Aeronautical Charts FAQ

Why do I need a paper chart?

FAR 91.103 "Preflight Action," states “Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all available information concerning that flight.”

Although the regulation does not specifically require it, you should always carry a current chart with you in flight. Expired charts may not display recent hazards or obstructions.

Aren’t paper charts obsolete due to electronic charts?

Pacific Skies Aviation requires all students to carry current paper charts as a backup.  This is a best practice in the event of electronic chart device failure.

A paper chart is still used in navigational instruction. It is a time-honored tool for building an understanding of airspace.

What is the practical requirement for carrying a paper chart? 

"If a pilot is involved in an enforcement investigation and there is evidence that the use of an out-of-date chart, no chart, or an out-of-date database contributed to the condition that brought on the enforcement investigation, then that information could be used in any enforcement action that might be taken."(1)

How often do I need to replace my charts?

Navigation and planning charts are on a publication cycle of 56 days.  Prior to February 2021, charts were effective for 168 days. This shortened publication date results in significant reductions in chart related NOTAMS and eliminates the need for chart supplement bulletins.

You should have a plan to replace your charts according to this schedule for 2024 and 2025:

Jan. 25 Mar. 21 May 16 Jul. 11 Sep. 5 Oct. 31 Dec. 26
Feb. 20 Apr. 17 Jun.12 Aug. 7 Oct. 2 Nov. 27

What is the cost?

$10 for Sectionals, $8 for TACs. Free delivery if you reside on the local KVNY and KTOA airfields. We offer an in-store credit of $1 in exchange for each expired chart you bring in to the store.  See an in-store associate for details.

 What types of charts do you sell?

VFR Sectional Charts

Sectional Aeronautical Charts (“Sectionals”) are designed for visual navigation by pilots operating slow to medium speed aircraft. The topographical information is scaled 1:500,000 and features visual checkpoints used for flight under Visual Flight Rules (VFR). The checkpoints include places, drainage patterns, roads, railroads and other distinctive landmarks. The aeronautical information on Sectional Charts includes visual and radio aids to navigation, airports, controlled airspace, restricted areas, obstructions and related data.

VFR Terminal Area Charts

VFR Terminal Area Charts (“TACS”) depict Class B airspace. While similar to the information found on Sectional Charts, the scale is larger (1:250,000) with greater topographical detail. These charts are intended for operating from airfields around Class B or Class C airspace.


(1) *FAA Aviation News July/August 1997 “Let Me Chart My Case One More Time”