The new AIP

How do you rate the new charts?

I am personally very disappointed with the new charts. I know that everyone feels that the colours are poor and that aspect I'm sure will improve in the future. However, I also feel that the new charts far from being an improvement are in most ways just the opposite.

The two worst aspects are to my mind, the change to an inappropriate scale and printing on both sides of the charts. Certainly in the S.Island we now have a scale that is far too large, particularly when flying cross country - even when flying in the N.Island I felt the same way.

In the past we could plan our route, pre-fold our chart or charts and use the maps with relative ease. Now it is necessary to have more charts than before and worse, we can't pre-fold because often the next chart we need is printed on the back of the one we have just left. This becomes a tricky exercise in the confines of a small cockpit.

Having a co-pilot helps but it's still more difficult than it needs to be and if the person sitting next to you is not an aviator the charts become virtually unusable. 

What is the point of a chart 'with more information on it' if it's unusable

Additionally, we tend to have very little storage space and we don't want to carry more excess weight than we really need to. But that is exactly what we now have - lot's of extra, bulky weight to carry.

Recently I received the latest VFG (now referred to as AIP Vol4 - snappy, meaningful title isn't it?) which now comes with a heavy bulky plastic cover and a nice big slab of metal at the spine - so don't sit it on top of your instrument panel, near your compass!

And wouldn't it have been sensible to have airfield entries (most of which require just two pages) on pages that faced each other - rather than on two sides of the same sheet so that you can't view them simultaneously.

To add insult to injury the whole lot costs us more too!!

There is a great deal of talk from CAA about improving flight safety. Well produced appropriate charts that are easy to use should surely be top of the list.

Maybe it's just me....

If it isn't just me and you agree with any or all of these comments, please do something about it - write (an email would be fine) to the aviation publishers and CAA and try to influence what we have to work with.

You can email info@caa.govt.nz and ifis through www.ifis.airways.co.nz

Laurie Tuff

[Editor's note: AIP New Zealand Vol 4 ( the VFG !!) Gen 0.1-4.2.1  says....

Any comments provided to improve the format and content of the AIP New Zealand should be forwarded to:

    AIP Comment
    Civil Aviation Authority
    PO Box 31-441
    Lower Hutt 6315
    NEW ZEALAND

Tel  (04) 560 9400
Fax (04) 569 2024
Email aip-comment@caa.govt.nz ]