RNAV STARS OR STAR TRANSITIONS
STARs designated RNAV serve the same purpose as
conventional STARs, but are only used by aircraft
equipped with FMS or GPS. An RNAV STAR or STAR
transition typically includes flyby waypoints, with flyover
waypoints used only when operationally
required. These waypoints may be assigned crossing
altitudes and speeds to optimize the descent and deceleration
profiles. RNAV STARs often are designed,
coordinated, and approved by a joint effort between
air carriers, commercial operators, and the ATC facilities
that have jurisdiction for the affected airspace.
RNAV STAR procedure design, such as minimum leg
length, maximum turn angles, obstacle assessment
criteria, including widths of the primary and secondary
areas, use the same design criteria as RNAV DPs.
Likewise, RNAV STAR procedures are designated as
either Type A or Type B, based on the aircraft navigation
equipment required, flight crew procedures, and the
process and criteria used to develop the STAR. The Type
A or Type B designation appears in the notes on the
chart. Type B STARs have higher equipment requirements
and, often, tighter RNP tolerances than Type A.
For Type B STARS, pilots are required to use a
CDI/flight director, and/or autopilot in LNAV mode
while operating on RNAV courses. (These requirements
are detailed in Chapter 2 of this book, under “RNAV
Departure Procedures.”) Type B STARs are generally
designated for high-traffic areas. Controllers may clear
you to use an RNAV STAR in various ways.
If your clearance simply states, “cleared Hadly One
arrival,” you are to use the arrival for lateral routing only.
- A clearance such as “cleared Hadly One arrival,
descend and maintain flight level two four zero,”
clears you to descend only to the assigned altitude,
and you should maintain that altitude until cleared
for further vertical navigation.
- If you are cleared using the phrase “descend via,”
the controller expects you to use the equipment for
both lateral and vertical navigation, as published
on the chart.
- The controller may also clear you to use the arrival
with specific exceptions—for example, “Descend
via the Haris One arrival, except cross Bruno at
one three thousand then maintain one zero thousand.”
In this case, the pilot should track the
arrival both laterally and vertically, descending so
as to comply with all altitude and airspeed restrictions
until reaching Bruno, and then maintain
10,000 feet until cleared by ATC to continue to
- Pilots might also be given direct routing to
intercept a STAR and then use it for vertical
navigation. For example, “proceed direct
Mahem, descend via the Mahem Two arrival.”
[Figure 4-23 on page 4-24]
Figure 4-24 on page 4-25 depicts typical RNAV STAR
leg (segment) types you can expect to see when flying