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Navigation Charts

Introduction:

Aeronautical Charts
Figure 1: Aeronautical Charts
Aeronautical Charts
Figure 1: Aeronautical Charts

VFR Navigation Charts:

  • VFR Navigation charts consist of the following:
  • Sectional Aeronautical Chart:

    • Designed for visual navigation of slow to medium speed aircraft
    • The topographic information consists of contour lines, shaded relief, drainage patterns, and an extensive selection of visual checkpoints and landmarks used for flight under VFR
    • Cultural features include cities and towns, roads, railroads, and other distinct landmarks
    • The aeronautical information includes visual and radio aids to navigation, airports, controlled airspace, special-use airspace, obstructions, and related data
    • Scale 1 inch = 6.86nm/1:500,000
    • Revised semiannually, except most Alaskan charts are revised annually
    • Charts can be purchased here
    Sectional Aeronautical Chart
    Figure 1: Sectional Aeronautical Chart
  • Terminal Area Chart (TAC):

    • TACs depict the airspace designated as Class B airspace
    • While similar to sectional charts, TACs have more detail because the scale is larger
    • Should be used by pilots intending to operate to or from airfields within or near Class B or class C airspace
    • Charted VFR Flyway Planning Charts are published on the back of the existing VFR Terminal Area Charts
    • Areas with TAC coverage are indication by a dot on the Sectional Chart indexes
    • Scale 1 inch = 3.43nm/1:250,000
    • Charts are revised semiannually, except Puerto Rico-Virgin Islands revised annually
    • Charts can be purchased here
    Terminal Area Chart
    Figure 2: Terminal Area Chart
  • U.S. Gulf Coast VFR Aeronautical Chart:

    • Designated primarily for helicopter operation in the Gulf of Mexico area
    • Information depicted includes offshore mineral leasing areas and blocks, oil drilling platforms, and high density helicopter activity areas
    • Scale 1 inch = 13.7/1:1,000,000
    • 55x27 inches folded to 5x10 inches
    • Revised annually
    • Charts can be purchased here
    U.S. Gulf Coast VFR Aeronautical Chart
    Figure 3: U.S. Gulf Coast VFR Aeronautical Chart
  • Grand Canyon VFR Aeronautical Chart:

    • Covers the Grand Canyon National Park area and is designated to promote aviation safety, flight free zones, and facility VFR navigation in this popular area
    • The chart contains aeronautical information for general aviation for VFR pilots on one side and commercial VFR air tour operators on the other side
    • Learn more here
    Grand Canyon VFR Aeronautical Chart
    Figure 4: Grand Canyon VFR Aeronautical Chart
  • Caribbean VFR Aeronautical Charts:

    • Caribbean 1 and 2 (CAC−1 and CAC−2) are designed for visual navigation to assist familiarization of foreign aeronautical and topographic information
    • The aeronautical information includes visual and radio aids to navigation, airports, controlled airspace, special-use airspace, obstructions, and related data
    • The topographic information consists of contour lines, shaded relief, drainage patterns, and a selection of landmarks used for flight under VFR
    • Cultural features include cities and towns, roads, railroads, and other distinct landmarks
    • Scale 1 inch = 13.7nm/1:1,000,000
    • CAC−1, revised annually
    • CAC−2, revised biennially
    Caribbean VFR Aeronautical Chart
    Figure 5: Caribbean VFR Aeronautical Chart
  • Helicopter Route Chart:

    • A three-color chart series which shows current aeronautical information useful to helicopter pilots navigating in areas with high concentrations of helicopter activity
    • Information depiction includes helicopter routes, four classes of heliports with associated frequency and lighting capabilities, NAVAIDs, and obstructions
    • In addition, pictorial symbols, roads, and easily identified geographical features are portrayed
    • Have a longer life span than other charts and may be current for several years, updated as requested
    • Printed on a durable plastic material
    • Scale 1 inch = 1.71nm/1:125,000
    • Charts can be purchased here
    Helicopter Route Chart
    Figure 6: Helicopter Route Chart

IFR Navigation Charts:

  • IFR Navigation charts consist of the following:
  • En-route Low Altitude Chart (Conterminous U.S. and Alaska):

    • Provide aeronautical information navigation under IFR conditions below 18,000' MSL
    • This four-color chart series includes airways; limits of controlled airspace; VHF NAVAIDs with frequency, identification, channel, geographic coordinates; airports with terminal air/ground communication; minimum en route and obstruction clearance altitudes; airway distances; reporting points; special use airspace; and military training routes
    • Scales vary from 1 inch = 5nm to 1 inch = 20nm
    • Charts revised every 56 days
    • Area charts show congested terminal areas at large scale
    • They are included with subscriptions to any conterminous U.S. Set Low (full set, East or West sets)
    Low Altitude En-route Chart
    Figure 7: Low Altitude En-route Chart
  • En-route High Altitude Charts (Conterminous U.S. and Alaska):

    • Designated for navigation at or above 18,000' MSL (up to FL 600)
    • This four-color chart series includes the jet route structure; VHF NAVAIDs with frequency, identification, channel, geographic coordinates; selected airports; reporting points
    • Scales vary from 1 inch to 45nm to 1 inch = 18nm
    • Revised every 56 days
    High Altitude En-route Chart
    Figure 8: High Altitude En-route Chart
  • U.S. Terminal Procedures Publication (TPP):

    • TPPs are published in 24 loose-leaf or perfect bound volumes covering the conterminous U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
    • A Change Notice is published at the midpoint between revisions in bound volume format and is available on the internet for a free download at the AeroNav website
      • Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP) Charts:

        • IAP charts portray the aeronautical data that is required to execute instrument approaches to airports
        • Each chart depicts the IAP, all related navigation data, communications information, and an airport sketch
        • Each procedure is designated for use with a specific electronic navigational aid, such as ILS, VOR, NDB, RNAV, etc.
        High Altitude Instrument Approach Charts
        Figure 9: High Altitude Instrument Approach Charts
      • Instrument Departure Procedure (DP) Charts:

        • Designated to expedite clearance delivery and to facilitate transition between takeoff and en route operations
        • Furnishes pilots departure routing clearance information in graphic and textual form
        • Found here
      • Standard Terminal Arrival (STAR) Charts:

        • Designated to expedite ATC arrival procedures and to facilitate transition between en route and instrument approach operations
        • They depict preplanned IFR ATC arrival procedures in graphic and textual form
        • Each STAR procedure is presented as a separate chart and may serve either a single airport or more than one airport in a given geographical area
      • Airport Diagrams:

        • Full page airport diagrams are designed to assist in the movement of ground traffic at locations with complex runway/taxiway configurations and provided information for updating geodetic position navigational systems aboard aircraft
        • Airport diagrams are available for free download at the AeroNav website here
      • Alaska Terminal Procedures Publications:

        • Contains all terminal flight procedures for civil and military aviation in Alaska
        • Included are IAP charts, DP charts, STAR charts, airport diagrams, radar minimums, and supplementary support data such as IFR alternate minimums, take-off minimums, rate of descent tables, rate of climb tables and inoperative components tables
        • Volume is 5-3/8 x 8-1/4 inch top bound
        • Revised every 56 days with provisions for a Terminal Change Notice, as required
        • Charts can be purchased here
U.S. Terminal Procedures Publication (TPP)
Figure 8: U.S. Terminal Procedures Publication (TPP)
U.S. Terminal Procedures Publication (TPP)
Figure 8: U.S. Terminal Procedures Publication (TPP)

Planning Charts:

  • Planning charts consist of the following:
  • U.S. IFR/VFR Low Altitude Planning Chart:

    • Designated for preflight and en route flight planning for IFR/VFR flights
    • Depiction includes low altitude airways and mileage, NAVAIDs, airports, special use airspace, cities, time zones, major drainage, and directory of airports with their airspace classification, and a mileage table showing great circle distances between major airports
    • Scale 1 inch = 47nm/1:3,400,000
    • Revised annually, and is available either folded or unfolded for wall mounting
  • Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Planning Chart:

    • A VFR planning chart on the reverse side of the Puerto Rico-Virgin Islands VFR Terminal Area Chart
    • Includes mileage between airports of entry, a selection of special use airspace and a directory of airports with their available services
    • Scale 1 inch = 85nm/1:6,192,178
    • 60x20 inches folded to 5x10 inches
    • Revised annually
  • Alaska VFR Wall Planning Chart:

    • This chart is designed for VFR preflight planning and chart selection
    • It includes aeronautical and topographic information of the state of Alaska
    • The aeronautical information includes public and military airports; radio aids to navigation; and Class B, Class C, TRSA and special-use airspace
    • The topographic information includes city tint, populated places, principal roads, and shaded relief
    • Scale 1 inch = 27.4nm/1:2,000,000
    • The one sided chart is 58.5 x 40.75 inches and is designed for wall mounting
    • Chart is revised biennially
  • U.S. VFR Wall Planning Chart:

    • This chart is designed for VFR preflight planning and chart selection
    • It includes aeronautical and topographic information of the conterminous U.S.
    • The aeronautical information includes airports, radio aids to navigation, Class B airspace and special use airspace
    • The topographic information includes city tint, populated places, principal roads, drainage patterns, and shaded relief
    • Scale 1 inch = 43 nm/ 1:3,100,000
    • The one-sided chart is 59 x 36 inches and ships unfolded for wall mounting
    • Chart is revised biennially
  • Charted VFR Flyway Planning Charts:

    • Printed on the reverse side of selected TAC charts
    • The coverage is the same as the associated TAC
    • Flyway planning charts depict flight paths and altitudes recommended for use to bypass high traffic areas
    • Ground references are provided as a guide for visual orientation
    • Flyway planning charts are designed for use in conjunction with TACs and sectional charts and not to be used for navigation
    • Chart scale 1 inch = 3.43/1:250,000
Planning Charts
Figure 9: Planning Charts
Planning Charts
Figure 9: Planning Charts

Supplementary Charts and Publications:

  • Supplementary Charts and Publications consist of the following:
  • Chart Supplement U.S.:

    • 7-Volume booklet series contains data on airports, seaplane bases, heliports, NAVAIDs, communications data, weather data sources, airspace, special notices, and operational procedures
    • Coverage includes the conterminous U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands
    • The Chart Supplement U.S. shows data that cannot be readily depicted in graphic form; e.g. airport hours of operations, types of fuel available, runway widths, lighting codes, etc.
    • Also provides a means for pilots to update visual charts between edition dates
    • Published every 56 days while sectional and Terminal Area charts are generally revised every 6 months
    • Update Bulletins are available for free download from the AeroWeb website
    • Volumes are side-bound 5-3/8 x 8-1/4 inches
    • Found here
    Chart Supplement U.S.
    Figure 10: Chart Supplement U.S.
  • Supplement Alaska:

    • Civil/military flight information publication issued by FAA every 56 days
    • It is a single volume booklet designed for use with appropriate IFR or VFR charts
    • The Supplement Alaska contains an Chart Supplement U.S., airport sketches, communications data, weather data sources, airspace, listing of navigational facilities, and special notices and procedures
    • Volume is side-bound 5-3/8 x 8-1/4 inches
    • Found here
    Supplement Alaska Chart
    Figure 11: Supplement Alaska Chart
  • Chart Supplement Pacific:

    • Designed for use with appropriate VFR or IFR en-route charts
    • Included are the Chart Supplement U.S., communications data, weather data sources, airspace, navigational facilities, special notices, and Pacific area procedures, IAP charts, DP charts, STAR charts, airport diagrams, radar minimums, and supporting data for the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands are included
    • The manual is published every 56 days
    • Volume is side-bound 5-3/8 x 8-1/4 inches
    Chart Supplement Pacific
    Figure 12: Chart Supplement Pacific
  • North Atlantic Route Chart:

    • FAA controllers to monitor transatlantic flights, this 5-color chart shows oceanic control areas, coastal navigation aids, oceanic reporting points, and NAVAID geographic coordinates
    • Full Size Chart:

      • Scale 1 inch = 113.1nm/1:8,250,000
      • Chart is shipped flat only
    • Half Size Chart:

      • Scale 1 inch = 150.8/1:11,000,000
      • Chart is 29-3/4 x 20-1/2 inches
      • Shipped folded to 5x10 inches only
      • Chart revised every 56 weeks
  • North Pacific Route Charts:

    • Designed for FAA controllers to monitor transoceanic flights
    • The show established intercontinental air routes, including reporting points with geographic positions
    • Composite Chart:

      • Scale 1 inch = 164nm/1:12,000,000
      • 48 x 41 1/2 inches
      • Charts are revised every 56 days
    • Area Charts:

      • Scale 1 inch = 95.9nm/1:7,000,000
      • 52 x 40 1/2 inches
      • Revised every 56 days
    North Pacific Route Charts
    Figure 13: North Pacific Route Charts
  • Airport Obstruction Charts (OC):

    • The OC is a 1:12,000 scale graphic depicting part 77, Objects Affecting Navigable Airspace surfaces, a representation of objects that penetrate these surfaces, aircraft movement and apron areas, navigational aids, prominent airport buildings, and a selection of roads and other planimetric detail in the airport vicinity
    • Also included are tabulations of runway and other operational data
  • FAA Aeronautical Chart User's Guide:

    • A booklet designed to be used as a teaching aid and reference document
    • It describes the substantial amount of information provided on FAA's aeronautical chart and publications
    • It includes explanations and illustrations of chart terms and symbols organized by chart type
    • The users guide is available for free download at the AeroNav website
Area Charts
Figure 14: Area Charts

Digital Products:

  • The Digital Aeronautical Information CD (DAICD)
  • The NAVAID Digital Data File
  • The Digital Obstacle File
  • The Digital Aeronautical Chart Supplement (DACS)
  • The Digital Aeronautical Information CD (DAICD):

    • The DAICD is a combination of the NAVAID Digital Data File, the Digital Chart Supplement, and the Digital Obstacle File on one Compact Disk
    • These three digital products are no longer sold separately
    • The files are updated every 56 days and are available by subscription only
  • The Digital Obstacle File:

    • This file describes all obstacles of interest to aviation users in the U.S., with limited coverage of the Pacific, Caribbean, Canada, and Mexico
    • The obstacles are assigned unique numerical identifiers, accuracy codes, and listed in order of ascending latitude within each state or area
  • The Digital Aeronautical Chart Supplement (DACS):

    • The DACS is specifically designed to provide digital airspace data not otherwise readily available
    • The supplement includes a Change Notice for IAPFIX.dat at the mid-point between revisions
    • The Change Notice is available only by free download from the AeroWeb website

    • The DACS individual data files are:

      • ENHIGH.DAT: High altitude airways (conterminous U.S.)
      • ENLOW.DAT: Low altitude airways (conterminous U.S.)
      • IAPFIX.DAT: Selected instrument approach procedure NAVAID and fix data
      • MTRFIX.DAT: Military training routes data
      • ALHIGH.DAT: Alaska high altitude airways data
      • ALLOW.DAT: Alaska low altitude airways data
      • PR.DAT: Puerto Rico airways data
      • HAWAII.DAT: Hawaii airways data
      • BAHAMA.DAT: Bahamas routes data
      • OCEANIC.DAT: Oceanic routes data
      • STARS.DAT: Standard terminal arrivals data
      • DP.DAT: Instrument departure procedures data
      • LOPREF.DAT: Preferred low altitude IFR routes data
      • HIPREF.DAT: Preferred high altitude IFR routes data
      • ARF.DAT: Air route radar facilities data
      • ASR.DAT: Airport surveillance radar facilities data
  • The National Flight Database (NFD) (ARINC 424 [Ver 13 & 15]):

    • The NFD is a basic digital dataset, modeled to an international standard, which can be used as a basis to support GPS navigation
    • Initial data elements included are: Airport and Helicopter Records, VHF and NDB Navigation aids, en route waypoints and airways
    • Additional data elements will be added in subsequent releases to include: departure procedures, standard terminal arrivals, and GPS/RNAV instrument approach procedures
    • The database is updated every 28 days
    • The data is available by subscription only and is distributed on CD-ROM or by ftp download
  • Digital−Visual Charts (d−VC):

    • These digital VFR charts are geo-referenced images of FAA Sectional Aeronautical, TAC, and Helicopter Route charts. Additional digital data may easily be overlaid on the raster image using commonly available Geographic Information System software. Data such as weather, temporary flight restrictions, obstacles, or other geospatial data can be combined with d−VC data to support a variety of needs. The file resolution is 300 dots per inch and the data is 8−bit color. The data is provided as a GeoTIFF and distributed on DVD−R media and on the AeroNav Products website. The root mean square error of the transformation will not exceed two pixels. Digital−VC DVDs are updated every 28 days and are available by subscription only

Foreign Area Publications:

  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Products:
  • Canadian Charts
  • Mexican Charts
  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Products:

    • For the latest information regarding publication availability visit the NGA website
      • Flight Information Publication (FLIP) Planning Documents:

        • General Planning (GP)
        • Area Planning
        • Area Planning - Special Use Airspace - Planning Charts
      • FLIP En-route Charts and Chart Supplements:

        • Pacific, Australasia, and Antarctica
        • U.S. - IFR and VFR Supplements
        • Flight Information Handbook
        • Caribbean and South America - Low Altitude
        • Caribbean and South America - High Altitude
        • Europe, North Africa, and Middle East - Low Altitude
        • Europe, North Africa, and Middle East - High Altitude
        • Africa
        • Eastern Europe and Asia
        • Area Arrival Charts
      • FLIP Instrument Approach Procedures (IAPs):

        • Africa
        • Canada and North Atlantic
        • Caribbean and South America
        • Eastern Europe and Asia
        • Europe, North Africa, and Middle East
        • Pacific, Australasia, and Antarctica
        • VFR Arrival/Departure Routes - Europe and Korea
        • U.S.
      • Miscellaneous DOD Charts and Products:

        • Aeronautical Chart Updating Manual (CHUM)
        • DOD Weather Plotting Charts (WPC)
        • Tactical Pilotage Charts (TPC)
        • Operational Navigation Charts (ONC)
        • Global Navigation and Planning Charts (GNC)
        • Jet Navigation Charts (JNC) and Universal Jet Navigation Charts (JNU)
        • Jet Navigation Charts (JNCA)
        • Aerospace Planning Charts (ASC)
        • Oceanic Planning Charts (OPC)
        • Joint Operations Graphics - Air (JOG-A)
        • Standard Index Charts (SIC)
        • Universal Plotting Sheet (VP-OS)
        • Sight Reduction Tables for Air Navigation (PUB249)
        • Plotting Sheets (VP-30)
        • Dial-Up Electronic CHUM
  • Canadian Charts:

    • Information on available Canadian charts and publications may be obtained from designated FAA chart agents or by contacting the:
                        NAV CANADA
                        Aeronautical Publications
                        Sales and Distribution Unit
                        P.O. Box 9840, Station T
                        Ottawa, Ontario K1G 6S8 Canada
                        Telephone: 613-744-6393 or 1-866-731-7827
                        Fax: 613-744-7120 or 1-866-740-9992
  • Mexican Charts:

    • Information on available Mexican charts and publications may be obtained by contacting:
                        Dirección de Navigacion Aereo
                        Blvd. Puerto Aereo 485
                        Zona Federal Del Aeropuerto Int'l
                        15620 Mexico D.F.
                        Mexico
  • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO):

    • A free ICAO Publications and Audio- Visual Training Aids Catalogue is available from:
                        International Civil Aviation Organization
                        ATTN: Document Sales Unit
                        999 University Street
                        Montreal, Quebec
                        H3C 5H7, Canada
                        Telephone: (514) 954-8022
                        Fax: (514) 954-6769
                        E-mail: sales_unit@icao.org
                        Internet: http://www.icao.org/cgi/goto.pl?icao/en/sales.htm
                        Sitatex: YULCAYA
                        Telex: 05-24513

References: