Not afraid to let tradition get in the way of usability, Jeppesen has launched a new series of VFR charts, called VFR+GPS Charts, that look nothing like your grandfather's sectionals.
The new charts will be released incrementally -- some are already here -- and Jepp says it will have the United States covered by sometime next year.
Inspired in part by its successful European VFR charts, Jeppesen's new sectional design is intended first and foremost to be readable. There are entirely new color codings, depictions of airspace, terrain and checkpoints that are easier to interpret and to use. There are new depictions of the inverted wedding cake airspace, easier to find and read vertical boundary information, actual runway layout for easier runway identification and orientation, and all kinds of new aviation and obstacle data that previously had been missing from VFR charts.
Recognizing that pilots fly differently today than they did 40 years ago, Jeppesen has also done a couple of things completely differently. First, it recognized that just about every airplane in the air is flying with GPS these days, so it included lat/long position information for VFR reporting points. Genius. And taking recent historical data from actual pilot flight paths, it set up the chart boundaries and flows to optimize the fact that we pilots fly in very definite patterns that have to do with where we want to go.
How will pilots like the new charts? Jeppesen is confident they'll love them, and not just based on European pilots' keen embrace of their charts' similar format but because Jeppesen extensively developed and tested the charts using direct feedback from actual pilots and gave them what they asked for. What a concept.
To find out more about Jeppesen's new VFR+GPS Charts, visit Jeppesen.com/vfrgps.