Pulling FAA charts via command line tool by Cookizza

Browsing around Reddit I came across a post presenting a free command line tool written in Node.js. It enables the user to download publicly available FAA charts for every airport in North America via the command line and is thus named FAA-Chart-Downloader.

Sure, one could just download necessary charts one by one with the internet browser. But I can’t deny that typing in a single ICAO code and pulling all the instrument procedure charts plus airfield diagram available for that airport is quite a bit more comfortable to me.

Someone who satisfies his need for aviation charts with products from Aerosoft or Navigraph may not exactly be in the target group for such a tool as you have practically all charts at hand. However, if one belongs to the group of virtual pilots who do not want to pay money for aeronautical charts and rather search for charts belonging to the respective airports involved in one’s flight, this tool might be of interest. So, if you feel comfortable in that niche, this tool might be something for you. At least if you can live with the current restriction, that currently only the FAA charts are available.

What will I use this tool for? I probably will set my Raspberry Pi up to download and and update a selection of airport charts every month and store them on a shared drive so I could access the stored charts from any network connected device.

/u/Cookizza has put his project up on GitHub where the source files are readily available, together with an instruction how to get the tool in place on the own computer.

Understandably, handling the command line to get hands on some charts is probably not for everybody. However, this tools appeals to me because of its minimalism, functionality and its command line integration which bears potential for automation of one like to script a bit.

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