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VFR charts to go on 56-day cycle starting February 25

The approach of a pivotal date in the revised publication cycle of many visual navigation charts is a reminder to pilots to double check the effective dates of the charts they use for VFR flying.

The FAA will update visual navigation and planning charts on a 56-day cycle starting on February 25. Photo by Chris Rose.

According to the FAA, beginning February 25, “all Sectional Aeronautical, VFR Terminal Area (TAC), VFR Flyway Planning, VFR Aeronautical, and Helicopter Route Charts will be updated and continue to be updated every 56 days” to coincide with the publication dates of other en route, terminal, and supplemental chart products.

Changing the publication cycles required the FAA to amend the publication dates of numerous charts, making many of them obsolete before the final effective date published on the charts.

The FAA listed such amendments in a charting notice published on August 13, 2020.

In reporting on the change in April 2020, AOPA noted the FAA’s expectation that the change would result in significant reductions of chart-related notams because new information will be added to charts more quickly than was the case on the prior publication cycles of 168 days to two years.

The change will also make the chart bulletins that are contained in chart supplement volumes unnecessary, the FAA said at that time.

AOPA advocated for the chart-cycle change, and noted that based on pilot surveys, approximately 90 percent of pilots were primarily using electronic charts.

Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 35-year AOPA member.
Topics: Advocacy, FAA Information and Services, Training and Safety

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