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When should you update your paper map?

Example UK VFR Chart

Our paper maps and charts need to be up to date and with us in the aircraft every time we go flying, it’s the law., as mentioned in the CAA Safety Sense leaflet 05.

SCHEDULE 4 ARTICLES 28(6) AND 37(2) – Aircraft Equipment of the Air Navigation Order.

Update your map when the latest edition is released

Once a year, usually between February and April, the CAA, through NATS, releases a new map edition. This comes in both 1:500,000 and 1:250,000 for the UK. European maps and those through other providers may vary. You can see the planned publication dates online at NATS.

The new map will be as up to date as possible at time of printing. It is our responsibility as pilots to maintain the map over the next 12 months using NOTAMS and resources provided by NATS most of which are available here. There is also the AIS website which provides up to date chart information.

Look out for aviation chart/map offers

Between December and February lots of aviation retailers are vying for your cash in return for the latest map release. So, it’s good to keep an eye out for a bargain! In some early discounts, I’ve seen companies offer up to 50% off map releases before!

Some well known aviation retailers below offer discounts and also provide the latest map editions:

Does my GPS not stay up to date?

Yes, or at least, if you have a subscription to something like SkyDemon, Aware or something similar your GPS software should be up to date with the latest changes available from NATS and AIS.

However, this is not a replacement for your paper chart. You should always carry a relevant and up to date chart with you in the cockpit.

Disclaimer: This article was written for information only and was up to date at the time of writing. Please always ask a qualified instructor for more information and discuss airfield operations and the use of aircraft equipment with a suitably qualified person.

Top image source: https://www.flyer.co.uk/time-radical-re-think-uk-airspace-fasvig/