Understanding SIDs, STARs & IAPs

Hello everyone!

As many of you know, I take Infinite Flight to a very realistic level including my flight plans. I noticed a lot of users want to do realistic flight plans but don’t really understand how to read all the different information. I posted a series of videos that I have watched in order to learn about real world charts. With global flight quickly approaching, I’m sure many of you want to fly across the world using real world flight plans. This series of videos should definitely help you with that.

Please remember that SIDs and STARs do not apply to controllers especially those on the expert server. You may still create your flight plan using real world charts, like I do, but please expect to be deviated from it. If you would like to follow SIDs and STARs in your flight plans, you can do so when no controllers are present in the airspace, fly on casual, or fly in solo mode.

This simply serves as an informational and educational topic for those who are curious. These videos are quite old but still contain valid content and information. The video is more centered towards desktop sim users, but Infinite Flight should still apply considering the flight planning system is very similar. Please watch all 4 parts.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

These are not my videos. All credit goes to the video creator, Tek Turbiasz.

Hope you enjoyed these videos and I hope you learned something new. Any questions? Feel free to ask below. I may not be to answer all your questions, but I’m sure a real world ATC controller or a real world pilot could answer. :)

@Aernout has created a tutorial on how to read IAPs a while ago. Check it out here if you’re interested.


Seen these, good stuff. On a side note, nice new profile pic!

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Thank you, sir. I’m glad you enjoyed it. :)

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Was expecting a written explanation but this works alright! :P

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Wonderful post, I rather prefer reading the FAA manuals but for those that don"t have the time or patience this is a great resource.


Thanks. I’ve read the manuals but the video is definitely more descriptive and simple to understand. :)

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This will come in handy for LOTS of people who don’t understand what SIDS/STARS are! And I admire your profile pic as well :)

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Thanks, I’m glad you found it helpful. :)


This is fantastic!!

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Well I think ATC arrival/departure controllers should know and use approach and departure plates of the airports they are playing controller at and which ones that turboprop vs jets use and what flight levels and speeds should be known at the given points

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What point would that serve? I can’t tell you to folow a specific plate. They were invented to ease controller work load. You want us to Vector everyone down them? Besides all that a controller can pull you off at any time so what would be the point exactly?

Yes, turn on navaids and fixes on your map you can most waypoints on the plates in the map, look at the aircraft flight plan to see if they have any of those fixes. It gets really difficult for sim pilots who have planned their flight with something like SIM brief actually using an approach plate just to have an arrival controller totally throwing off your descent rate either by “short cutting” your approach making unrealistic turns and intercepts with you either too hi or low. If pilots who, more than likely don’t go that far and single waypoint their way there, controllers should know a few approaches and vector them in down those plates. Especially to stop these incredible 180 turns 10 nm out on final.

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👌 you obviously don’t control on this sim. What you are asking is impossible unless you have 2 aircraft with you. The 180 turn is actually used IRL. Also at the end of most of those arrivals, and beginning of the SIDs is an instruction to expect vectors. Unless it’s uncontrolled you will hardly ever fly the entire thing per batum.

If you think you can do it better send me your information, and we will get you tested up.

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A lot of STARS and SIDS have components where ATC is supposed to provide vectors. Meaning that a pilot should use LNAV to appropriately go to the built in waypoints, and it you are lucky, maybe you will have an approach controller who will recognize the procedure you are following, and provide the vector when needed.

Beyond that, it would be unrealistic to expect anything more from the approach controllers. Your idea is way too tedious to be practical with a lot of traffic.

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Very interesting… i love flying realistically and these star, sid stuff actually confused the heck out of me. Thanks!!