Cleveland Burke Lakefront RNAV GPS Runway 24 Right
Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport (BKL) now holds the title of “that fantastic little airport by the lake,” a slogan once reserved for the nowdefunct Chicago Meigs Field (CGX). BKL gets lots of use by corporate and private aircraft by offering easy access to downtown Cleveland, the football stadium, the aquarium and, of course, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sitting downwind from Lake Erie, BKL is a regular target for fog and lake-effect snow, weather that demands an instrument approach. While BKL is equipped with parallel runways, the airport offers only two approaches, an ILS and an RNAV GPS, both to Runway 24. With that knowledge, here are a few key points to note when considering the use of the RNAV GPS approach to Runway 24R.
A. CIRCLE TO LAND
When IFR conditions exist with easterly winds, a circle-to-land is necessary. At night, circling is made only to Runway 6L and flown north of the airport due to the proximity of the city and adjacent structures to the south.
B. LOFTY APPROACH MINIMUMS
Even on a straight-in like the lateral/vertical navigation (LNAV/ VNAV), landing Runway 24R demands pilots see the runway environment at 1,324 feet msl (741 agl). The traditional ILS approach to 24R actually offers lower minimums with a straight-in decision height (DH) of 917 feet msl (313 feet agl) with a¾ -mile visibility requirement. Local sources say minimums have been high for years due to a power plant within a mile of the threshold, though the station is gone. Whether the RNAV/ GPS minimums will see changes is unknown.
C. MULTIPLE LPV MINIMUMS
Notice two sets of LPV minimums listed for this approach. One includes minimums of 1,401 feet msl (818 feet agl), while the other allows a descent to 1,249 feet msl (666 feet agl). To accept the version with the lower minimums, the aircraft must be capable of a missed-approach climb gradient of 421 feet/nm up to 1,900 feet msl. Local obstructions explain the special missed-approach instructions.
Remember that this restriction is measured in feet per nautical mile, not feet per minute. There’s no cockpit instrument that reads in feet/nm, so a little quick math is required. Pilots can use the FAA’s gradient-to-rate table (found in the terminal procedures), which offers climb-speed options, adjusted for wind. If density altitude also happens to be high, or the aircraft is operating at maximum gross weight, meeting the targeted climb rate could be challenging.
D. LOCAL ALTIMETER REQUIRED
There’s also a special authorization note for this approach that requires a BKL altimeter setting. While approaches increase the minimums without a local altimeter, the pilot of an aircraft headed to BKL is not allowed to even begin the approach without a local altimeter. Simply tuning in the Cleveland Hopkins altimeter (12 miles southwest) won’t work. BKL offers an ASOS on 125.25 when the tower is closed.
E. AN INTERESTING GLIDESLOPE
Notice too that the visual glideslope and the LPV glideslope line do not agree, so a pilot will notice cockpit indications that differ from the PAPI system outside. PAPI lights are normally installed left of the runway, but at BKL, these lights are set on the right due to the proximity of Runway 24L.