Redesigned European Approach Charts Get Mixed Reviews

 - August 14, 2008, 11:53 AM

European Aeronautical Group has launched a redesigned format for its Navtech Aerocharts. Among the changes introduced are new formats for page numbering and airport name, new style text, boxes showing communications data, new symbology, presentation of takeoff minimums for the aerodrome charts and the depiction of landing minimums. However, the new Aerocharts have drawn staunch criticism from professional pilots on online message boards. Among the most common complaints: the new charts are harder to read, they have confusing symbology for data such as decision heights/altitudes and they show airport names in local languages instead of English (for example, Wien instead of Vienna). Patrik Stromqvist, the company’s director of product management for charting, explained to AIN that some of the new charts have been difficult to read because they were incorrectly printed in a small format and that these are now being replaced. Acknowledging that much of the criticism has come from pilots in the UK, he pointed out that the local-language airport names are taken from the official ICAO designations used in AIPs and that the symbology used has been designed to be clear to pilots in numerous different countries. However, he said that EAG, which has spent five years developing the new charts in consultation with operators, has taken account of the criticism and he did not rule out further changes to the format. A booklet explaining the new Aerocharts can be downloaded from the company’s Web site.