mean you have to autoland. And you can of course request to land without ILS.


When requesting approach initially you get three options Visual, ILS and GPS however sometimes if the airspace is busy they might only accept one approach option. In this case they probably were setting everyone up for ILS.


You weren’t with approach if you were cleared to land. I think approach assigned an ILS approach to you, when they do this you will need to comply. Due to traffic volume they had to upgrade your service.

If you want you could have asked for a visual approach after receiving the ILS approach assignment though, that’s fine. Be prepared to be denied.

You have to fly an ILS approach if assigned one.


Thanks! That sounds right, I think all if not most of the Boston arrivals where cleared for ‘ILS’ approaches when I was flying in this morning from Amsterdam.

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