By The CTS Team on July 5, 2017
Category: News

Charting change: Jeppesen chart improvements in progress

Jeppesen is rolling out adjustments to their SID/STAR charts. What can you expect to see with your next chart update?

The ever-increasing complexities of airspace necessitate continual adjustments to how we understand its navigation. Late last year, Jeppesen committed to a series of changes to their SID/STAR charts to increase the ease and speed of in-cockpit comprehension. The goals are to reduce heads-down time and provide a clear picture of the airspace and its procedures while reducing clutter.

Jeppesen introduced the changes in Europe in late 2016 and will continue into the United States over a two-year rollout period. You may have already begun to see these changes at certain major airports, with all charts for a given airport being rolled out at once.

A splash of color

Many of the SID/STAR chart changes involve condensation of essential information, movement of ancillary information into one, easy to access location, and removal of nonessential information. For example, most content and text boxes have been moved together to one side of the chart. This is a drastic change from the current model, where relevant information to different points of a procedure is labeled in small boxes all over the chart. Now, rather than hunt for a piece of information (especially on an EFB, where zooming is mandatory for legibility), a pilot knows it is all contained on one side.

Smaller changes been made to the information remaining in the central portion of the chart, such as coordinates being removed below waypoints. The most visually obvious change is the addition of color-coded restrictions. Altitude restrictions will now be displayed in blue, and speed restrictions in magenta. That's not the only color change you'll notice, either.

Thinking bigger

The most obvious changes to the SID/STAR charts are the additions of topography and bodies of water. Similar to approach plates, the terrain is displayed in muted tones to avoid interference with text. When using an electronic chart, this color change, along with the color-coded altitude and speed restrictions, are reflected in and adjusted for night mode.

In addition, chart sizes now present almost everything to scale. Where proper scaling is impossible, it will be denoted on the chart. This, alongside the addition of terrain, is intended to assist pilots in understanding exactly where they are in relation to their procedures at all times, and in the case of electronic charts, works in tandem with programs that show own-aircraft.

The little things

Finally, two new values have been added to SID/STAR charts where appropriate. The first is Minimum Safe Altitude, or MSA, which appears on plan view. It will display as an outline with altitude and the appropriate navaid. MSAs will appear in magenta during day mode and in amber for night mode. Grid MORAs have also been added, and appear on charts as a subtle gray grid with a gray number inside to denote the minimum off-route altitude in that square of the chart.

There are more, smaller changes, such as removal of universal sizing restrictions (allowing charts to be formatted in a manner befitting the airspace) and other minor textual adjustments ensuring information is presented in a condensed, easy to understand manner. Already, you can experience these changes for major US airports such as Chicago O'Hare International and LaGuardia. The rollout continues throughout 2017 and into 2018 until all US SID and STAR charts are in the new format.

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