Question about the Kathmandu approach for tomorrow

Hey everyone,

I’m currently ready to fly to Kathmandu as tis featured tomorrow but I have a question;

Kathmandu is a tricky airport to land at, especially in bigger planes. I was wondering will ATC be allowing realistic approaches into the airport?


The picture Iinked is an approach chart for runway 02 at VNKT. I have filed it in my FPL. Am I allowed to fly by this?

Thanks for any answers!

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Also by “tomorrow” I mean tomorrows ATC schedule.

Once you tune into the Approach frequency, the controller will vector you in whichever is the easiest. If that just happens to be the real life one then great! If not, don’t be disappointed, vectoring lots of planes is ridiculously hard much respect IFATC, so it may be easier another way.

Any other questions I’ll be happy to answer!

You should be okay as that approach doesn’t deviate much from a straight-in entry. Btw I believe most flights just enter straight in.

Yes, but the approach exists for a reason as there is terrain around the airport, thats why its tricky for IF.

I’d still like a member of IFATC so answer though :)

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Yes they enter straight in but need to fly this approach (via charts) due to terrain.

IFATC do not follow real world procedures, as much as many of us would like to. The approach controller will keep you clear of any terrain, following an approach chart or not. If I were controlling the airport’s approach, I’d make sure I know my safe altitudes and probably use the approach chart as a guide, but with the traffic volume we receive and the skill of most of the pilots, it’s simply not possible to follow charts like that to a tee. We also don’t have the tools to clear an aircraft to an airport via a STAR/IAP, so we’re restricted to the tools we’re given to work with, which work pretty well.

TL;DR - don’t expect the approach how it’s depicted on the chart.


In the chart you posted, you can see that left bent curvature, that a peak, a higher elevation which many flight by pass by following this chart while others don’t. Many time despite that elevation peak, some airlines, some flights just fly over it and descent somewhat steeper. It is a bit more challenging that way, as you need to keep your eyes in the speed during the higher degree descent but both works.

You choose yourself whether to follow this chart or just head straight in over the mountain peak.

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Good point, thanks for the answer!

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If it’s not busy you can ask for flight following and then you can follow your FPL. Though high probability especially if there’s traffic that ATC won’t accept that. I controlled VNKT several times and used the real approach for the GPS. Now that we treat GPS as VIS (and not as ILS anymore), there’s a bit more flexibility. However I do think that the old way is probably still the easiest. I haven’t had a look because I’m not planning on controlling tomorrow, though I do think that’s what you can expect.

with this GPS change, if I were controlling, I wouldn’t exclude coming in from the east and clear on base or something like that. That’s what I meant by flexibility. It really depends on the controller.


If able to, I’ll PM the controller at the time and see if he/she is alright with that :)

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