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

Updated: March 06, 2024

Airport/Facility Directory: A Comprehensive Guide for Pilots and Aviation Enthusiasts

When it comes to aviation, pilots rely on accurate and up-to-date information to ensure safe and efficient flights. One essential resource that provides this valuable information is the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD). In this article, we will explore what the A/FD is, why it is important, and how it benefits pilots and aviation enthusiasts alike.

What is the Airport/Facility Directory?

The Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) is a publication issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. It serves as a comprehensive guide to airports, heliports, seaplane bases, and other aviation facilities across the country. The A/FD contains detailed information about each facility, including location, communication frequencies, operational hours, services available, and any special procedures or restrictions.

Aviation professionals and enthusiasts often refer to the A/FD as the pilot's bible due to its wealth of information. It is an essential tool for flight planning, navigation, and situational awareness. Whether a pilot is conducting a cross-country flight or simply visiting a nearby airport, the A/FD provides crucial details to ensure a smooth and safe operation.

Key Information Provided by the A/FD

The Airport/Facility Directory covers a wide range of information that pilots need to know before departing or arriving at an airport. Let's explore some of the key details provided by the A/FD:

Facility Location: The A/FD provides the geographical coordinates, airport elevation, and magnetic variation for each facility. This information helps pilots accurately locate the airport on aeronautical charts and set the correct heading.
Communication Frequencies: Pilots rely on effective communication with air traffic control (ATC) and other aviation personnel. The A/FD lists the appropriate frequencies for ground control, tower, approach, departure, and other relevant frequencies, ensuring pilots can establish clear and efficient communication.
Operational Hours: Some airports have specific operational hours or restrictions due to noise abatement regulations, curfews, or other factors. The A/FD provides this information, allowing pilots to plan their flights accordingly and avoid any inconveniences or violations.
Runway and Taxiway Details: The A/FD contains detailed diagrams and descriptions of runways, taxiways, and other airport infrastructure. Pilots can refer to this information to familiarize themselves with the airport layout, taxiing procedures, and any potential obstructions.
Services and Facilities: From fuel availability to maintenance services, the A/FD lists the various amenities and facilities offered at each airport. This information is crucial for pilots planning refueling stops or seeking specific services during their journey.
Special Procedures and Restrictions: Certain airports have unique procedures or restrictions that pilots must be aware of. These may include noise abatement procedures, instrument approach requirements, or specific departure and arrival procedures. The A/FD provides this information, ensuring pilots comply with all necessary instructions and regulations.

Benefits of the Airport/Facility Directory

The Airport/Facility Directory offers several benefits to pilots and aviation enthusiasts:

Enhanced Safety: By providing accurate and comprehensive information about airports and aviation facilities, the A/FD contributes to safer flight operations. Pilots can access vital details such as runway lengths, lighting systems, and communication frequencies, which are crucial for safe takeoffs, landings, and maneuvering within the airport environment.
Efficient Flight Planning: The A/FD simplifies the flight planning process by consolidating all necessary information into a single resource. Pilots can quickly access information about airport services, fuel availability, operational hours, and any relevant restrictions, allowing for efficient and well-informed flight planning.
Improved Situational Awareness: By consulting the A/FD, pilots gain a better understanding of the airports they are operating in or visiting. They can familiarize themselves with the airport layout, operational procedures, and any special considerations. This knowledge enhances situational awareness and helps pilots make informed decisions during all phases of flight.
Regulatory Compliance: The A/FD ensures pilots comply with all relevant regulations and procedures. By providing information on noise abatement procedures, instrument approach requirements, and other restrictions, the A/FD helps pilots navigate the complex regulatory landscape and maintain compliance with applicable rules.

Overall, the Airport/Facility Directory is an indispensable resource for pilots and aviation enthusiasts. Its comprehensive information and user-friendly format make it an essential tool for flight planning, navigation, and safe airport operations. By leveraging the A/FD, pilots can enhance safety, streamline flight planning, and stay informed about the airports they operate in, ultimately contributing to a more efficient and secure aviation industry.

For more information on the Airport/Facility Directory and other essential aviation resources, visit the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website.

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