International Gliding Commission
Way Point Data Bases
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Introduction by President IGC
The International Gliding Commission of FAI hereby announces its approved IGC Waypoint Format.
This initiative was started by the IGC Sub-Committee which handles the championships rules. Organizers of championships found that they had to handle a larger and larger number of waypoint formats in their analysis of flights. One common standard was seen as being an immense help to championship organizers, and pilots and Official Observers in the field.
Agreement has now been reached after 11 drafts, with a common-sense compromise which we believe will fulfil the objectives of the initiative.
We must recognize the considerable amount of work which has been done to bring this to an approved standard. Thanks to the GNSS and GFAC Sub-Committees and their advisors, and particularly to Ian Strachan who acted as co-ordinator for the drafts, for the great work done by all who participated in that effort!
Introduction by Chairman IGC GNSS subcommittee
This is the approved IGC format for WayPoint lists, which is the name adopted to cover Turnpoints, Startpoints, Finishpoints, and may even be used to delineate the 'corners' of straight-lined airspace areas, such as TMAs, prohibited areas, restricted areas, etc.
This format is not mandatory at this time. However, it is possible that some may require it for certain activities.
Yes, the format may seem complicated at first look, because it will do many things. But, most everything is optional. There is only one requirement:
CCCCCC | NN | DD MM.mmmN/S | DDD MM.mmmE/W
and part of it is also optional:
It gives you the W/P name (CCCCCC), or code for it if the name is longer than six characters, the nation (NN), and the Latitude/Longitude in degrees, minutes and thousandths of minutes (DD MM.mmmN/S | DDD MM.mmmE/W).
You don't need to use the nation indicator if your list is all in one nation. - You may omit the hemisphere designators if your country is not divided by the 0/180 meridian or equator. - If your lat/long is less than 3 numbers (e.g. 001), the leading zeros need not be repeated. However, there must be a key for the waypoint list showing the method being used for omitting such data.
However, even the full CCCCCC | NN | DD MM.mmmN/S | DDD MM.mmmE/W won't tell very much about the point, although it does describe it uniquely. That is essential for entering into an IGC-approved GNSS FR (Flight Recorder).
The rest of the material in the standard format provides for definitive names of the W/P which many will find they want to use because they give all the distinguishing information to describe the point, particularly necessary for those not using GNSS for flight verification. There are still a lot of camera/baro users out there. Hard copy of a W/P listing can look as bare as you want with only CCCCCC | NN | DD MM.mmmN/S | DDD MM.mmmE/W or as fully definitive as using all the provisions would provide. It's hard to imagine one would not provide pilots something morethan the bare minimum, but we have allowed for that if so desired.
The introductory material (Sections 1-4) is designed to assist your understanding of how the format can be used for lists.
Please do not be put off by section 4 regarding accuracy responsibility. That lies ultimately on whomever produces the particular list. There may be one for a country covering all waypoints, or many for a country, each one covering different areas, produced by a different person.