RNAV approach (area navigation approach)
An instrument approach procedure that relies on aircraft area navigation equipment for navigation guidance. For example, for a particular airport, a VORTAC (very high frequency omnidirectional radio-range and tactical air navigation) station may not be located to provide a good fix for a straight-in instrument low approach; it may be too near the runway, too far away, or not aligned with the extended center line of the runway. The area navigation system of an aircraft so equipped can, in effect, place a VORTAC station anywhere desired, as long as the line-of-sight “visibility” of the actual station can be maintained. For this purpose, the system selects a waypoint to serve as the station for the desired instrument approach. The waypoint is set into the aircraft's navigation equipment, and the approach is flown in the same manner as a VOR/DME (very high frequency omnidirectional radio-range/distance-measuring equipment) approach, using the published RNAV (area navigation) approach plate.