Instrument approach charts now available online from AOPA

November 1, 2001

AOPA members can now view and download, free of charge, all current government-published instrument approach charts.

Some 9,400 NACO (formerly NOS) instrument procedure charts, including instrument approach procedures (IAPs), standard terminal arrivals (STARs), departure procedures (DPs, formerly called SIDs), and all U.S. change notices are available online. The charts are updated according to the aeronautical charting cycle and are current for instrument flight.

"This year, entering a new millennium, AOPA is using the tools of the twenty-first century to give members more information and flexibility," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "Approach charts are just one of the enhancements we're adding to AOPA's Airport Directory Online."

The charts are available in the Portable Document Format (PDF) for members to view online and download to their personal computer.

"With the PDF format, pilots can print the charts in any size they want," said Machteld Smith, director of AOPA's Airport Directory. "The charts will be easier to read than the standard 'government issue' because pilots can adjust the size to meet their needs and print them on a much better paper."

The charts are linked to AOPA's Airport Directory Online listings. Pilots need only "point and click" on the related airport entry to download the instrument charts for the airports they need.

The online charts aren't intended to be a full replacement for an IFR chart subscription, however. "We certainly don't advocate flying on instruments without the approach plates for the entire route of flight," said Boyer, "but AOPA's online charts are a perfect complement for trips slightly outside your region of coverage, student training, and proficiency flights."

Other enhancements to AOPA's Airport Directory Online now available include:

  • Kneeboard-size print option for airport data, providing a quick overview of the most critical airport data, listed in the order a pilot needs. Using any personal computer connected to the Internet, a pilot can print information for any selected airport, ready to be clipped to a kneeboard.
  • Airport and FBO comments online, allowing AOPA members to post comments about an airport or FBO directly to its listing in AOPA's Airport Directory Online. Members can share valuable additional information about the airport and surrounding services and attractions.
  • AOPA's Handbook for Pilots online, including sections on aircraft performance and operations, airspace and air traffic control, meteorology and weather services, and emergency procedures and survival. The Handbook also provides quick links to the most up-to-date federal aviation regulations and the Aeronautical Information Manual.

And coming soon, AOPA members will be able to download the AOPA's Airport Directory database to their personal computers and personal digital assistants using the Palm Pilot operating system. The database, which is continuously updated, includes everything a pilot could need to know about an airport, from runway information to radio frequencies to FBO information and nearby restaurants and hotels.

AOPA's Airport Directory Online is a member benefit available in the members-only section of AOPA Online.

The 365,000-member Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is the world's largest civil aviation organization. More than one half of the nation's pilots are AOPA members.

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