AOPA's popular airport directory is now available in electronic form. AOPA's Airport eDirectory may be installed on both personal computers and personal digital assistants (PDAs) using the Palm TM operating system. The Airport eDirectory is free to AOPA members.
"You can now literally take AOPA's airport data with you in the palm of your hand," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "And you can be sure that you'll have the most up-to-date data available."
AOPA's Airport eDirectory allows members to install AOPA's complete airport data directly on their computers. This database includes pertinent preflight information for more than 5,200 public-use airports, seaplane bases, and heliports in the United States, plus more than 6,000 FBOs and aviation service companies.
The database includes thousands of listings for restaurants (on airport and nearby), lodging, transportation, and local services and attractions.
The data available for each airport include all communications frequencies, navaids, runway information, traffic patterns, pilot controlled lighting, listings of all FBO services, telephone numbers for nearby restaurants and hotels, and much more.
The software offers a powerful search engine and data filters. Pilots can set the filters to display all of the airports on a sectional or enroute chart, all of the airports in a state, or all airports within a selected radius of a particular airport.
The search function is a great way to find spots for the "$100 hamburger." For example, a pilot could set search criteria of all airports within 100 nautical miles of Frederick (Maryland) Municipal Airport that have a runway longer than 3,000 feet, a restaurant on the field, and an FBO that offers the AOPA FBO rebate. The system will display airports meeting those parameters.
Filters offer a practical means to select which data will be sent to the pilot's PDA during a "hot sync." The entire nationwide database takes up only 4 MB of PDA memory, but most pilots will likely choose to load into their handheld devices only the airports in the area where they fly.
The filter option can also be used to load airports for a particular trip. For example, a pilot planning a trip from St. Louis to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (site of AOPA Expo 2001 November 8-10), could tell the system to load all of the airports on the St. Louis, Atlanta, Jacksonville, and Miami sectionals into the PDA. Downloading every bit of available data for every airport on those sectionals would use only 550 KB of PDA memory.
Pilots can also opt to load only selected information about an airport to further conserve PDA memory.
AOPA updates the airport and FBO databases on a regular basis and posts the updates on its Web site. A full update is about five MB, but to minimize download times, pilots can chose to update only the records for specific states.
AOPA's Airport eDirectory PC and PDA software, and the airport and FBO databases, can be downloaded from AOPA's Web site. The complete 19-MB package will take about 50 minutes to download over a 56K connection.
Members who don't want to download the package can order AOPA's Airport eDirectory on CD-ROM by calling 800/USA-AOPA. There is a $7 charge for production and mailing costs.
A free copy of AOPA's Airport eDirectory is also included in AOPA's Membership Guidebook on CD-ROM. The Membership Guidebook is mailed when a pilot joins AOPA or renews AOPA membership.
The 375,000-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.