I've recently started studying for my Air Law and Meteorology exam and am trying to get my head around some of the basic literature / legal documentation structure.

As I understand it the Chicago Convention outlined a series of ICAO Articles that are available in detail as Annexes. These are introduced into law in the UK via the Air Navigation Order. I'm having some confusion understanding the AIP and how this relates back to the ANO, if at all. Not only this but also what the main differences between an AIP, AIC and NOTAM are.

Is anyone able to help by concisely explaining how these entities relate to one another and how they differ so that I can build a mental image before studying each further, I would greatly appreciate it.

  • $\begingroup$ Basic information on Wikipedia. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Aug 23 '15 at 22:28
  • $\begingroup$ I did read that before asking, It didn't really help explain the place of each from a rookie point of view. $\endgroup$
    – Andy
    Aug 23 '15 at 22:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ AIP: Aeronautical publication (long term, "permanent" information like aeronautical facilities, airports...), mostly for departure, navigation, approach and landing, in the flight bag. Notam: Temporary or urgent information (runway closed for maintenance, test of a VOR site), database consulted before each flight, in the flight bag. AIC: Circular that doesn't fit well in previous categories (safety, technical, administrative...). ANO: Country legal aspects. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Aug 23 '15 at 23:04

Annex 15 of ICAO Chicago convention describes the required information for safe conduct of flights, and which aeronautical information is to be provided by ICAO members. Each country needs to provide an aeronautical information service (AIS) in a standardized form, comprising static and dynamic data.

  • Static: Aeronautical information publication (AIP), AIP amendments and charts. AIP is generally updated each 28 days.

  • Dynamic: Notam, AIP supplements.

Explanatory information doesn't fit well in the previous categories, and is grouped in aeronautical information circulars (AIC).


  • AIP: Authoritative information issued by an ICAO member containing long lasting aeronautical information essential to air navigation.
    AIP list by country.

  • AIP amendment: Permanent change to AIP.

  • AIP supplement: Temporary change to AIP.

  • Notam (and Snowtam): Notice distributed by a telecommunication system, concerning the establishment, condition or change in any aeronautical facility, service, procedure or hazard, the timely knowledge of which is essential to personnel concerned with flight operations. Also associated with Notam: pre-flight information bulletin (PIB), a presentation of current Notam information of operational significance, prepared prior to flight.
    Notams in US.

  • AIC: Information that doesn't qualify for inclusion in AIP or Notams but which relates to flight safety, air navigation, technical, administrative or legislative matters. This could include mid-term prevision for changes in the regulatory or technical frameworks, results of safety investigations, scientific discovery related to how weather impacts aviation...
    List of Canada AIC.

Full aeronautical information contains:

  • AIP, including amendments
  • Supplements to the AIP
  • Notams
  • AIC
  • Checklists and lists of valid Notams.

Source for the above definitions: Manual of Aeronautical Information Services, India.

Regarding The Air Navigation Order (ANO), specific to UK

"On 7 December 1944, the majority of the world's nations became signatories to the "Chicago Convention", the aim of which was to assure the safe, orderly and economic development of air transport. ICAO sets out, in the terms of the convention, the rules, regulations and requirements to which each signatory must adhere. The Civil Aviation Act 1982 is the UK's means of discharging its ICAO responsibilities. This legislation required the creation of the CAA. The Air Navigation Order (ANO) is the law that empowers us to carry out our duties."


ANO is the legal framework valid for UK, to empower aeronautical agencies and their publications, in accordance with Annex 15.


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