This is an approach LAS_APP students will see regularly during their training. Note that it doesn’t have a runway in the title, just a “-A”. If no runway is specified it means one of two things; either the approach is not aligned within 30 degrees of a runway at the airport, or that the descent angle from the final approach fix to the runway is too steep. In this case, the approach is reasonably well aligned with runways 1L and R, but because the final approach course does not intersect with the runways’ extended centerlines, it can’t have straight-in minimums published. However, a pilot may still request to fly the approach and land on 1L or R.
This is a more challenging approach to vector aircraft from the west side of the final approach course. There is significant terrain south of LAS and we still need to vector so that pilots intercept “at an altitude which will allow descent in accordance with the published procedure.” It’s common to vector aircraft for the approach off the CLARR/KEPEC arrivals from the SW. They eventually approach through a 6900’ MVA area. If we tried to vector to intercept 3 miles from NICZU (just like an ILS, we must vector to intercept at least 3 miles from the final approach fix) from the west side of final, the aircraft will have to be kept at 6900’ until very close to intercepting final. The charted minimum altitude at NICZU is 5400’...a 3 mile intercept would require that aircraft be no higher than 6300’. The solution here is to vector to a longer final. Note that the charted minimum altitude at KACCY is 7100’. If we vector so that the aircraft intercepts at KACCY, then we can keep them at/above 6900’ and they’ll be “at an altitude which will allow descent in accordance with the published procedure.”
The phraseology is the same as other approaches, but we’ll include a circle-to-land instruction:
“N123SX, 4 miles from KACCY, turn left heading 020, maintain seven thousand until established on the final approach course, cleared V-O-R D-M-E Alpha approach, circle to runway two six left.”
Also note that this approach has one IAF (KACCY) and two feeder routes to the IAF (from BLD and LAS). If aircraft will overfly any of these fixes, they may be cleared for the approach using the phraseology in section 4-8.