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What is the FAA equivalent of the Canadian Designated Airspace Handbook?

Posted by on August 1, 2008 2 Comments Category : Flight Instructor Blog

Received a question tonight from a northern aviator:

In Canada we have the Designated Airspace Handbook. It’s the legal document that defines Canada’s airspace.  Does the FAA have something similar?

Hi Blake.  I took a look at the link you sent me for the Canadian Designated Airspace Handbook and to answer your question, the U.S. federal government does not produce a similar file.  However, if it is any comfort…it used to! The file and data used to be called the Digital Aeronautical Flight Information File or DAFIF.   DAFIF is managed by the NGA or National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.  The DAFIF data was publicly available until October of 2006 when it was pulled because of “national security” (actually it’s a much longer and boring story).  DAFIF data is still available but you have to have a really good reason for accessing it (like you work for the NGA) So for plain old folks like you and me nope, sorry Blake.


Thanks to the internet and people willing to share this information you can still find some outdated DAFIF files out there if you are wanting them for mapping and such.  The Worldwide Soring Turnpoint Exchange has one of the best collection of links for outdated DAFIF data. If you are U.S. you can also request access to the National Flight Data Center and get access to the FAADS, but I think you might have to be a U.S. citizen (although don’t quote me on that).  One of my favorite tools for viewing the U.S. airspace in 3d is this kmz Google Earth file.  You can download Google Earth to view this file.  You can also download U.S. sectional kml file to get a complete picture like the screenshot I made for you below.   Wow, I’ve been typing for like a hour and I don’t even know if I answered your question or not….


  1. Marco on Aug 02, 2008


    Is there an equivalent of the electronic sectionals for Canada? I’ve been going insane trying to find them…

  2. Ludie Frisbie on Feb 16, 2016

    Thoughtful comments , I Appreciate the insight – Does anyone know where my assistant might be able to get access to a template a form copy to complete ?

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