April 22, 2010
The new online airport directory, AOPA Airports, has received a lot of positive, constructive feedback since its launch April 13. Among the feedback received, there were several questions about the new advanced search feature. Not only does the new advanced search look very different from advanced search in the former airport directory—it also functions differently.
Pilot focus groups and interviews pointed the AOPA Airports design team in the direction of a simplified search presentation that could accommodate free-form searches. The new page design allows pilots to refine searches using check-box filters (public use only, customs airport of entry, nontowered, etc.), and keywords entered directly into the search box. Pilots also can refine searches by selecting a minimum runway length, and by setting a radius based on a zip code, airport, or coordinates.
For example, to search for all airports with glider operations in the state of Colorado, visit the advanced search page and select “Colorado” from the state drop-down menu. You will see “CO” in the search box. Next, enter the term “glider” into the search box, leaving a space between “CO” and “glider.” When you hit the “Go” button, your search results will display all Colorado airports with glider operations listed.
For another example, try searching for airports in Maryland with camping on the field. From the advanced search page, select “Maryland” from the drop-down menu. Next, enter the word “camping” into the search box, leaving a space in between the search terms. When you click the Go button, the search results will display all airport listings in Maryland with the word “camping” included.
As a result of pilot feedback over the last week, the design team has already made enhancements to AOPA Airports. Several AOPA members commented that the majority of Nearby Airports searches resulted in too many private-use airport listings, so the design team updated the feature. Now, private-use airports are excluded from the Nearby Airports search. Pilots interested in seeing nearby private-use airports may still do so using the advanced search feature.
AOPA Airports was designed to be agile and accommodating to the needs of pilots. Please feel free to e-mail the design team if you have any comments or suggestions.
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