So all instrument pilots know what a VOR-Alpha is, but what about a VOR-Bravo?? Honestly, some of the CFIs at my flight school found a VOR-B approach, but no one has been able to determine the difference between Bravo and Alpha. I have checked Google, FARs, and the AIM with no luck. Any insight??

If I can find the plate I’ll post the picture.


KMBO has a VOR alpha and a VOR Bravo approach. The differences for these approaches is the direction you are travelling on the 137 radial.

Apha, you go SE on the 137 radial and Bravo you go NW on the 137 radial

flightaware.com/resources/airpor … E+OR+GPS-B
flightaware.com/resources/airpor … R+OR+GPS-A

Hope this helps.



More generally, a VOR-A is an approach with the final approach course more than 30 degrees offset from the runway heading. As such it is, by definition, a circling approach with circling minimums applicable. A VOR B simply is the second VOR approach at that airport that doesn’t have straight-in minimums. GPS approaches are named in the same way.


EmeraldRocket is correct


As was said, EmeraldRocket is correct. They have to give every approach a unique name so that controllers and pilots can identify them in communications. Otherwise, imagine what would happen if there were two VOR approaches into the same runway and the controller said, cleared for the VOR runway XX approach. You would not know which of the two to use. This nomenclature allows the controller to say, cleared for the VOR-B approach.


It should be noted that some GPS approaches (lexicon changing to “RNAV” over time) have letters in them even if they are to a specific Runway, ie a straight in for Runway 30 could be named GPS 30 Y. What the “Y” tells the discerning pilot is that there are other GPS approaches to that same runway, just a different course design. Generally, in this instance, the TERPSTERS work backwards from “Z” to “Y” and so forth, unlike the circling VOR or VOR/GPS approaches which begin at Alpha and move to Bravo.