Stanfield instrument approach at the stack in G1000.

The airspace around the Stanfield VOR (TFD) and Casa Grande Airport (KCGZ) is extremely congested with training aircraft. This is primarily due to the fact that the ILS approach to runway 5 at CGZ is one of the only precision approaches available to the many flight training providers in the Phoenix area. That, combined with the Class E airspace and lack of radar coverage, puts this area at high-risk for mid-air collisions.

The following procedures are provided as recommendations and best practices to improve communication and provide a safe training environment at and around the Stanfield VOR. Following these procedures is highly recommended, but not mandatory. Please contact the AFTW with any questions or concerns regarding these recommended procedures.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Everyone following these procedures needs to remember to be patient with, and understanding of, other pilots who are not familiar with these procedures. Those of us who fly these procedures regularly may start to think that this is “the only way” or “the right way” for everything to be done, thereby leading to us think that someone else is “doing it wrong.” Please remember that these are unofficial procedures that are not known to many other pilots. When it becomes apparent that there is someone attempting to transit the area and/or practice an instrument approach without following the recommended procedures, the instructor / evaluator currently at the “top of stack” should ask the unfamiliar pilot if they would like help joining the flow of traffic and then proceed to guide that pilot through the procedures as needed. Please be careful to not sound frustrated or inconvenienced while doing this.

It is appropriate to kindly make a brief radio call to suggest that unfamiliar pilots obtain these procedures at before their next flight. Please remember to be patient, courteous, and professional at all times.

Version 6 of the procedures is available via the link below. Before downloading and using these procedures, please review significant changes from previous versions, as follows:

Summary of Significant Changes in this Revision

In an effort to reduce radio congestion, the following calls have been removed:

  • Entering the stack
  • Turning in the hold
  • Procedure turn outbound
  • 6 NM final

Changed “3800ft. Open” to “Approach altitudes open,” when VOR inbound.

Removed “Suggested entry altitude 4500ft. MSL” note, making it okay to enter at approach altitudes when the stack is empty.

Cleaned up text in the example radio calls on several slides.

Added cautions about ADS-B (slide 34).

After making the above changes, the only standardized calls are:

  • About 10 NM out (state how many minutes out) – Request top of stack
  • 2 minutes out
  • Every altitude change
  • Procedure turn inbound (please follow the definition in the Pilot / Controller Glossary)
  • VOR inbound, approach altitudes open
  • 4 NM final to runway 05 at KCGZ
  • 2 NM final to runway 05 at KCGZ


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