Sometimes when I'm browsing IAC charts online I find a "DO NOT USE FOR NAVIGATION" notice printed on the chart. Not always though.

For example, have a look at the chart for Queenstown RNAV (RNP) Y RWY 05. See the notice there?

Queenstown RNAV (RNP) Y RWY 05

I have always wondered why do procedure designers put these notices on their charts. I find it almost contradictory, since I think these charts are the best source of information that an aircrew can have to navigate/maneuver. Isn't it ironic?

I'm sure I must be missing something.

Can anybody shed some light on this?

PS: These are not SIM charts. These are real charts from the AIP.

  • 17
    $\begingroup$ I suspect these notices appear on the online versions of charts, because the online versions are not guaranteed accurate. The notice probably doesn't appear on the paper version. $\endgroup$ Nov 29 '18 at 16:48
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Can't say authoritatively as I'm not familiar with NZ rules but in the US, IFR charts are published every 28 days, thus any chart older than that would be 'Not for navigation'. This one was effective 9 Nov 17. Also, redaining the NZ AIP web site disclaimer, the charts are for 'personal use'. This approach is restricted in that it requires GE Aviation approval as well as CANNZ RNP-AR approval. Basically, this is a PBN RNAV approach for airliners with a GE Aviation FMS. So there's no real reason to keep a valid copy on the web site since most of the public can't use it. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Nov 29 '18 at 17:06
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ It means that you shouldn't use it for navigation. $\endgroup$
    – Richard
    Dec 1 '18 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ Queenstown NZ is an interesting area - as you can tell from the chart! youtube.com/watch?v=7mxmFCw-Dig nose video of a landing. $\endgroup$
    – Criggie
    Dec 1 '18 at 18:30

Unless it's an obsoleted procedure chart, it usually means that it's not complete. The example you show has only the features pertinent to that approach, and its missing (for clarity) the features needed for any other aviation in that area.

You must use a sufficiently complete chart for navigation; the approach diagram is supplementary to your navigation chart.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ What exactly you find missing and which is present at other approach plates to the very same aerodrome like aip.net.nz/pdf/NZQN_43.1_43.2.pdf ? What kind of navigation would you expect from an IFR approach plate? $\endgroup$
    – Vladimir F
    Nov 29 '18 at 22:39

When an aviation chart is marked with "DO NOT USE FOR NAVIGATION", it means that ... umm ... it should not be used for navigation.

The question is why it should not be, because it appears that the chart/map is very accurate and hence it is thought that it can provide details for navigation.

There are several reasons:

  • A newer version might be available and hence making older versions obsolete.
  • It may not be according to scale and can cause confusion.
  • It may not show air routes.

On the contrary, a chart can be used for navigation when it has the following (yes, AOPA said it):

  • topographic features
  • hazards and obstructions
  • navigation routes and aids
  • airspace
  • airports

In some countries, administrative and legal reasons require that label, because maps officially usable for navigation may need

  • process used for completion including various warranties, for example:

    • included map layers collected from their respective sources can be no more than 3 months old

    • the map got reviews and approvals prescribed by the process – all documented, with clear responsibilities

    • by adhering with the process, the map received official certification and then catalogization etc.

The same company can produce ad-hoc maps from similar sources, of similar quality which still did not go through the entire (quite expensive) process and therefore they are mandatorily marked as "DO NOT USE FOR NAVIGATION" which is also connected to various legal implications.

So such a label might not inevitably mean that the map is missing something. Even after closer look, it can appear 100% complete. But it should not be used as official navigation aid. For example, if an insurance event will occur where navigation can be at least slightly involved (or even theoretically), finding out that such a map was used for navigating will give aces into hands of the insurance company.


I do not believe the reasons stated in other answers. The only difference between this approach plate and other approach plates for the very same aerodrome in the same AIP like this or this (also RNAV, but RNAV GNSS, not RNP) is the type of the approach. The level of details of the map, for example, is exactly the same.

One needs special equipment and a special approval for this approach and cannot just fly it according to the map or select it in a normal Garmin.

The plate misses something important and it is NOT the details of the map. These are the actual minima to be used for the approach (I do not get what other navigation some suggest other than the approach for which the map only exists...). Notice the important notice:

Minima figures are indicative only. See CAANZ RNP-AR operator approval for specific procedure minima.

So this approach plate is not enough, more information is needed to properly perform the approach. Not to do other unspecified navigation, no-one would do that, but to fly the approach (or the associated missed approach procedure).

The AIP (ENR 1.3) also says:

1.4.2 Special RNP-AR approach and departure procedures are designed to criteria that differ from ICAO specifications and have been approved for use by CAA. These procedures are only available to operators with contractual arrangements with the procedure design organisation. Tailored instrument approach charts and navigation data-cards are only provided to contracted organisations. CAANZ approval is also required.

1.4.3 The Special RNP-AR procedure charts are annotated with the applicable restrictions. They are published for the use of ATC and for situational awareness by other aircrew and are not available to be used for navigation purposes.

  • $\begingroup$ @mins: Authorized crews use something else. Those are published for the ATC's benefit as the AIP quote says. If like KJFK, authorized carriers, e.g. JBU and ASA, make the request for the RNP 13L (not even publicly published in this case), because everything needs to be current, including crew training (ATC can't guess that). $\endgroup$
    – ymb1
    Oct 12 '21 at 14:05
  • $\begingroup$ The current version of this approach chart does not have the "do not..." placard, and is otherwise essentially identical as for the content referred in this answer, so this answer is not entirely correct. $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Oct 14 '21 at 7:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Jpe61: current version does have it; you're looking at the one for the CAT B, not C&D. $\endgroup$
    – ymb1
    Oct 14 '21 at 7:59
  • $\begingroup$ @ymb1 Oh, indeed, my mistake! $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Oct 14 '21 at 8:02

In addition to the other excellent answers, because the publisher expects to be compensated for creating the charts. In other words, they don't want you downloading free stuff, they want to sell you approach plates needed for actual flight. They put this tag on any print or electronic version promulgated for training or general reference.

  • $\begingroup$ Right, in addition the publisher is not the CAA itself, but a private company Aeropath, owned by Airways New Zealand, the national ANSP. They have obviously an agreement. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Dec 2 '18 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ The copyrights are mentioned in the chart, and the copyright holder is CAA, so this chart was free. $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Oct 14 '21 at 7:47

The simple answer is that the chart is or will become outdated. As a pilot you need to have current charts when flying.

The marking shows that the publisher does not take any responsibility for the currency or accuracy of the free chart found on internet or in training material.

You can buy sets of current charts and subscribe to updates to always have a current set. Not to promote this here, but one example of company selling charts is Jeppesen. http://ww1.jeppesen.com/documents/aviation/business/ifr-paper-services/glossary-legends.pdf


The really simple answer is that the chart does not contain everything a pilot needs to know to navigate safely. That could be because it is missing features for clarity, is a training tool, or, as is this case for Queenstown, because pilots must have additional certifications in advance. It is very rarely because a chart is out-of-date since why would anyone update a chart that is out of date?

Whatever the reason for the warning, a chart with this prohibition on it is intended to be used to assist a pilot who already knows whatever it is they need to know (as highlighted on this one with the text boxes in the lower left corner), but can not be used safely by anybody who does not already know how to navigate here.


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