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En route IFR charts to have limited foreign information

The FAA announced March 9 a change in the amount of foreign information provided on en route low altitude charts.

Beginning with the June 15 charting cycle, limited foreign information will be charted on appropriate en route charts covering the United States, Alaska, and the Pacific Ocean to help with situational awareness and transition planning. Charted information will be provided only for orientation and transitions to charts and publications of other countries, the FAA said.

Pilots operating outside the United States should ensure they have the pertinent country’s aeronautical information publications, the FAA said. The agency said it doesn’t get foreign data with enough lead time to produce the foreign area of the charts with the same content as within U.S. airspace.

Pilots were caught by surprise by charting changes announced in September and December 2022. The September announcement indicated that “only private airports with landmark value” would be retained and charted beyond February 23. Then, in December, pilots noticed that aeronautical data beyond the U.S. border on sectional charts had been grayed out. This change had been planned for some time, but it was not briefed to the aviation industry during any of the previous four Aeronautical Charting Meetings, which are held twice a year to coordinate such efforts among stakeholders. The brief announcement—just 37 words—was subsequently updated on January 11 with additional information. AOPA reached out to the FAA to request that pilots be given more detailed information when chart changes are announced, and that any significant changes be briefed at the charting meetings before they are made public.

“After the confusion we had in January, we’re grateful that the FAA was responsive to our feedback and has agreed to provide more information in the charting notices and provide additional updates to industry prior to significant changes being enacted,” said Jim McClay, AOPA director of airspace, air traffic, and security.

Jill W. Tallman
Jill W. Tallman
AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who is part-owner of a Cessna 182Q.
Topics: Advocacy, FAA Information and Services, Situational Awareness

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