How to Read Jeppesen Charts

Written by julie baker
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How to Read Jeppesen Charts
Most general and commercial pilots rely on navigation information provided by Jeppesen charts. (cessna 172's image by Edward White from

Pilots use Jeppesen charts (also known as Jepps) to navigate approaches into airports around the world. Each Jepp chart arranges approach information for a specific airport into four basic sections according to how pilots use data when flying: heading, plan view, profile view, and minimums.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Jeppesen approach chart

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  1. 1

    Locate the heading section at the top of the approach chart. In the upper right-hand corner, find the city, state, and country of the airport depicted on the page. Below that is the procedure identifier for the approach to be flown. In the upper left-hand corner is the Jeppesen NavData/ICAO identifier, airport name, chart number, and the date the chart information was published.

    Go to the second and third lines of the heading. The second line lists radio frequencies from left to right in the sequence to be used as the aircraft arrives and lands. The third line lists the primary navigation aid, final approach course, altitudes for precision or non-precision approaches, and elevation for the airport; on the far right is a graphic showing the minimum safe altitude (MSA) with bearings and radials oriented to the point of origin.

    Find the fourth and fifth (if provided) lines of the heading section. The fourth line offers complete instructions for missed approach procedures. A fifth line is often included to give relevant notes associated with the approach.

    How to Read Jeppesen Charts
    Jepp charts give pilots data about landing and take-off approaches at airports. (aeroplane in flight image by Clarence Alford from
  2. 2

    Locate the plan view section (the graphic shown beneath the heading). This section gives primary navaid information, names and identifications for airspace fixes associated with the approach procedure, final approach course bearings, formation radials, and locations of secondary airports.

    How to Read Jeppesen Charts
    Air safety is enhanced thanks to the information provided by Jeppesen charts. (aeroplane image by Christine F Saulnier from
  3. 3

    Locate the profile view section just below the plan view graphic. This section is divided into two parts: the profile graphic and the conversion tables.

    The profile graphic illustrates the names and identifications of airspace fixes associated with the approach procedure on the chart. It states the glide slope altitude at the outer marker or minimum altitude at the final approach fix. The graphic also gives the final approach course bearing, symbols for navaids and fixes, and provides touchdown zone/runway end elevation.

    The second part of the profile view provides conversion tables, necessary approach light system and/or visual descent lighting information, and initial pilot actions for missed approach.

    How to Read Jeppesen Charts
    The skies are safer when pilots rely on Jepp charts as navigation aids. (aeroplane image by Kkatka from
  4. 4

    Locate the minimums section at the far bottom of the Jepp approach chart. This section provides decision altitude or minimum descent altitude information. Applicable notes for landing minimums are often placed below the minimum numbers.

    How to Read Jeppesen Charts
    Jepp charts provide data that will aid pilots in their descent and landing procedures. (Airstrip image by gburba from

Tips and warnings

  • The Jeppesen Company publishes a legend offering further details on how to read approach charts and how to use information provided in each section.

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