US LOAs: What’s the point of the C052?



Someone asked us about C052. Here’s the answer.

Do you need it?

Well, my friend, to answer that you will need to answer these:

  1. Are you Part 91, registered in the US?
  2. Do you want to fly approaches that uses GPS RNAV stuff?
  3.  Do you want to fly these outside the US National Airspace System?

If you answered ‘yes’ to the above 3 then you probably need a C052

Are you now wondering ‘Why exactly do I need it?’ or ‘I have no clue about the C052!“?

If you answered yes, read on. If you answered no, then move on.

Tell me about the C052

The C052 is a LOA.

In fact, it is ‘an optional LOA provided upon the request of part 91 operators in order to show evidence of authorization and training to conduct Area Navigation (RNAV) Global Positioning System (GPS) approaches should they be required to provide such evidence to a civil aviation authority (CAA) outside of the United States.’

So you need C052 if you want to fly RNAV GPS approaches outside of the the US, in countries where approval from your home state is required. Like anywhere that falls under EASA for example.

The C052 tells foreign authorities that you are trained and approved to fly GNSS based approaches, and this keeps them happy.

Hang on, do I actually want to fly GNSS based approaches?

Well, take a look at airports you visit and see if they have the following –

  • A non-precision approach without vertical guidance, like an LNAV or an LP?
  • An approach with vertical guidance like an LNAV/VNAV or LPV?
  • A GLS approach?
  • Titles which say RNAV (GNSS) or RNP approach?
  • PRM?

Ok, then yeah, C052 is still for you.

Here’s a US chart so you can see if it’s familiar.

I don’t fly to Europe though. So where else do I need it?

Europe is the main spot, but there are others as well. Hong Kong for example. This LOA will allow you to fly them anywhere that authorisation is required.

One of the best ways to confirm is on the approach charts (it might say authorisation required) or in the Country Rules and Regs.

The UK used to have more stuff like LPV approaches, but since the UK lost access to EGNOS after Brexit, these LPV approaches haven’t been possible.*

*Good news here though – Inmarsat have recently run tests on the new satellite system stuff that will replace EGNOS access for the UK. Watch this space for LPVs again. And C052 requirements for the UK. We aren’t sure yet if it will be needed (it wasn’t in the past).

Something else to know about it.

The older LOA C052 used to mention LOA B034, but this is now out of use.

Because you also don’t need approval to fly RNAV GPS approaches in US airspace, the best way to confirm your aircraft is eligible and airworthy for C052 stuff is through your airplane flight manual (from the manufacturer).

You might also want to get the C052 if you want a C073. The C073 authorises you to use MDA as a DA/DH, and you gotta have the C052 to get the C073

These guys can help.

Aviation Manuals can help you actually get the LOA if you want. We’ve mentioned them before, and actually they’ve mentioned the subject of C052 LOAs before, so here’s a link to that.

I’m sure there are other places who can help too, we just happen to find these guys really helpful because they always answer our questions on stuff.

Some useful other things to read.


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