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Are waypoints and fixes the very same thing? I keep seeing them used interchangeably. Thanks in advance!

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2 Answers

  1. Best Answer


    John D Collins on Jul 08, 2015

    They are often used interchangeably. You can see from the definition of the terms that a waypoint is a fixed location whereas a fix can be anywhere for example: “I am over downtown”, “I am on the 200 radial at 10 NM”, “I am at 35 00 North latitude and 80 00 West longitude”. No one other than a pedant is going to misunderstand usage of either term when describing a named location on a chart.

    From the Pilot/Controller Glossary:

    FIX− A geographical position determined by visual reference to the surface, by reference to one or more radio NAVAIDs, by celestial plotting, or by another navigational device.

    WAYPOINT− A predetermined geographical position used for route/instrument approach definition, progress reports, published VFR routes, visual reporting points or points for transitioning and/or circumnavigating controlled and/or special use airspace, that is defined relative to a VORTAC station or in terms of latitude/longitude coordinates.

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  2. flyingpiggy on Jul 08, 2015

    Thanks John!

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