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1. Introduction

1.1 About avdbtools

At one time, the U.S. National Airspace Data (NASD) was distributed on several 9 track magnetic tapes. Working with this type of media was impractical for the average computer user (since they are typically found only on older, expensive mainframe computer systems). For a brief period of time, a reformatted version of the data was available for free download from a web site operated by the National Flight Data Center (this is no longer true). The official data files can now be obtained on an ISO 9660 CD-ROM for a nominal fee by writing to the Aeronautical Information Systems Division of the Federal Aviation Administration (see Obtaining the NASD CD-ROM). The data is suitable for navigational purposes and is valid for 56 days starting on the specified effective date. This software package was motivated by the appearance of these more convenient methods of distribution.

I've been a long time user of Steve Tynor's flight planning software called fplan which was originally posted to the comp.sources.misc USENET newsgroup in 1989. The database files that were available for fplan were aging rapidly, and the need for new database files was clear. The avdbtools package also provides limited support for generating world files for ICAO Map.

1.2 Copyright

The avdbtools software package is Copyright (c) 1998-2000, John C. Peterson, <>

This software package is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License, version 2. A copy is included in this distribution in the file named "LICENSE".

This software package is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License, version 2, for more details.

In simple terms; I'm making this stuff available in the hope that it will be useful to other pilots, but you are the final judge of its accuracy, applicability, suitability, etc. Pilots in the United States should be sure they understand the nature of their responsibilities in the area of preflight planning. See sections; 3, 103, and 151 of part 91 of the FARs for a quick refresher.

1.3 Change History

The code can be considered reasonably stable, I have done a fair amount of testing myself. (This should not be confused with the claim that there are no bugs!) The low version number is mostly indicative of the absence of desired features. The support for fplan databases is mostly complete, while support for ICAO Map still needs more work.

Changes from 0.2 to 0.3

Previous releases of avdbtools were designed to work with the comma delimited files available from a web site operated by the National Flight Data Center. Sorry, but these files are no longer available for free download. This release of avdbtools has been redesigned to work with the files from the National Airspace Data ISO 9660 CD-ROM. The general design of the package remains much the same. A collection of awk scripts are used to generate intermediate database files with variable width fields. These files can then be converted into other formats with the nasdconv application.

Changes from 0.1 to 0.2

Release 0.2 is a maintenance release, it contains no new features. It consists mostly of changes to the user's guide to reflect the new distribution site, some minor adjustments to the structure of the source directory tree, and some improvements to the Makefile.

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