VFR Printing Schedule Realignment

Here’s another item from the FAA’s Aeronautical Charting Forum meeting on October 28-30. Ron Haag from FAA’s AeroNav Products (the division that produces charts and aeronautical data) said FAA plans to move all  VFR chart publication dates to the same 56-day dates used for IFR charts and data.

According to Haag’s presentation, the change will synchronize printed VFR charts (mainly sectionals and terminal area charts) with:

  • Terminal procedures (instrument approach charts and charts for SIDs and STARs)
  • En route charts
  • The A/FD

The new dates will also link VFR charts with updates to airspace.

Each sectional and terminal area chart would print every 224 days, with about 25 charts being updated on the following near-term schedule:

  • 8 January 2015
  • 5 March 2015
  • 30 April 2015
  • 25 June 2015

The schedule allows AeroNav Products to better align updates to adjoining sectionals and Class B areas. For example, the Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix charts would all be published on the same date.

The new 56-day cycle is possible because a new print contractor has increased capacity.

Haag’s presentation notes that eventually AeroNav Products plans to update all digital VFR charts on a 56-day cycle, which will be good news for the increasing number of pilots who have gone paperless.

Members of the forum raised several questions about synchronizing printed and electronic charts and how NOTAMs will be handled. According to the minutes of the meeting, Haag said his group is working through those issues.

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