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Sources for Airport Data

by Flight Learnings

in Airport Operations

When a pilot flies into a different airport, it is important to review the current data for that airport. This data provides the pilot with information, such as communication frequencies, services available, closed runways, or airport construction. Three common sources of information are:

  • Aeronautical Charts
  • Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD)
  • Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs)
Aeronautical Charts

Aeronautical charts provide specific information on airports. Chapter 15, Navigation, contains an excerpt from an aeronautical chart and an aeronautical chart legend, which provides guidance on interpreting the information on the chart.Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD)

The A/FD provides the most comprehensive information on a given airport. It contains information on airports, heliports, and seaplane bases that are open to the public. The A/FD is published in seven books, which are organized by regions and are revised every 56 days. The A/FD is also available digitally at www.naco.faa.gov. Figure 13-2 contains an excerpt from a directory. For a complete listing of information provided in an A/FD and how the information may be decoded, refer to the “Directory Legend Sample” located in the front of each A/FD.

Figure 13-2. Airport/Facility Directory excerpt.

Figure 13-2. Airport/Facility Directory excerpt.

In addition to airport information, each A/FD contains information such as special notices, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Weather Service (NWS) telephone numbers, preferred instrument flight rules (IFR) routing, visual flight rules (VFR) waypoints, a listing of very high frequency (VHF) omnidirectional range (VOR) receiver checkpoints, aeronautical chart bulletins, land and hold short operations (LAHSO) for selected airports, airport diagrams for selected towered airports, en route flight advisory service (EFAS) outlets, parachute jumping areas, and facility telephone numbers. It would be helpful to review an A/FD to become familiar with the information it contains.

Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs)

NOTAMs provide the most current information available. They provide time-critical information on airports and changes that affect the national airspace system (NAS) and are of concern to IFR operations. NOTAM information is classified into three categories. These are NOTAM-D or distant, NOTAM-L or local, and flight data center (FDC) NOTAMs. NOTAM-Ds are attached to hourly weather reports and are available at automated flight service stations (AFSS) or FSS.

FDC NOTAMs are issued by the National Flight Data Center and contain regulatory information, such as temporary flight restrictions or an amendment to instrument approach

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