Over the last few weeks I have been preparing material for an upcoming aeronautical charting course to be delivered this 2020. It is a lot of reading of different ICAO SARPs between annexes and documents due to the nature of the data we are using, as such I started thinking how difficult this would be for me if I didn’t had a lot of the base required to follow through topics that go from knowledge of ATC, AIM, Procedure Design, Surveying, Geography, Cartography, GIS and the list keeps going and going.
Unfortunately many States don’t give the importance it is required to have a fully functional AIS/AIM unit and that includes the charting guys. Without this very special unit in the future things are going to look even bleaker as we transition more and more towards data. I have reviewed several different charts from around the world and let me tell you probably none conform 100% to the Annex specifications.
I sometimes ask myself should we prepare the data and charts to be used for pilots or for data houses which translate them? To be honest I don’t think I have found a pilot flying with an AIP chart and in some sense this helps take care of the lack of correct information and craft to present the information.
Taken from DOC 8697 Aeronautical Charting Manual
” All branches of endeavour involved in the production of a State’s aeronautical charts need to be aware of the functional interrelationships involved, as well as of specifications and related requirements.
Safe air navigation requires timely, up to-date and accurate aeronautical charts that meet current aviation needs; but the availability of such chart depends on an adequate cartographic establishment, experience in aeronautical cartography, adequate basic surveys, the availability of the data required for the topographic base and aeronautical overlays, awareness of the circumstances under which the charts require to be revised and the related amendment cycles, appreciation of the nature of the
demand, and familiarity with the division of responsibility for compilation and production of the charts and the machinery established for coordination of this activity.
Each Contracting State is therefore to ensure the liaison and arrangements
necessary for the efficient discharge of the cooperative effort involved in the production and dissemination of aeronautical charts”
So are you really updating the charts with a critical eye, looking for errors, ways to improve them or just changing a meaningless color and AIRAC date? Most of the world doesn’t know that shinny new chart update you published is meaningless as it doesn’t have any value in terms of checking for updates or errors. If you ask me at least on SID / STAR / IAP one key thing that should be part of it is the last time the procedure was actually reviewed similar to IFP review 15 NOV 2012, then even if it said AMDT 1/2020 30 JAN 2020 you can really get a feel maybe something is not completely ok with this.