Victor airways

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The VOR station shown on this chart has airways shown at bearings of 086, 116, 129, 257, 296, and 313. Another airway emanating from a different station also crosses the south-west corner of the map.

In the United States and Canada, Victor airways are low-altitude airways. They are defined in straight-line segments, each of which based on a straight line between either two VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) stations, or a VOR and a VOR intersection,[1] hence the beginning letter V (pronounced as Victor, in the ICAO phonetic alphabet).

United States[edit]

In the United States, Victor airways are designated by the FAA in FAA Order JO 7400.9.[2] They are available for flight below Flight Level 180 (approximately 18,000 feet (5,500 m) above mean sea level (AMSL)) under either instrument flight rules (IFR) or visual flight rules (VFR).

Victor airways have minimum (and possibly maximum) altitudes for IFR operations established. For VFR operations, victor airways are just a subset of so-called Federal airways (which also include so-called colored airways), which are designated as Class E, and hence are extended from 1,200 feet (370 m) above ground level (AGL) up to, but not including, 18,000 feet (5,500 m) above mean sea level (AMSL).[3][4][5]

Victor airways are depicted as black solid lines on IFR Low-Altitude Enroute charts and as thick faded blue lines on VFR Terminal and Sectional Area charts. They are identified by a number, similar to an interstate highway (for example, a pilot could say that he/she is "flying Victor Eight").

The width of the victor corridor depends on the distance from the navigational aids (such as VORs):[6][7]

  • When VORs are less than 102 nautical miles (NM) (189 km) from each other, the airway extends 4 NM (7.4 km) on either side of the centerline (8 NM (14.8 km) total width).
  • When VORs are more than 102 NM from each other, the width of the airway in the middle increases to account for the increased margin of error in the VOR signal. The width of the airway beyond 51 NM from a navaid is 4.5 degrees on either side of the centerline (at 51 NM from a navaid, 4.5 degrees from the centerline of a radial is equivalent to 4 NM). The maximum width of the airway is at a designated changeover point between the two navaids, usually half way.


External references[edit]


  1. ^ PHAK, p. G-33
  2. ^ 7400.9, Sec. 6010 VOR Federal Airways
  3. ^ PHAK, p. G-11
  4. ^ 7400.2, Para. 20-1-5 Route Identification
  5. ^ 8260.19, Para. 3-1a
  6. ^ 8260.19
  7. ^ TERPS, Paras. 1711, 1716