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Aeronautical Chart User’s Guide (eBook PDF)


This Chart User’s Guide update 1 February 2018 is an introduction to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) aeronautical charts and publications. It is useful to new pilots as a learning aid, and to experienced pilots as a quick reference guide.



This Chart User’s Guide Update as of 1 February 2018 is an introduction to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) aeronautical charts and publications. It is useful to new pilots as a learning aid, and to experienced pilots as a quick reference guide.

The FAA is the source for all data and information utilized in the publishing of aeronautical charts through authorized publishers for each stage of Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) air navigation including training, planning, and departures, enroute (for low and high altitudes), approaches, and taxiing charts. Digital charts are available online at:

  • VFR Charts – https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/flight_info/aeronav/digital_products/vfr/
  • IFR Enroute Charts – https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/flight_info/aeronav/digital_products/ifr/
  • Terminal Procedures Publication – http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/flight_info/aeronav/digital_products/dtpp/
  • Chart Supplement – https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/flight_info/aeronav/digital_products/dafd/

Paper copies of the charts are available through an FAA Approved Print Provider. A complete list of current providers is available at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/flight_info/aeronav/print_providers/

The FAA Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) Pilot/Controller Glossary defines in detail, all terms and abbreviations used throughout this publication. Unless otherwise indicated, miles are nautical miles (NM), altitudes indicate feet above Mean Sea Level (MSL), and times used are Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

The Notices to Airmen Publication (NOTAM) includes current Flight Data Center (FDC) NOTAMs. NOTAMs alert pilots of new regulatory requirements and reflect changes to Standard Instrument Approach Procedures (SIAPs), flight restrictions, and aeronautical chart revisions. This publication is prepared every 28 days by the FAA, and is available by subscription from the Government Printing Office. For more information on subscribing or to access online PDF copy, http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/notices/

In addition to NOTAMs, the Chart Supplement and the Safety Alerts/Charting Notices page of the Aeronautical Information Services website are also useful to pilots.


Aeronautical information changes rapidly, so it is important that pilots check the effective dates on each aeronautical chart and publication. To avoid danger, it is important to always use current editions and discard obsolete charts and publications.

To confirm that a chart or publication is current, refer to the next scheduled edition date printed on the cover. Pilots should also check Aeronautical Chart Bulletins and NOTAMs for important updates between chart and publication cycles that are essential for safe flight.


All information in this guide is effective as of 12 October 2017. All graphics used in this guide are for educational purposes. Chart symbology may not be to scale. Please do not use them for flight navigation. The Chart Users Guide is updated as necessary, i.e. new chart symbology, changes in depiction of information and/or symbols on the charts, etc.


Although the digital chart files are compiled in accordance with these specifications, the final product may vary slightly in appearance due to differences in printing techniques/processes and/or digital display techniques.

For reference purposes the 12 October 2017 Edition of the Aeronautical Chart User’s Guide is available in a PDF format for download. Due to the large file size we recommend that you use a broadband Internet connection to reduce the download time.

Name: Aeronautical Chart User’s Guide 2017
Author: FAA
Effective: 2017
Change Date: 1 Feb 2018
Page Count: 133 pages
Illustrations: Full Color
Product Type: (eBook PDF)
Delivery: Download


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