Performance Based Navigation (PBN)

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FAA InFO Explains Magnetic Variation Differences on RNAV Systems

July 9, 2012

The FAA has released InFO 12009 to explain some of the differences between the magnetic courses charted on Standard Instrument Departure/Standard Terminal Arrival (SID/STAR) charts and magnetic courses displayed by some RNAV systems.

RNAV ChartsDownload InFO 12009 (57 KB, PDF)

In most cases, these differences can be attributed to charting convention and RNAV system design differences related to magnetic variation. RNAV systems either rely on their navigational database for magnetic variation or calculate it dynamically. This means that the magnetic course displayed by the RNAV system for a specific instrument procedure leg may differ slightly from the magnetic course charted on the plate for the same leg.

The NBAA Access Committee works to educate NBAA Members on the equipage and training necessary to optimize the use of business aircraft in the National Airspace System, including cockpit technology improvements and charting issues such as these. Learn more about the NBAA Access Committee.

For additional information on RNAV, review NBAA's Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) resources.