Good flight planning results from a careful review of all information at your disposal. No doubt, you already consult official government resources. Why not explore AOPA's extensive online flight planning tools to complete the picture?
Access extraordinary flight-planning resources developed exclusively for AOPA members at this terrific starting point: AOPA's Airport Directory Online. Its vast database incorporates current airport and FBO listings and downloadable instrument approach charts. Pull together a handy kneeboard-formatted airport and FBO printout. Take a look at recently upgraded airport diagrams, new thumbnail images for taxiways, and sectional chart thumbnails for every airport. Click on the sectional to expand it and scroll for a better view of terrain surrounding the airport; instantly access any weather-reporting airport directly from the chart. Call or e-mail the owner of a private-use airport to ask for permission to land at their airport.
Check out this treasure chest of links to the best flight planning resources at your disposal.
Tied down to the fixed-base operator's (FBO) flight planning desk, AOPA's Airport Directory appears somewhat frazzled from overuse. But help is on the way to replace its torn cover and tattered pages. Enter AOPA's Airport Directory 2007-2008, flying off the printing press and sporting fresh flight planning pages with updated airport and services information. Hundreds of thousands of pilots will soon be able to consult this airport tome at home, at their FBO, and in the air.
AOPA members who elected to receive the book when they renewed their membership will receive this latest edition in just a matter of weeks. Jumping off the pages are all-new crisp airport diagrams. We overhauled the entire image database to update every single one and to add more than 200 new diagrams to this edition — all told 2,892 sketches underwent creative surgery to make it easier for you to decipher taxiways, run-up and ramp areas, displaced thresholds, and buildings.
Much airport navigational data was updated from FAA files, but our talented staff also solicited the hard-to-find data you yearn to have — on-field restaurants, airport notes, local noise awareness programs, attractions, and other useful local morsels that we extracted from the airport managers.
To drive the directory's exclusive FBO information, we developed AOPA's Airport Directory's online update form a couple of years ago. FBO and airport services managers have taken full advantage of this opportunity to access their own listings and update the information any time they wish, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The timeliness and usefulness of this method is already very apparent to users of AOPA's Airport Directory Online and AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner, which tap into this vast directory database that incorporates those update results instantly. And, this print edition incorporates those latest updates for you as well.
A little-known gem found in the printed directory is the "Landing Facility Index," which begins on page 3-613 in this new edition. This cross-reference index provides a practical way to locate an airport in the directory that for some reason has an unfamiliar town associated with it, or for which you simply do not know the city, but you are familiar with the airport name. The index is sorted in alphabetical order by airport name, followed by the city, state, and page number, so you can quickly locate the airport's page.
268,800,000 pages scurry through the press drums. If the paper tension is too tight it can rip and stop the press, making a huge paper mess. Paper rolls weighing 3,500 pounds each need to be replaced regularly so the presses can continue to run uninterrupted. If the timing to switch the rolls is off, the run has to stop or slow down. But the printer employs masters at the trade, skilled to do the right things just at the right time so production continues mostly uninterrupted. Visit AOPA Pilot Online for the rest of the story.
Because the directory has a shelf life spanning two years, we suggest you periodically check for updated information online. For example, one quick and easy way to ensure you carry along the latest airport tidbits and an updated airport diagram is to look up the airport in AOPA's Airport Directory Online and print out the listing in the handy kneeboard format, which has a date stamp and features the most current airport diagram. That way you can place it — along with current downloaded and kneeboard-formatted instrument approach charts — next to the airport listing in the print edition and off you are with the latest data accompanying the book. While online check out some of the new airport directory features that complete the picture for your departure's and destination's surroundings before you take to the skies with your new AOPA's Airport Directory 2007-2008 companion.
Even with more and new airport and FBO information and the additional airport diagrams, this latest edition of AOPA's Airport Directory is still light enough to carry along in your flight bag and aloft. So, go ahead and take this old friend along for a ride.
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