Just wondering what "MERMA" means on the Los Angeles TAC chart:

LA TAC Chart

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    $\begingroup$ How are airspace fixes named? $\endgroup$
    – J...
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 21:22
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    $\begingroup$ Should this get more generically-titled somehow, so it might be useful to others? Perhaps "what does a 5-letter name next to a crossed-arrows symbol mean?" $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 5:20
  • $\begingroup$ further out is another one EXERT $\endgroup$
    – RozzA
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 7:19

2 Answers 2


MERMA is an aviation waypoint

Waypoints used in aviation are given five-letter names. These names are meant to be pronounceable or have a mnemonic value, so that they may easily be conveyed by voice.

According to this page back before the FAA decided all waypoints must have 5 character names, this waypoint - being out in the ocean - was called "Mermaid" and after renaming this became simply MERMA.


It's an intersection, as described in the FAA Aeronautical Chart User's Guide (VFR Sectional & TAC section):

Named intersections used as reporting points. Arrows are directed toward facilities which establish intersection.

If you follow the arrows that make up the MERMA intersection symbol, it's defined by the intersection of radial 246 from the LAX VORTAC and and radial 148 from the FIM VORTAC. MERMA is used in some instrument procedures, like the OCEAN TWO arrival into KLAX.

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    $\begingroup$ How can you tell from the chart that it's on radial 148 from the FIM VORTAC? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 19:56
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    $\begingroup$ @200_success If you look on the TAC at the FIM VORTAC you can see V107 follows radial 148 to GINNA and then SADDE; extending that would lead to MERMA. But I admit that's eyeballing it and I had to check the STAR to see if I was correct. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 20:29

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