Proper Initial Communication Procedure to ATC on Approach (v 20.1)

I’m struggling to find the answer to the following question, so please point me in the correct direction if this was already answered on the forum:

Assuming the pilot has been cleared by center to descend via STAR, then handed off to the approach frequency of the destination airport, what should be the pilot’s first communication to the approach frequency? 1) “Request ILS Approach” or 2) “Request Descent via STAR” ?


The pilots first communication with approach should be an approach request. This could be an ILS, Visual, or GPS.

This should happen regardless of if Center is open.


You don’t need to request descent again since you were already cleared from center

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Got it, thanks. Is there an instance when the pilot would request (on the approach frequency) descent via STAR to the destination airfield?

Not that I know of. Chances are you’ll get to follow your FPL regardless.

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