Home Aviation General What is A/FD in Aviation? (Airport/Facility Directory)

What is A/FD in Aviation? (Airport/Facility Directory)

In the aviation industry, various documents and resources are used to ensure safe and efficient operations. One such important resource is the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD), also known as the Chart Supplement. This comprehensive publication provides pilots, air traffic controllers, and other aviation professionals with essential information about airports and facilities across the United States.

The Airport/Facility Directory serves as a valuable reference tool that enables users to access crucial data pertaining to airports, communication frequencies, navigation aids, airspace restrictions, services, and more. By familiarizing themselves with the A/FD, aviation professionals can make informed decisions and navigate effectively through the complex airspace system.

Understanding the Structure of the Airport/Facility Directory

The A/FD is organized in a user-friendly manner, allowing users to quickly locate the information they need. It consists of various sections, each providing specific details about different aspects related to airports and facilities. Let’s take a closer look at these sections:

The Airport/Facility Directory Section

The main section of the A/FD contains essential information about individual airports. It includes details such as the airport’s location, elevation, runway dimensions, radio communication frequencies, services available, and contact information for airport managers. This section also provides information on fuel availability, parking fees, and any special procedures or restrictions that pilots need to be aware of when operating at a particular airport.

For example, the A/FD will indicate whether an airport has a control tower or operates as an uncontrolled field. It will also specify the hours of operation for the control tower, if applicable. This information is crucial for pilots to determine the appropriate procedures to follow and establish effective communication with air traffic control.

Additionally, the A/FD provides information on specific airport services such as maintenance facilities, aircraft rental, flight schools, and dining options available on-site. This allows pilots to plan their flights accordingly, ensuring they have access to necessary resources during their visit to a particular airport.

The Communication Section

Another important section of the A/FD is dedicated to communication frequencies. Here, pilots can find a comprehensive list of radio frequencies used at airports, navigational aids, and control facilities. This includes frequencies for communication with air traffic control, ground control, clearance delivery, Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS), and many others.

Having access to accurate communication frequencies is crucial for pilots to establish effective and timely communication with the appropriate control facilities. These frequencies are used to request clearances, obtain weather information, report position reports, and coordinate with air traffic control throughout the duration of the flight.

The Chart Legend and Supplementary Data Section

The A/FD also includes a chart legend and supplementary data section that provides users with a reference guide to understand the symbols and notations used in the publication. This section is particularly helpful for pilots who are not familiar with certain symbols or need clarification on specific information.

The supplementary data section of the A/FD contains additional information that is relevant to pilots and air traffic controllers. It may include updates on Special Flight Rules Areas (SFRA), Terminal Radar Service Areas (TRSAs), and other airspace designations. This section ensures that users have access to the most up-to-date and accurate information.

The Importance of the Airport/Facility Directory

The Airport/Facility Directory plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of aviation operations. By providing comprehensive and accurate information about airports and facilities, it enables pilots and air traffic controllers to make informed decisions and operate within the established guidelines.

Here are some key reasons why the A/FD is vital in aviation:

Enhanced Situational Awareness

The A/FD provides pilots with crucial information about airports and facilities along their planned route of flight. By reviewing this information before departure, pilots can gain valuable insights into the runways, services available, and any operational limitations or restrictions that may affect their flight. This enhanced situational awareness allows pilots to plan and execute their flights safely and efficiently.

Precise Communication

Effective communication is essential in aviation to ensure the coordination and safety of flights. The A/FD provides pilots with accurate communication frequencies for various facilities, enabling them to establish precise and reliable radio contact. By using the correct frequencies, pilots can seamlessly communicate with air traffic control, ground control, and other relevant parties throughout their flight.

Access to Essential Services

The A/FD contains valuable information about services available at airports, such as fuel availability, maintenance facilities, and dining options. By consulting the A/FD, pilots can plan their flights accordingly and ensure they have access to necessary resources during their visit to a specific airport. This information is particularly useful during long cross-country flights when pilots need to refuel or obtain other services.

The Airport/Facility Directory serves as a comprehensive guide for aviation professionals, providing them with essential information about airports, communication frequencies, and additional resources. By utilizing this valuable resource, pilots can enhance their situational awareness, ensure effective communication, and access necessary services. It is a vital tool that contributes to the safety and efficiency of aviation operations.

For More: What is NAV in Aviation? (Navigation Receiver)

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