I have a small but quite busy GA (General Aviation) airport I operate out of that gets over 140,000 of operations per year. It's a popular GA destination, has an active school, and the area schools use it as a great short, narrow, practice runway. The AFD (Airport/Facility Directory) entry for the airport lists the runway as having a Tri Color VASI (Visual Approach Slope Indicator) at each end. It doesn't exist. As far as I've gathered it might have existed 20 years ago.

How does an oversight like this exist for such an extended period of time?

Is this something that should be reported?

The instrument approach plate lists the VASI as well, but it's never been NOTAM'd out of service. Does this create a hazard to potential IFR traffic?

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    $\begingroup$ For more information about correcting the IFR chart, see this question/answer: aviation.stackexchange.com/q/320/69 $\endgroup$ – Lnafziger Oct 20 '14 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ Harvey Field (S43)? $\endgroup$ – egid Nov 8 '14 at 8:25

How does an oversight like this exist for such an extended period of time?

Because it doesn't get reported.

Is this something that should be reported?

Yes, it should be reported, otherwise this oversight will exist for an extended period of time.

This dAFD website contains a link that should be followed to [r]eport any A/FD errors or changes. Somewhere down those links you'll find plethora of forms and rather confusing texts which seem not really helpful when you want to report a missing VASI. That brings us back to the answer on your first question.


In the comments, Kevin Cathcart pointed out the Aeronautical Data Inquiries form which is the appropriate form to flag the problem. Alternatively you can contact the NFDC (National Flight Data Center) via phone at 1-(866) 295-8236.

Does this create a hazard to potential IFR traffic?

Whether it is a potential hazard depends mainly on the presence of other source of vertical guidance. Is there an ILS / gideslope active? No vertical guidance at all is a safety risk in low visibility conditions.

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  • $\begingroup$ It absolutely could be a hazard, I suggest you ask airport management about it and ask them to get it resolved. If they don't, report it yourself. Why should you do their work for them? $\endgroup$ – GdD Oct 20 '14 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ Most of this confirms what I was thinking. I did my night flights for training there and it was exceptionally scary. I looked into reporting the discrepancy in the AFD, but it looks like the form needs someone from the airport to authorize it. I have in the back if my head a suspicion that they have an interest in keeping their imaginary VASI. $\endgroup$ – John Oct 20 '14 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ @John, that is what I found as well. Getting someone to authorize it seems an unnecessary high barrier to report an error in the A/FD. To really change the A/FD I think it is fair to require authorization, but just flagging a problem should be made easier. If you look into the question / answer linked from Lnafziger's comment you'll find an email address and phone number that might be of help. If you think this is a safety issue you should consider reporting it though asrs.arc.nasa.gov. You are definitely not the only one reporting missing/inoperative VASI's. $\endgroup$ – DeltaLima Oct 20 '14 at 14:49
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    $\begingroup$ For flagging the problem the appropriate form would be the Aeronautical Data Inquiries form. That form exists for "comments" and "questions", which will mostly be reporting apparent problems. If you select airport on that form, you can enter the airport code, and pick "lighting" (since that is the category name that represents all lighting based visual flight aids). Lastly, you can contact the NFDC via phone at 1-(866) 295-8236. They do need to make it clearer that you should report errors with that form. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Cathcart Oct 20 '14 at 20:32
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    $\begingroup$ Lastly, if you really don't want to deal with the NFDC for some reason, you can also contact the FAA AeroNav division, like you were reporting a chart problem. They state that you can contact them directly about errors in charts and related products, and the A/FD is clearly a related product. They are used to working with NFDC since many chart errors come from errors in the underlying data, and the charts are required to reflect the underlying data, so fixing the error means they need to fix that data. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Cathcart Oct 20 '14 at 20:44

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