final approach fix

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final approach fix (FAF)

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The fix and/or waypoint located on the final approach course of an instrument approach procedure prior to the point of the glide-path intercept on a precision approach procedure; prior to the final approach fix on a non-precision approach procedure that has a designated final approach fix; prior to any stepdown fixes on a non-precision approach procedure with designated fixes but no final approach fix; or at a point that would permit a normal landing approach on a non-precision approach procedure with no final approach fix or stepdown fixes. It is a fix from which the final IFR (instrument flight rules) approach to an airport is executed and which identifies the beginning of the final approach segment. An FAF is indicated on the charts. A Maltese Cross symbol is used for non-precision approaches, and the lightning bolt symbol is used for precision approaches. When ATC (air traffic control) directs a lower-than-published glideslope or -path-intercept altitude, it is the resultant actual point of the path or path intercept. Also called a centerline fix.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved