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I am a brand new student pilot pursuing my private cert. I don't need to know this for a while, but I'm trying to learn about VOR navigation to enjoy my sim flights more, in the meantime.

My question is this: is the VOR frequency for a given station static/permanent? If you're looking at a chart from ten years ago (which, granted, I'm sure you're not supposed to be doing) and it shows a freq for a given station of 116.20, is that frequency likely to still be 116.20 for that station today?

That's a bit exaggerated of a timeline, but another way to ask this question is this: how often do VOR frequencies change? How recent does a chart have to be, for you to rely on a frequency as printed on that chart?

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  • $\begingroup$ FYI, VORs use frequencies in the very high frequency (VHF) band from 108.00 to 117.95 MHz. $\endgroup$ – JScarry Oct 13 '17 at 23:35
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    $\begingroup$ I don't have evidence or official source for this, but my experience is it almost never change. However speaking of old aviation charts, the radials do change due to magnetic variation - if something is 253 degrees ten years ago, it could be 258 degrees now. If it is a runway, it would be RWY 25 back then but RWY 26 now. $\endgroup$ – kevin Oct 14 '17 at 0:24
  • $\begingroup$ I can point to A LOT of VORs that have had the same freq for >15yrs. $\endgroup$ – acpilot Oct 14 '17 at 18:44
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Charts are updated regularly by the FAA and expired charts should not be considered legal for navigation. Your chart must be current as per the date range printed on the cover for it to be considered reliable. That being said in my experience the VOR frequencies remain constant although I'm sure you can find instances in which they have changed over the years I have yet to see it happen.

FWIW the FAA is slowly shutting down the VOR system as GPS has become the prevalent navigation method.

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When there has been interference issues, VOR frequencies as well as LOC frequencies have been reassigned.

However, as a general rule, they remain static for decades.

I have charts from the 40's and 50's and many of the VOR and NDB frequencies have remained the same. EXCEPT that the NDB frequencies are almost all decomissioned, at least in my area.

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