LaGuardia’s Expressway Visual
Most aviation enthusiasts have heard of the Runway 19 River Visual Approach into Washington D.C.'s Reagan National Airport. New York's LaGuardia Airport is home to another interesting and unique Visual Approach. The Runway 31 Expressway Visual has got to be one of the most fun approaches out there. Tall buildings and heavily populated areas to the East of LaGuardia, as well as traffic in and out of the larger JFK Airport, require aircraft arriving to Runway 31 to come in from the South. Strict Minimums are required for the approach to be flown, at least a 3000 foot ceiling and 3 Miles Visibility. The approach begins with aircraft descending inbound on the Runway 04 Localizer to 2500 feet. Once the infamous "Twin White Tanks" are in sight, aircraft make a turn to the East, following the Long Island Expressway. Once the aircraft reach the Flushing Meadow Park they begin a sharp turn to the left, about 135 Degrees over Flushing Bay. This sets them up for a very short, almost non-existent, final approach to Runway 31. After all this, Pilots only have about 5,000 feet to land, as they usually have to hold short of Runway 4-22 for departing traffic. This approach gives both pilots and passengers one of the most close-up views of Long Island and New York City they will ever get. The approach also goes almost directly over Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets Baseball Team, at just a few hundred feet above the ground.