I've left two airports in the past year, humbly and as quickly as I could manage. This was at least partly because I found it expeditious to rely on electronic records. In both cases, the Jep data
indicated public airport, however once on site, I found it to be private. In the TX case, in spite of Jep and Foreflight reporting it public, it was clearly not public, as the local Sheriff introduced himself (that's a story in itself). At the Canadian strip, well it is public, in a limited sense, as described below. Interestingly, while Radium Hot Springs airport is listed as public, my friends picking me up found the roads to the airport clearly posted as private and arrived at the strip very much feeling like a trespassers.
So to get a bit more insight, I inquired of Jep customer service (abbreviated exchange)
How does Jeppesen go about determining if an airport is public or private? .........
Guthrie TX 6TE6 and a Canadian airport- Radium Hot Springs CBL6
And the reply...
Thank you for your question on CBL6 and 6TE6.
Airport CBL6, is correctly captured as "public" even though it is privately owned. You should understand the term "public" as "open to the public" or "for public use" and that is how Canadian pilots expect us to show this information. Jeppesen uses source documents (in this case, the Canadian Aerodrome Facility Directory) issued by the Aeronautical Authority of each country to determine if an airport is private or public use.
As a policy, Jeppesen does not capture private US airports unless the owner makes the request from us. Then they need to provide all the current information related to their airports. In the case of 6TE6, I found that it should be captured in the database as "private". It will be corrected in database cycle 1010, effective 23 Sep 10......
I will add here that I'm not headed out with only the Garmin 296. In both cases, I had other reference materials. In Canada, among other things, I had the VNC and a PDF reader with the current official- Canadian Airport Charts. Unfortunately, the file does not include all the airports, so to visit a small airport and cross check Jep data
, you need to have the Canadian Flight Supplement handy (not available in PDF). Texas, I had Foreflight (running on the iPhone) and the G296 both saying public, I didn't take the time to check the official sources, both the sectional and the AFD would have given me a heads up that it was private.
Soap box warning!
Don't we need all "official" airport documents available in PDF format, so as we fly about with these GPS's we have an ability to check the the 3rd party data
against the official data
? While I'm happy to admit that Jep gets it right most of the time, it's still not the official published data
and the regulatory burden is on the pilot to use the correct information, just as the Garmin startup script reminds us at each boot.
Am I the only one wondering a bit why I spend money on 3rd party data
Comments, brilliant solutions??