Questions About SIDS/STARS

Hey IFC, as you can tell by the title I have a few questions regarding SIDS/STARS. If you’re able to help me out that would be great!

Q1. If an arrival STAR does not transition smoothly to an approach star (for example the arrival procedure ends at a waypoint directly above the airport, and the approach waypoints begin at the start of the localiser) is it realistic to fly with only the approach procedures and not the arrival?

Q2. Can you use waypoints in between arrival and approach procedures in order to make the two STARS transition smoothly? If so is this realistic?

Q3. Departure SIDS have altitudes assigned to certain waypoints, is there a way to/should I be following these set altitudes during my departure out of an airport?

Normally these are minimum altitudes. I ignore them.


If possible, I try to fly with both. Most all approaches have a VTF (Vector To Final) option that allows ATC to vector you in and then begin the approach.

If you use the VTF, or if there is some spacing between the two, of course! I’m not sure if its realistic, but it can greatly help out the approach controllers if you plan it right!

Simply set the alts in your A/P, then once you have cleared the last, you can set your cruise alt and climb unrestricted! Conversely, you can simply set your cruise alt and use your VS to level off at each alt, although it requires a bit more attention

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When this occurs, I generally just enter a pattern leg and fly towards my first approach fix BEFORE overflying the airport. If approach is active, you can always ask for vectors if unsure what to do. On the other hand, if tower is open, they will tell you which leg to enter.

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That’s what I do, I guess it’s not really required to level off at these altitudes anyway. Thanks for replying :)

When I select this option does ATC automatically know to vector me into final? Or do I need to request vectors from myself? Thanks for replying by the way, this really helps!

You should still request your vectors

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Thanks for the help! This makes a world’s difference, now I don’t need to be confused every time this occurs.


Thanks for letting me know, I really appreciate your help!

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Typically a STAR and an approach are combined, which means that the end of a STAR should be the beginning of the corresponding approach. If not you probably need to check the charts to match the correct procedures.
However in some airports they use RNAV transition, which belongs to approach in IF, instead of a STAR (like EDDF). In that case you might just use the approach procedure only.

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How dare you.

I‘m not only ignoring them, I‘m deleting them out of the flight plan


Not all altitudes are minimums, some may be maximum but for maximum realism, try to look for IFR charts on the internet.

I use flightaware’s IFR Plates when flying in the states and for the rest of the world, I go a pdf link for the charts of the airport.

Try typing:[ICAO].pdf

Replace the [ICAO] with the actual ICAO code and you should be able to find charts for most major airports.
E.g. EGLL:
They may be outdated but they provide you with a great idea on how to fly in and out of an airport.

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That’s why I said “normally”.

Yep, but just to avoid confusing others

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