StallSpin's answer on the recent question about VFR traffic patterns has got me thinking about the "Remarks" section of the Chart Supplement (formerly the Airport/Facility Directory).

We are all taught in training to review the Supplement entry for airports we intend to visit (part of FAR 91.103's "become familiar with all available information" requirement), and to comply with any restrictions noted - typically things like "no touch-and-go landings", "Standard traffic pattern required of all aircraft", "Prior Permission Required for jet aircraft", etc.

Aside from it being The Right Thing To Do, and avoiding the possibility of local fines/sanctions, are the remarks in the Supplement "regulatory" such as to require compliance, or are they advisory where compliance is encouraged but not mandatory?

up vote 2 down vote accepted

A required rule in the airport/facility directory is required. It is a very good idea to check the AFD entry online (or on paper) before you fly to a new airport. It just takes a second and you can learn important things, such as "NO DEPS AFT 2230" or "PPR FOR TKOF ON RY 15. CTC FBO 970-920-2016" (Aspen).

  • Yes, but how does one tell the difference between a "required rule" and a "request" - some are obvious (Pilots are REQUESTED to avoid overflight of housing development... versus Prior permission REQUIRED for takeoff on runway 15), others are not. (I generally just assume everything is required unless it's glaringly obvious that it's not, but something I could point at which confirms that would be nice...) – voretaq7 Jan 7 '14 at 3:29
  • By the wording. If it says "recommended," "requested," or "should," it's optional. A definite statement such as "No departures after 2230" or anything with "PPR" is a requirement. "STANDARD TFC PATTERN REQUIRED OF ALL ACFT" is a requirement. However, it's a little ambiguous in that it does not say where to enter the pattern. – xpda Jan 7 '14 at 4:17
  • That's basically been my conclusion as well - I've never been able to find anything either in the FARs or the AIM saying "Do what you're told in the AFD", but I've always chalked it up as "regulatory" based on a conservative interpretation of 91.103. – voretaq7 Jan 7 '14 at 5:33

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