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Old 10th Feb 2014, 13:34
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Wherever someone will pay me to do fun stuff
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In the absence of any other information, if the aircraft is cleared to follow the published procedure (rather than being vectored) then, yes, it is receiving a procedural approach control service.

I'm not current on this sort of thing so someone doing the job on a daily basis may correct me but most arrival procedures do not make allowance for differences in the speed of aircraft. ATC has a 'landing interval' which, essentially, is the minimum interval between aircraft leaving fix to fly the approach. What happens to other aircraft that are later in the approach sequence depends on a bunch of other things including other traffic and how easy is is to hold an aircraft (for both pilot and controller) in a good place to start the arc procedure. Remember the controller has to keep subsequent aircraft in the approach sequence separated from departing aircraft, the one flying arc procedure and the missed approach for the arc procedure. For this reason it may not be ideal to let the second aircraft in the sequence run to the overhead.

There may be some local separations that the controller can use but that the pilot probably doesn't know about - things like if aircraft A is in the NE sector and more than 15D it is separated from traffic departing runway xx and joining route Y. It is all based on local routes and the navaids that are available - such separations are known as 'deemed separations'. These deemers are typically calculated using rather complex formulae in an ICAO doc that is only truly understood by mystics and the like who mutter phrases containing words like 'containment area'.

I'll stop rambling now but I thought I'd share a glimpse into the controllers' murky world of procedural control!
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