h1

Copy VAC-charts to AirNavPro on iPad/iPhone

February 25, 2011

Air Navigation Pro from Xample is a “must”-App for Sport pilots. The price of USD 37.99 (Feb’2011) is on the lower side for this kind of applications.

You can use it on both iPhone and iPad with the same licence.

The app is very well documented and the developer is very reactive.

It is possible to view VAC-charts (pdf-files) from within the app, so you don’t need to leave the app during flight.

What is the problem?

Because the VAC-charts are associated to an airport, each chart needs to be in a separate PDF-file and these files need to be in separate folders:

  • Example: Airport LFMD (Cannes-Mandelieu)
  • Folder: “LFMD”
  • File: “LFMD (Cannes-Mandelieu).pdf”

While this folder structure is necessary if you manage various charts for the same airport (e.g. VFR & IFR-charts), it makes it more difficult to manage the files.

The following document describes how to procede to get the PDF-files in a right way to AirNavPro.

Procedure

Step 1 (create PDF-files)

I explained in a previous post how to convert VAC-charts from JeppView to PDF-files with bookmarks. I also described in another post how to transfer these files to the GoodReader on your iDevice.

I recommend to reuse those files to prepare the new ‘single airport’ files for AirNavPro.

If you haven’t converted VAC-charts before and want to use them only with AirNavPro, you may convert as much charts as possible in one file from JeppView. I exported the VFR-charts of up to 800 airports succesfully in 1 file. It will take some time, but you can have a coffee break in the mean time.

Step 2 (split the PDF-files)

The next step consists to split the PDF-files to have 1 file for each airport.

There are several tools available on the internet to perform this task automatically. The tool should be able to split the files based on the bookmarks.

I used an opensource software called “PDF Split and Merge“. It’s available for Mac and Windows.

I’ve only tested with the Mac-version, but I suppose the Windows version will be similar.

  • Start the program
  • Select Split in the tree on the left
  • Click “Add” (top right corner) and select the file you’d like to split
  • Select “Split by bookmarks level” and click on “Fill from Document” in the “Split options” (the software should write “1” after a while in the field)
  • Click on “Browse” to select a different destination folder
  • In Output options use [BOOKMARK_NAME] for the Output file name. (the files generated in JeppView will get names like “LFMD (Cannes-Mandelieu)”.
PDF Split and Merge

Screenshot: PDF Split and Merge (Mac)

When this is finished, all files will be saved within the same folder. (1 file for each airport)

Step 3 (move files to own folders)

As already mentionned before, AirNavPro requires to have each airport file saved in a corresponding folder.

Since all files begin with the ICAO-code, I’m using a small Windows batch-script to perform this action.

Create a text file and edit it with Notepad. (Don’t use a word processor like MS Word)

@echo off & setlocal EnableDelayedExpansion

for %%a in (*) do (

set dirname=%%~na

md !dirname:~0,4! 2> nul

move !dirname:~0,4!*.pdf !dirname:~0,4!

)

popd

rd Scri

Save the file with the extension “bat” (e.g.: “Script.bat”) in the same folder as the PDF-files.

The script will take the first 4 letters of the file name (ICAO-code), create a folder named with these 4 letters and move the files into that folder. The last line “rd Scri” deletes the empty folder created due to the “Script.bat” file.

Step 4 (copy the files to your iPad/iPhone)

In this step you will copy all these files and folders to your AirNavPro app on your iDevice.

I recommend to use “Phone Disk” from Macroplant for this job, since I found it to be the easiest way to copy lots of files or folders to a specific app. (The software “iPhone Explorer” from the same company is available for free, but has some limitations)

Please install “Phone Disk” according to the recommendations of Macroplant.

Connect your iPhone/iPad to your Mac or PC

Open the menu on the icon in the taskbar and mount “AirNavPro”.

Phone Disk - Mount AirNavPro

Screenshot: Phone Disk (Mac) - Mount AirNavPro

You should get an icon on your Mac-Desktop with the name and logo of AirNavPro. Windows users will find a new drive letter in “My Computer”. Open this new drive with Finder (Mac) or Explorer (Windows) and you should see the root of the app.

Screenshot: "Airport charts"-folder location on an iPad

Screenshot: "Airport charts"-folder location on an iPad

Now you can copy all folders created in step 3 to the following folder in AirNavPro: “{iPad}/Documents/Documents/Airport charts/”

Step 5 (verify the charts in AirNavPro)

In this last step you will verify that the charts have been copied correctly to your iDevice.

  • Open the app on your iDevice.
  • Select “Documents”
  • You should see a list of all VAC-charts available
*see ‘Known issues’ at the end of this page for the “(null), (null)” entries
  • Open one file to check the content
  • Close the document.
AirNavPro - Document browser

Screenshot: AirNavPro - Document browser

  • Click on an airport on the map to open the menu
  • You should see the PDF-file corresponding to this airport
  • Click on the file to open it
  • Close the document.
AirNavPro - Airport info

Screenshot: AirNavPro - Airport info

Known issues:

Some airports don’t have an official ICAO-code and JeppView is using an alternate name like “EN02 (Atna)” in Norway.

AirNavPro is also using alternate names for these airports (e.g. NO-0021 for Atna).

But since these names do not match the JeppView names, AirNavPro will not recognize these charts and show them with “(null), (null)” in the document list.

That’s all!

Iim also explaining in another post, how to export the official french VAC-charts from the iVAC app to your Mac or PC, in order to reuse them in AirNavPro (or in another app like GoodReader).

Advertisements

3 comments

  1. Hi, I find your tutorials very interesting. I’m a pilot in Belgium, and i was wondering if it would be possible to make the pdf vac geo- referenced? So you can see where you at on the VAC. So an example. When you fly to or from an airfield and you have to follow a route to an entry or exit point of the ctr, and you give it in as the route you want to fly on Air navigation pro. Can the plane be shown on the VAC? So you can also see the circuit and cross check it on air nav pro if you are on the right track. Or in IFR if you want to fly a SID or a STAR, to crosscheck your possition on the plate. This would be very usefull.

    Thank you for your nice tutorials,

    Best regards


    • Hello Matthias

      Air Nav Pro supports geo-referenced maps (e.g. French maps) and the developer was working on a tool to add geo-reference to own PDF-maps. You may want to check the status or contact him directly via his support center ““.

      Anyhow the main problem will be to keep these maps up to date, since you get a new set every 1 or 2 weeks. Even if you can copy/paste the geo-reference from every old VAC to the new VAC, you will still have to compare each one because the geo-reference of the VAC could have changed.

      As far as I know Jeppesen’s JeppFD partially supports geo-reference for airport diagrams, but it’s still missing on the VACs.
      Best regards,

      Eric


      • Hello Eric,

        Thank you for the reply. First of all I would like to say that I don’t have any knowledge of geo-referencing. But I would like to give some ideas. And look if they are possible or not.

        Like I said, i have no idea how difficult it is to make pdf’s geo-referenced. But i thought that it would be possible to make a pdf geo refenced by adding coordinates of several points. who then coincide with the coordinates of the map. example, if you have the vfr map of Belgium. Which include the reporting points, VOR’s. And you give coordinates to the reporting points in the VAC or add coordinates to the VOR. Would it be possible that the VAC lies in the correct place where it should be.

        As this works you can do this also with ground plates, well every other plate who is on scale and has point where you can place coordinates on.

        It’s just an idea, I have no experience in it. But maybe people who have, can think about it.

        For the plate’s I would use jeppview, and yes, do this again every time there is an update on a map. It possible to see it on the date where Jeppesen made the last modification. so if they didn’t made any modification, the plate should be the same as before.

        I will ask this same question to the developers of air navigation pro. And if they reply, I will keep you updated via this site.

        Best Regards,

        Matthias



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: