ARINC 424 Navigation Database Parser

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ARINC 424 Parser

Most probably like you, I have been happily using Navigraph for many years as the Navigation Database for my A320Sim software. But that is not "As Real As It Gets" ... To make my A320Sim Software even more realistic, I have invested some time to develop a software library that can read and extract data from official real aviation Navigation Databases.

The data stored in these databases is structured according to the ARINC 424 standard.

I wrote this as a generic usable library that can parse the database records and extract all the different types of navigation data. It returns them to the user as lists of Object Oriented Class instances that represent the data under the form of meaningfull properties. It also implements the linking and resolving of relationships between the different data types, as presented on the below figure that shows the ARINC 424 Data Structure. In essence it is a windows DLL that performs the parsing, decoding, structuring and cross linking of specific Nav Data that the user application requests for.

ARINC 424 Structure

In the image at the top of this page you see a simple windows test application that I have quickly build to shoot requests to the DLL and to visualize (in the left side box) the data it returns.

The library implements the ARINC 424-20 version, but is capable to read Nav Databases with older versions, downto the ARINC 424-17 version.

It basically works pretty straighforward: you select the areas of the world (EUR, USA, CAN,...) and hit the NAVDB-READ button. The data for the selected areas gets memory cached, and thereafter filtering and requesting more specific things like Navaids, Waypoints, etc is super fast and efficient.

It is very complete and is capable to extract almost all types of data that are present in real world Nav Databases (with some exceptions like Heliport data, but then again, with an A320 we don't go there 🙂 ).

Beyond the basic navigation elements (VOR, DME, NDB, ILS, GLS, etc), it is also capable to build-up a full end-to-end flight plan including SID, STAR, APPROACH, TRANSITIONS, etc.

Also all Enroute Waypoints, Airways, Airway Restrictions, Holding Patterns, Airway Markers, Minimum Sector Altitudes (MSA) can be read.

Finally, also all Airport and Enroute Communications data (cf frequencies of Approach, Departure, Towers, Ground Handling, ...) and Airspace data (FIR/UIR's, Controlled Airspaces, Restrictive Airspaces) can be consulted.

And last but not least, it can return in distance sorted lists of nearest navaids and airports relative to a specified lat/lon position.

Now the more challenging task comes to rework my A320Sim Software to use this ARINC 424 Nav Data in its FMGC and MCDU's...

PS: For those of you who are interested in the details of my ARINC 424 Navigation Database parser , the full API documentation can be found here.

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