What is the difference between "navigation database" and "airport mapping database"? Are those both required by flight management software for flight planning?

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    $\begingroup$ Where are you seeing these terms? $\endgroup$ – StephenS Oct 20 '20 at 18:37
  • $\begingroup$ Particularly the second term, since a navigation database would include airports and airport layout. $\endgroup$ – Raffles Oct 20 '20 at 19:03

Navigation databases are typically targeted at FMS based systems, usually using the ARINC-424 standard. These are ASCII database files that describe aspects such as approach procedures, flight plans, spacing, etc. It would also provide basic runway information such as heading and altitude of touchdown points - enough to navigate but not enough to paint a completely pretty picture.

By contrast Airport Mapping Databases provide a detailed layout of the entire airport in question - runways, taxiways, vertical structures such as buildings, etc. The industry standard is ARINC-816 for the databases themselves, but the content is based on DO-272's parameters. They are usually installed into systems with displays, e.g. Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) - this may include Class 2 EFBs that are simply iPads for ground-only operation.

Moving maps of this type provide situational awareness, especially when coupled with Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (CDTI) and its associated applications utilizing ADS-B/TIS-B: these provide awareness as to other aircraft that might be in the vicinity, threat level, etc.

Side note: additional CDTI applications that utilize ADS-B are enumerated in DO-317. These include airborne procedures, e.g. decreased spacing for in-trail procedures (ITP).

  • $\begingroup$ Moving maps while taxiing are not unusual these days. $\endgroup$ – StephenS Oct 20 '20 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ Moving maps while taxiing are quite normal today. $\endgroup$ – expeditedescent Oct 21 '20 at 7:07
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    $\begingroup$ @Terrance you have given a good answer and I upvoted it. i took out my comment as it was redundant. $\endgroup$ – Raffles Oct 21 '20 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ Makes me mad when the OP abandons their question. $\endgroup$ – Raffles Oct 25 '20 at 23:45

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