I am studying the IFR Enroute Low Altitude legend, and I noticed that all NAV Aids other than TACAN have a compulsory reporting point icon.

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They do appear on the STAR/DP legend. enter image description here

Why do TACANs not have a compulsory reporting point icon on the STAR/DP, but not IFR Enroute Low Altitude?

  • $\begingroup$ VOR frequency 108.00 to 117.95 MHz. TACAN frequency 960-1215 MHz. So even when shown, civilian radios would not pick them up. I can't talk to military operations, but I know I can't report a point that I can't tune in. Not even sure my GPS would identify them for me. $\endgroup$
    – CrossRoads
    Apr 29, 2019 at 12:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Keep in mind that the chart legends aren't the end of the story, because they're only the abridged version! If you really want to study the chart symbology, the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide is one of the FAA's best publications ever. $\endgroup$
    – Dave-CFII
    Apr 29, 2019 at 12:57

1 Answer 1


TACANs are for military use. VOR or VORTAC are the civilian equivalent. Civilians can't generally tune in TACAN.

This wikipedia article has more details. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactical_air_navigation_system

  • $\begingroup$ Don't the FAA enroute charts serve both civil and military users? $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2019 at 3:13
  • $\begingroup$ Nope. Military training routes are identified on civilian charts. No TACANs are shown tho. VOR, VOR-DME and VORTAC, but not TACAN. You can see the charts here skyvector.com Military have their own charts. nga.mil/ProductsServices/Pages/… $\endgroup$
    – CrossRoads
    Apr 29, 2019 at 12:14
  • $\begingroup$ "The Aero Browser – ACES (Aeronautical Content Exploitation System) is a map based web site that provides enhanced web technology for users to access multiple geospatial intelligence and aeronautical information databases and to "package" the information into user-specified formats. This capability provides access to data that comprises the many NGA aeronautical products and crosses over the traditional lines of AAFIF, DAFIF, FLIP, or Intel Imagery and makes all available as needed, with just a few clicks of the mouse.This site is open only to U.S. military, ..." $\endgroup$
    – CrossRoads
    Apr 29, 2019 at 12:15
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    $\begingroup$ @CrossRoads could you elaborate on the point that the reason is that military operations would never be reporting to ATC so it is thus irrelevant to have a TACAN be compulsory reporting? I think that's the main takeaway, I just want it more clear please and then I will mark it accepted. Even that doesn't explain why one chart has it and the other doesn't though. $\endgroup$ Feb 3, 2020 at 17:18
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    $\begingroup$ This answer does not address the question. There is such a symbol on the STAR legend, so simply saying "it isn't relevant" isn't correct. And there is the fact (pointed out by @MichaelHall) that the chart is meant to be used by military pilots as well. $\endgroup$
    – randomhead
    Apr 27, 2021 at 23:33

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