The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has unveiled a completely redesigned online airport directory, and for the first time, made it available to all pilots, whether they are members of AOPA or not.
“It started, as all things do, with what our members wanted,” said AOPA President and CEO Craig Fuller. “They wanted easier access to the wealth of information contained in AOPA’s Airport Directory. We realized that there is a lot of safety information there that ought to be in the hands of all pilots. So, in keeping with AOPA’s mission to make flying safer, we decided to make it a benefit for everyone, not just members.”
AOPA Airports offers downloadable approach and departure instrument procedures, a kneeboard-formatted airport page to carry in the cockpit, and all the airport information available from the FAA’s facilities directory, as well as both satellite photo and sectional depictions of the airport, and real-time weather reports and forecasts (METARs and TAFs) for the airport and nearby airports.
Each airport’s page pulls together information from a number of sources. It includes fuel prices supplied by 100LL.com, runway information and nearby navigation aid information from the FAA, based aircraft and annual operations information from the Airport Master Record, and more. There is a list of airport businesses and nearby restaurants and attractions. In fact, business and airport managers have the ability to update their listing directly, making AOPA Airports one of the most up-to-date sources of information available to pilots.
Each airport’s page also has a “Nearby Airports” button, which pulls up a list of airports in the area. The feature is especially useful for pilots planning a flight in instrument meteorological conditions in order to find suitable alternatives.
There are still a few benefits that are only available to AOPA members, such as the Favorite Airports feature. AOPA members can tag their home airport and others they fly to frequently to make looking them up quick and easy. Members can access the directory from the free members-only AOPA Internet Flight Planner. They can also download a mobile version of the directory to their iPhones, Blackberries, and Windows Mobile smart phones.
“Federal aviation regulations require a pilot to be familiar with all aspects of every flight,” said Chris O’Callaghan, AOPA’s vice president of ePublishing. “And it’s especially important to know everything you can about where you’re going, including where you might have to divert to. AOPA Airports puts all that information on a single, easy-to-find web page that is available to anyone.”
For more information: AOPA.org/Airports