In the March 2016 article, "IFR Around the World," Wolf Schroen writes that the procedure for descending in non-radar environments is to "stay above the MSA and descend in the hold." I was under the impression that MSAs were for emergency use only, and that the proper procedure for non-radar environments was to stay on airways, at or above the minimum published altitudes, until reaching an initial approach fix.
Mountain View, CA
Wolf Schroen replies:
Certainly following the airways and the MEAs, and then descending over an initial approach fix or hold would be best. I was just thinking of a case when we weren't on an airway, like between Keflavik, Iceland (BIKF) and Narsarsuaq, Greenland (BGBW). We wanted to make sure we were above the OROCA and MS As for that area when we were descending. I guess we could have stayed at our filed FL170 until over the hold, but given that the airport is at sea level we wanted to start a prudently safe descent beforehand.