Routes and Navigation Aides — Navaid Terms and Fixes Last updated: 2017-07-10

Often routes will be issued or requested that reference radials or distances from VORs/TACANs/NDBs, etc.


When referencing a VOR radial, state the name of the VOR followed by the separate digits of the radial. For example:


  • “Ventura two eight two radial”

For a DME arc, state the distance in miles from the navaid, followed by the words “mile arc,” the direction from the navaid, and then finally the navaid name. For example:


  • “one four mile arc south of Las Vegas”

If you need to define a bearing and distance from a navaid, state the name of the navaid followed by a radial and distance. For example:


  • “Las Vegas two eight zero radial, six zero mile fix”

Here are some examples of how you might apply these terms:


  • “Cessna eight seven three four sierra, cleared to Santa Barbara airport, Ventura eight departure, Ventura, Ventura two eight two radial, KWANG, direct...”

  • “United fourteen eighty five, fly heading 280, intercept the one four mile arc south of Las Vegas, cleared I-L-S runway one left approach.”

  • “Gulfstream one kilo echo, for military airspace, cleared direct Las Vegas two eight zero radial six zero mile fix, direct Coaldale, rest of route unchanged.”

Clearances and routes will be covered in much greater detail in later lessons.


{Reference: FAAO 7110.65 2-5-2 & 3}

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