Pre-Flight Planning resources

Pre-Flight Planning





Charts available (but not limited to)

Planning Chart Australia (PCA) En Route Chart – Low (ERC–L)
World Aeronautical Chart (WAC) En Route Chart – High (ERC–H)
Visual Terminal Chart (VTC) Terminal Area Chart (TAC)
Visual Navigational Chart (VNC) Aerodrome (AD) Chart

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Planning chart australia

PCA depicts the following information:

  • GAF boundaries
  • WAC coverage and chart titles
  • location names and abbreviations
  • estimated FIS VHF coverage at 5000 ft and 10,000 ft and
  • HF network boundaries.

Visual charts

World Aeronautical Charts (WACs) (scale 1:1,000,000) are designed for pre-flight planning and pilotage. They are constructed on Lambert’s Conformal Conic Projection. Australian coverage is shown on the front of each chart.

Visual Navigation Charts (VNCs) (scale 1:500,000) are designed for VFR operations. They contain an aeronautical overlay of controlled airspace over a topographical base, and contain some radio communication and other navigational data appropriate for visual navigation. Map coverage is shown on the front of each map.

Visual Terminal Charts (VTCs) (scale 1:250,000) are designed for visual operations near terminal areas. They contain some topographical detail and appropriate airspace, radio communication and navigation aid information. VTCs are intended for use up to and including FL180.

En-route charts and terminal area charts

ERCs-L, ERCs-H and TACs are presented at various scales and depict airspace, air routes and radio navigation facilities.

ERCs-L are intended for use primarily up to and including FL200. ERCs-L show an outline of the areas covered by TACs and VTCs. These areas impact on the ERC-L presentation as follows:

  • within the areas covered by TACs, full details of air routes may not be shown due to lack of space
  • air route information within these areas will usually only include the route line and bearing. Where space permits, the route designator, distance and LSALT may also be shown
  • within the areas covered by TACs and VTCs, full details of airspace may not be shown. Information may only indicate lateral boundaries. Restricted and danger area numbers and sport aviation symbols may not be shown.

For complete details of aeronautical data in these areas refer to the appropriate TACs or VTCs.

ERCs-H are intended to be used for operations above FL200.

TACs show details applicable to both high and low level operations in terminal areas. Aerodrome charts, apron charts, noise abatement procedures, SID charts, STAR charts, DME and GPS Arrival charts and IAL charts are IFR charts and are published in DAP East and DAP West (AIP GEN 3.2).

Restricted and danger areas

Restricted and danger areas are depicted as follows:

  • On all charts, restricted areas are shown with a magenta verge. See the RA conditional status (see AIP ENR 1.4) displayed on the chart with association to the RA. ERSA-PRD AREA outlines each code and its meaning.
  • On the ERCs and TACs, Danger areas are shown with a solid magenta line.
  • On the VTCs, danger areas are shown with a solid magenta line with a magenta dotted verge along the inside of its boundary.
  • On all charts where a restricted and danger area have a common lateral boundary, only the restricted area verge is shown. The danger area boundary is indicated by labels (AIP GEN 3.2).

Airspace boundary information

Distances associated with airspace boundaries indicate the datum on which the airspace is based, and are shown as follows:

  • ‘NM’ indicates a distance from the aerodrome reference point
  • ‘DME’ or ‘TAC’ indicates a distance based on a particular navigation aid (DME or TACAN)
  • Some control zones have boundaries based on a runway threshold. For example:

‘7 NM FM THR RWY 33’ indicates a distance based on the threshold of Runway 33 at the associated aerodrome (AIP GEN 3.2).

Frequency information

Flight information area (FIA) boundaries and frequencies are depicted in green. ATC frequencies and the associated boundaries for use in Class E airspace are depicted in brown (AIP GEN 3.2).

The prefix to a frequency indicates the provider of the service.

Where a single area is divided vertically between different frequencies, the vertical limits applicable to each frequency will be indicated.

Depiction of Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) AIP GEN 3.2

At non-controlled aerodromes where MULTICOM 126.7MHz is not the CTAF, or non‑controlled aerodromes that have an associated navaid, an entry ‘CTAF’ followed by the designated frequency, is annotated in a box associated with the location. Radio carriage is required at all non-controlled aerodromes which are identified in the ERSA as being certified or military. ERSA should always be consulted as part of the pre-flight planning process before operating at non-controlled aerodromes.

Broadcast areas AIP GEN 3.2

Broadcast areas are defined airspace volumes in Class G airspace for which a discrete frequency (CTAF) has been allocated. All operations, including those at aerodromes (charted and uncharted) and landing sites within this area shall use this CTAF as the broadcast frequency. Broadcast Areas are depicted on charts by a dotted dark green line and a label stating ‘for operations in this area SFC -<altitude> use CTAF <frequency>’. The vertical boundaries of a Broadcast Area are:
• Surface to 5000 ft AMSL (default), or
• Surface to: the base of CTA (if 8500 ft or less) or a nominated level.

An example of a broadcast area is located in the Redcliffe (YRED) area in Queensland.

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New rules come into effect from 2 December 2021 that cover the general operating and flight rules. We are currently updating this guide to reflect the new rules. A new version will be available to download from 2 December.
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