Question: The FAA rules require that we fly with current charts. Most of us have probably noticed that, overall, although the FAA’s National Aeronautical Charting Office (NACO) updates terminal area charts and sectional charts every six months, sectionals don’t really change all that much from one edition to the next, six months later. It seems as though they’re issued every six months whether or not there have been any changes. Is this wasteful, or are there really always enough changes to justify it? Approximately how many changes are there in the average sectional and Terminal Area Chart, from one to the next?
- 3000 in the average sectional, about 1000 in the average terminal chart
- 300 in the average sectional, about 100 in the average terminal chart
- 30 in the average sectional, about 10 in the average terminal chart
- 3 in the average sectional, about 1 in the average terminal chart
Answer: According to AOPA, an average of 100 changes are incorporated into each terminal chart update, and a bit under 300 (278 actually) in each new sectional chart. These changes reflect current aeronautical, terrain, and cultural information. Since this information changes so often, it is in our best interests to have the most current chart available.