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Flight Planning Help - SIDs/STARs etc

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Hi All


I'm relatively new to using the FMC to fly, I used to just follow the ATC's instructions to do an ILS approach.


I recently bought FSBuild and am now using that program to generate a flight plan which I load in the FMC and follow.


My question is about knowing which SIDs and STARs to select.


For example, I auto generate a flight plan in FS Build, then I load the fmc and enter the "coroute" for example EGLLEHAM which brings up my flight plan in the FMC. I then use the ATIS to find out which runway is active and load that into the FMC, it then generates a list of SIDs - how do I know which one to use?


At the moment I'm not choosing a SID and then just enabling the LNAV function after takeoff which directs me to the first waypoint. Then similarly on approach, I use ATIS to find the landing runway and put that in the FMC and use the LNAV function until established on the localiser. I don't use the ATC at all, hence using the ATIS to find the active runways.


Any tips well received! I'm new to all this FMC lark and I'm sure there's probably better ways of doing it than I do!



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Hi Bristol,


im new too and im trying asvwell to master the fmc. I have a question since u r using FS build,can you choose the dest n upload the flight path into the fmc?

Dushantha Baduge

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It's not that straight forwa\rd. You need to subscribe to such add ons as navigraph and purchase the instrument plates for the airports you use. Then llok at the charts and you will then work out what you have to select in the FMC. Some airfields have straightforward sids where the name of the sid corresponds with the first waypoint. Others have a departure sid with a transition addition for the first waypoint.


A similar setup exists for stars.

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For FAA charts I use the free flightaware.com. Enter the airport ICAO of the airport, click info, and on the opening window choose IFR charts. I then usually download the complete .pdf bundle. For my most used airports I print out the charts of interest.


For European Union airports I acquired a free Eurocontrol registration to:


Once logged in your can Enter Applications, then PAMS Light. A query screen will open. Enter the Authority (region/country), authority type - civil, AIP type -charts, Part - AD.


If you click search here you will get ICAO sorted pages of listings for all of that region. You can advance through all of those pages one by one or estimate a page number. I use the advanced search which lets me use a wildcard search. For LSZH (Zurich) I enter as Document Name *LSZH* and that pulls up all of the available charts for Zurich. Click on the .pdf link of the charts you want to download them to Acrobat to view and save if you wish. A right click here will not provide a direct Save Link As. Don't click on the chart title.


In my example LSZH has 46 charts available. You really do not need all.


This EuroControl site also has enroute charts as well.


In airports with runway specific SIDS and STARS you choose the basic generic waypoint charts by arrival direction or departure direction using the appropriate enroute transition point. Quite a few of the waypoints may be shared among runways.


You are not using ATC which makes things simpler but if you are using dynamic weather you would have to know winds to estimate the departure and arrival runways. If you have ai turned on be aware that based on the type of ai aircraft, navaids, and runway properties, they may accept a small tailwind component.


I use FSBuild with the ATC product below. I wrote a tip sheet which includes information on the "build from route grid" option which lets you build/export from changes you make in the route table grid after you do your first build. This way you can limit your SID\STAR waypoints to common waypoints only. Also be aware that FSB can not handle the full SID\STAR label and it might have a slightly different version. In FSBuild if you choose a runway in the airport section you can then use the dropdown to show the labels available. An FSBuiid AutoGen will show the SID/STAR based on the runways you enter and you might want to change that.


Although you are not using ATC, I have several items (I think) of interest in the attached document:




I also recommend you get at least a one time subscription to navigraph.com for FMC procedures. For each period there is no extra charge to download multiple formats so you can update your FSBuild 2.4 data and your FMC data to keep your flight planner database and generated .pln file and your FMC database plan data in sync. If you ever use FS ATC or another non-online product this will keep your checkpoints in sync for ATC monitoring with your FMC guided aircraft.

Ron Ginsberg
KMSP Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Puddles

Support Team


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