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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Aeronautical Chart Users' Guide

The Chart Users' Guide is updated when there is new chart symbology or when there are changes in the depiction of information and/or symbols on the charts. It will be published in accordance with the 56-day AIRAC schedule.

Effective Date: 16 May 2024


This Chart Users' Guide 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:

Paper copies of the charts are available through an FAA Approved Print Provider. A complete list of current providers is available at

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 Notice to Air Missions 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,

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 effective date printed on the cover. Pilots should also check NOTAMs for important updates between chart and publication cycles that are essential for safe flight


All information in this guide is effective as of 16 May 2024. 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 published in accordance with the 56-day aeronautical chart product schedule.


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


Your experience as a pilot is valuable and your feedback is important. We make every effort to display accurate information on all FAA charts and publications, so we appreciate your input. Please notify us concerning any requests for changes, or potential discrepancies you see while using our charts and related products.

FAA, Aeronautical Information Services
1305 East-West Highway
SSMC4, Room 3424
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3281

Telephone Toll-Free 1-800-638-8972
Aeronautical Inquiries:

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