I'm looking at the BNTLY.CAVLR3 arrival at KIAD:

BNTLY.CAVLR3 arrival

Almost none of the waypoints (BNTLY, CAVLR, COINZ, etc.) are on a single sectional or chart, enroute or otherwise. Considering this is such a major route into such a major airport, why would these waypoints not appear? How would one ever hope of finding their location?

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    $\begingroup$ It might help to put it the other way around: why should every waypoint appear on every chart? Different charts are used for different purposes and have very different scales. Also keep in mind that sectionals are for VFR use, whereas an arrival is an IFR procedure. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough, but I'm not seeing these waypoints on the the Enroute-Highs, Enroute-Lows, the TAC, the World-High, or the World-Low. As far as I can tell, no chart exists or is immediately available to show at least coordinates for these waypoints. Is it assumed that you'll be able to load them out of a GPS database? That doesn't sound right, considering they predate GPS. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that's an RNAV arrival, which in most cases you can simply consider as GPS. The waypoints would be loaded from a database when the pilot loads the arrival procedure into whatever avionics (e.g. GPS or FMS) he's using. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 17:32

1 Answer 1


The CAVLR3 is an example of an RNAV procedure. A requirement to fly an RNAV procedure is for the aircraft to have navigation equipment capable of finding all of those points. There are many thousands of those waypoints, and it would create way too much clutter to show them all on a chart.

For a pilot planning on flying the CAVLR3, the Enroute H-10 chart can help them find the transition waypoints DORRN, THHMP, and TRSSK. Once they reach a transition, the approach chart covers the remaining route.

Enroute H-10 chart showing transition points

If the aircraft does not have the equipment to fly an RNAV approach, they would use a non-RNAV procedure like the COATT4. This follows fixes and VOR's, which are all included on the Enroute L-36 chart.


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