Chart Supplement: The Ultimate Guide for Pilots and Aviation Enthusiasts

Chart supplement provides important information for pilots such as airport data, communication frequencies, and airspace rules. As an essential resource for flight planning, it is regularly updated to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Pilots rely on the information provided in chart supplement to plan their flights. It includes vital details such as airport data, communication frequencies, and airspace rules. Additionally, it provides critical updates and essential information that allows pilots to make informed decisions while in-flight.

This information must be accurate and reliable, which is why chart supplement undergoes regular updates. As a result, it remains an essential resource for pilots, providing the necessary information for successful and safe flights.

Chart Supplement: The Ultimate Guide for Pilots and Aviation Enthusiasts


Understanding The Chart Supplement

Chart supplement is an essential resource for pilots, air traffic controllers and anyone interested in aviation. It is a publication of the federal aviation administration (faa) that provides an extensive overview of us airports, including aerodrome diagrams, communication procedures, an overview of local hazards, operational procedures, navigational aids and lots of other useful information.

In this post, we are going to take a closer look at understanding the chart supplement.

What Information Is Included In The Chart Supplement?

Chart supplement contains information on every airport in the united states and its territories. The publication includes a wealth of information that pilots and other aviation professionals need to know. Its contents are divided into seven sections:

  • General information
  • Communications
  • Airport facilities
  • Runway information
  • Navigational aids
  • Operating procedures
  • Emergency procedures

How Is The Information Organized?

The information in the chart supplement is organized systematically to make it easy to use. Information for each airport is arranged in a standard format, which makes it simple for pilots to locate the data they require. Following is the typical section layout for each airport:

  • Airport information, including location, ownership, and faa identifier number(s).
  • Communications, including frequencies, such as the automated terminal information service (atis), approach & departure, and ground.
  • Runway information, including dimensions, surface type, and available lighting.
  • Navigation aids, including instrument landing systems, vhf omnidirectional range beacons, and gps approaches.
  • Airport facility details, including hangar and ramp size, parking space details, fuel, and services facilities.
  • Operating procedures, including traffic patterns, taxi procedures, and run-up areas.
  • Emergency procedures in case of an emergency, including fire and rescue details.

Where Can You Access The Chart Supplement?

You can download the chart supplement directly from the faa’s website, https://www. faa. gov/air_traffic/flight_info/aeronav/digital_products/aero_guide/ or from other affiliated websites. Updates are issued every 56 days, and it’s essential to check for any changes before flight planning. Pilots also need to bring a copy with them for referencing during flight operations.

Whether you are a pilot, air traffic controller or an aviation enthusiast, the chart supplement is an indispensable resource that you cannot ignore. It provides the extensive information you need to operate safely and efficiently at all us airports at your fingertips.

Knowing how the information is organized and how to access it can help you navigate the skies with confidence.

Navigating The Chart Supplement

If you’re new to aviation or are unfamiliar with using the chart supplement, it can be a bit overwhelming. The chart supplement is an essential part of flight planning and provides valuable information for pilots, including airport data, radio communication frequencies, and information on airspace, navigation aids, and much more.

In this section, we’ll cover the basics of navigating the chart supplement, including how to read it, understanding the symbols and abbreviations used, and tips for finding information quickly.

How To Read The Chart Supplement

Understanding the layout of the chart supplement is the first step in effectively using it. The chart supplement is divided into six sections:

  • Front matter: The front matter includes essential information, such as general information about the chart supplement and the legend for the symbols and abbreviations used.
  • Airport/facility directory (a/fd) and alaska supplement: This section includes detailed information about airports, heliports, seaplane bases, and other navigation facilities. It also includes information on services provided at each facility, as well as contact information for airport managers and other personnel.
  • Charted vfr flyway planning charts: This section includes charted visual flight rules (vfr) flyway planning charts for congested airspace areas.
  • Supplemental airport information: This section includes additional information about airports that is not included in the airport/facility directory section.
  • Special notices: This section includes information that is considered vital for the safe operation of aircraft, such as changes to airspace procedures.
  • Airport diagrams: This section includes diagrams of airport facilities with details about taxiways, runways, and other essential airport features.

Understanding The Symbols And Abbreviations Used

The chart supplement uses a variety of symbols and abbreviations to convey information quickly and efficiently. Here are a few to look out for:

  • Arff: Aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment available.
  • C: Indicates a control tower is in operation.
  • Lirl: Airport has a low-intensity runway lighting system.
  • Notam-d: Notices to airmen that are of national interest and have regulatory effect.
  • Vor and ndb: vhf omnidirectional range and non-directional beacon radio navigation aids, respectively.

Tips For Finding Information Quickly

The chart supplement is a comprehensive resource, and finding the particular information you need can be a challenge. Here are a few tips to help you find information quickly:

  • Use the table of contents: The table of contents at the beginning of the chart supplement is an excellent resource for finding the section you need quickly.
  • Use the index: The chart supplement has an index at the end of the book, which makes it easy to find specific keywords or phrases.
  • Know the airport identifier code: Each airport has a unique identifier code, which makes it easy to find information about a specific airport quickly.

Overall, the chart supplement is a valuable resource for pilots and other aviation professionals. Learning how to navigate the chart supplement can take time, but with practice and patience, you can quickly find the information you need to plan safe and efficient flights.

How The Chart Supplement Is Created

Chart supplement is a critical publication used by pilots to gather essential information about airports across the country. The publication contains data on each airport’s communication facilities, such as radio frequencies, navigation aids, and runway specifications. Knowing these details can help pilots operate more efficiently, make better decisions, and enhance safety.

This article focuses on how the chart supplement is created, including the people responsible, update frequency, and sources relied upon.

Who Creates The Chart Supplement?

The federal aviation administration (faa) is the regulatory body in charge of creating chart supplement for the united states. The faa’s aeronautical information services (ais) division collects, verifies, and manages the data generated by numerous sources to create a reliable publication.

The ais has teams dedicated to managing information on different elements, including airports, air navigation, and airspace. Their work involves compiling information from different sources, including surveys, field checks, and data submissions from airport sponsors.

How Often Is It Updated?

The chart supplement is updated every eight weeks, with each edition having updates, amendments, and corrections. This frequent updating is necessary because airports undergo constant changes that affect their data. For instance, runway configurations may change permanently or temporarily, necessitating updates to the publication.

Each new edition may also contain updates on frequencies, protocols, and other communication methods used in air traffic control.

What Sources Does It Rely On?

Various sources are used to update the chart supplement regularly. These sources include:

  • Faa’s airport survey: The faa’s team surveys the airports periodically to gather information on runway lengths and configurations, lighting, obstructions, and other navigational aids.
  • Airport sponsors: Information provided by airport sponsors and operators is also fundamental to the chart supplement. The faa receives data on new construction, renaming of facilities, or updates and modifications to existing ones.
  • Notices to airmen (notams): Notams are official messages sent to pilots about changes in navigational data, hazards, or other important information that may affect their flying. The chart supplement includes important information, summarized from notams, for a particular airport.
  • Other faa offices: The faa generally collaborates with other offices to gather information on airspace, air traffic, and other air navigation features that need to be included in the publication.

Pilots rely heavily on the chart supplement to obtain essential details about airports in a region, including communication frequencies, navigational features, and any hazards. The faa creates these publications, taking data from multiple sources, updating the information regularly, and ensuring its accuracy.

With every new edition, the chart supplement becomes a more valuable tool for pilots, who must stay up-to-date with any changes that may affect their flying.

Using The Chart Supplement In Flight Planning

How Pilots Use The Chart Supplement In Flight Planning

The chart supplement, formerly known as the airport/facility directory, is an essential tool for pilots preparing for their flights. It provides valuable information about airports, navigation aids, communication frequencies, and airspace requirements. Here are some ways pilots use the chart supplement in flight planning:

  • Determine airport details: Before taking off, pilots need to know everything about the airport. The chart supplement gives information on airport location, runway length, communication frequencies, and airport services.
  • Plan for airport emergencies: In case of an emergency landing, pilots need to know the nearest suitable airports. The chart supplement provides a list of the nearest airports and their services, including the availability of fuel and repair facilities.
  • Check airspace requirements: Pilots need to know the airspace requirements when flying. The chart supplement offers details on airspace classifications, minimum altitudes, and communication frequencies.
  • Obtain navigation aids: Pilots need to know the location and availability of navigation aids, such as vors and gps waypoints. The chart supplement provides information on the location and distance of all the navigation aids.

Typical Scenarios Where The Chart Supplement Is Useful

The chart supplement is useful in many scenarios. Here are some typical scenarios where the chart supplement is particularly useful:

  • Cross-country flights: When flying across the country, pilots need to plan their flight route carefully, taking into account the location of airports, navigation aids, and airspace requirements. The chart supplement provides detailed information on all these areas.
  • Instrument flights: Pilots flying under instrument flight rules (ifr) need to have accurate and complete airport information to plan their approaches and landings. The chart supplement provides detailed airport diagrams that help pilots prepare for instrument approaches.
  • Emergency situations: In case of an emergency, pilots need to have all the information they can get about airports and services in the area. The chart supplement provides critical information on all the airports, including details on the runway length, communication frequencies, and services.

Advanced Techniques For Using The Chart Supplement

There are some advanced techniques that pilots can use to get the most out of the chart supplement. Here are some of them:

  • Use the chart supplement search: The chart supplement search is a tool that allows pilots to search for airport information and navigation aids from a database. This tool makes it easy to find detailed information on any airport in the country.
  • Use the chart supplement in combination with sectional charts: Pilots can use the chart supplement in combination with sectional charts to get a better understanding of the airspace and airport information in a particular region. This combination gives pilots a more detailed view of the terrain, airports, and navigation aids.
  • Use the chart supplement for airport familiarization: Before flying to a new airport, pilots can use the chart supplement to familiarize themselves with the airport’s layout, runway length, communication frequencies, and services. This information helps pilots prepare for arrival and departure procedures.

The chart supplement is a critical tool for pilots planning their flights. It provides essential information on airports, navigation aids, airspace requirements, and emergency facilities. Pilots can use the chart supplement in many ways, including cross-country flights, instrument flights, and emergency situations.

Advanced techniques such as using the chart supplement search, combining it with sectional charts, and using it for airport familiarization can help pilots get the most out of this tool.

Frequently Asked Questions On Chart Supplement

What Is A Chart Supplement?

A chart supplement is a publication that contains data on airports, navigational aids, and other aeronautical information.

Why Are Chart Supplements Important?

Chart supplements are important because they provide pilots with all the necessary information on airports, hazards, and other vital data required for a safe flight.

Where Can I Find A Chart Supplement?

Chart supplements can be downloaded from the federal aviation administration (faa) website, and printed copies are available at airport facilities.

What Information Is Included In A Chart Supplement?

A chart supplement includes information on airports, such as runway length, lighting, and fuel availability, as well as navigation aids, airspace restrictions, and communication frequencies.

How Often Are Chart Supplements Updated?

Chart supplements are updated every 56 days or more frequently if there are significant changes to airport data or navigational information.

Are Chart Supplements Available For International Airports?

No, chart supplements are only available for airports in the united states and its territories.


After reviewing the essential information surrounding chart supplements, it is clear that these documents are crucial in providing pilots with crucial flight planning details. These resources contain a wealth of data, including airport diagrams, communication frequencies, and airspace restrictions, among other crucial factors that can impact safe and efficient flight operations.

While chart supplements may appear daunting to new pilots, it is essential to take the time to familiarize oneself with these documents for reliable and safe aviation, and we hope that this article was helpful in breaking down the necessary components.

As always, it’s critical to consult the most up-to-date and official sources of information when conducting flight planning to ensure that all data is accurate and current. Remember to prioritize safety always, stay focused, and enjoy your flight!

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