Where can I get some info on how to read these things


I would like to know if someone can point me to a location where I can get some instruction on how to read the airport procedures such as this:
flightaware.com/resources/airpor … AP/all/pdf

There are all kinds of symbols and abbreviations, but I can’t find a source that explains what these symbols and abbreviations are. I have found some abbreviations, but certainly not all. Just as an example, I can’t find anywhere what “EMI” means and why is the final letter darker than the EM?


I don’t have handy links on “How to Read a Approach Procedure” but to answer your specific questions:

  1. EMI is the three character* code for the WEst MInster VOR navagational aid. To aid in id’ing the VOR your are tuned to, the station sends a repeated morse code audio signal repeating these letters given as:


shown in the id block.

  1. I think the reason the “I” is darker is an artifact of the PDF or your particular screen (I don’t notice that it is any darker, and don’t know of any reason why it would be).

Edit to add that This Wikipedia Entry provides an intro to Instrument approaches, and gives a link to FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary.

*Are there any VOR stations that, like many airports, use numerics in their code?


Must be a pdf thing. All of the capital “I” (eyes) and lower case “l” (ells) are bold on my screen as well.


Mine too. Has been for a long time, through a few updates.


It’s not an abbreviation but a code. Same thing for airports.

Examples: LAX (airport and VORTAC): The “X” doesn’t stand for anything
NID: China Lake NAWS (most Navy fields begin with “N”)
LVK: Livermore Airport (Like LAX, the last letter doesn’t stand for anything)


CLICK HERE. If that ain’t enough, then CLICK HERE


Believe it or not, I edited that darn post 6 times. By the time noticed that abbrevation was a poor word choice, but figured I would let it slide.

Thanks for keeping me honest!

(edited three times to get the quote marking to work correctly)


Having the legend handy is also good. It’s the place I go when I see a symbol that I’m not sure of.



You could probably find a cheap Commercial/Instrument textbook online somewhere that would explain not only what the charts mean, but how to fly the airplane in reference to them.



Looking closely (in my Acrobat) those aren’t actually letters, but vertical bar characters. The “I” is bolded, the “l” isn’t. Probably deliberate as they would otherwise appear identical in that font.