By Dan Cook | 18 Oct 2023

Digital nav log for airline pilots

The digital nav log plays a significant part in streamlining the pilots journey logging during the in-flight phase of a sector.

The skybook nav log transitions away from traditional paper navigation logs towards a digital version via the pilots electronic flight bag, which enables pilots to quickly input waypoint information during the flight.

Reducing the time spent on paperwork and allowing for quick adjustments if anything changes.

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In this article we will share in-depth information of what is included in our electronic nav log on the EFB and how it reduces risks of human error that could impact safety during navigation.

Firstly, what is a Nav log?

The navigation log or nav log for short, is traditionally a document used to plan and record essential information for a flight, providing a reference guide to reach the destination safely.

paper navigation log document for flight planning in aviation

Providing a detailed summary, it serves as a reference for pilots to ensure safe and efficient flight navigation. The exact layout of a nav log may differ, but it usually includes the following information:

    • Trip Route: The path pilots take, with marked checkpoints.
    • Weather: Current and predicted weather conditions, like wind and visibility.
    • Waypoints: Important stops or geographic coordinates along the way.
    • Time and Distance: How long between waypoints and the total distance.
    • Altitude/Depth: Heights for aircraft at different times, including ascent, cruise, and descent altitudes
    • Fuel Needs: Estimate of how much fuel is required, such as aircraft performance, weight, and wind conditions.
    • Compass Heading: Directions pilots need to follow, both true and magnetic, for each leg of the journey.
    • NOTAMs or Notices: Any important notifications or info from authorities that could affect the planned journey.
    • Communication: Radio frequencies for talking to air traffic control or others. 

Progressing to a digital Nav log

The skybook nav log enables extra functionality such as automatically updated waypoint or diversion information along the routes, accurate calculations and real-time weather & NOTAM updates.

digital nav log

Streamlined waypoint information

The waypoints are listed in order starting from the departure airfield, with the information integrated directly from the operational flight plan (OFP) and shown on each waypoint, ensuring accuracy is maintained.

The information is easy is to follow providing pilots with a streamlined user experience which includes:

      • Waypoint (WPT)
      • Flight information region (FIR)
      • Airway (AWY)
      • Minimum safe altitude (MSA)
      • True track (TT)
      • Distance from previous waypoint (DST)
      • Scheduled time of arrival (STA)
      • Estimated time of arrival (ETA)
      • Planned fuel used by that waypoint
      • Planned flight level
      • Radio frequency
      • Squawk code

The actual fuel used and flight level is prepopulated with the planned figures, and can be altered by tapping on the fields. This automatically updates all the future waypoint ETA information. You also have the option to tap a ‘now’ button to enter the current time.

For greater flight performance awareness, if the actual fuel or flight level is higher or lower then the planned figures, the waypoint will show either a minus or positive figure.

nav log actual fuel and flight level data

New waypoints can also easily be added, which is inserted between the current waypoint and the next planned waypoint. Route directs can also be added by selecting a waypoint route further down to direct to.

In-depth Nav log information 

skybook’s integrations with weather data services, means the waypoint data can be expanded to see more extensive information. This includes:

          • MT – Tropical air mass
          • TT – Total time
          • Var - Visual Aural Radio Range
          • Wind
          • SAT - Static Air Temperature
          • TDV – Temperature deviation
          • TAS – True airspeed
          • Magnetic North
          • Wind shear

detailed nav log weather information

RVSM check

It is optional for an airline to include a reduced vertical separation minima (RVSM) check field to specific waypoints if required. These options include:

            • RVSM flight level
            • Altimeter difference
            • Left altimeter
            • Standby altimeter
            • Right altimeter

Analysing & storing Nav log data

What makes the skybook nav log unique is that all the sector information is instantly synced to the dispatch ground system once the flight is signed off, and organised into the flight data summary. This ensures staff aren't waiting hours or days for the flight data. 

The post-flight data is also stored in the flight record vault, allowing for easy data retrieval for future reference and post-flight analysis. 

nav log data storage and collection for post-flight analysis

Added benefits of using a digital navigation log 

Data backup and sharing of the nav log means that all the information can be synchronized across other EFB devices, ensuring that crucial information is never lost.

Without the need for physical paper documents, this reduces the clutter on the flight deck and also saves large amounts of printing and material costs; whilst reducing the airlines environmental impact.

Why choose skybook 

The digital nav log is only one section of the EFB. Combined with a full streamlined journey log from pre-flight to post-flight and an integrated digital flight briefing.

All this data becomes part of the end-to-end flight operations system that connects the workflow of flight dispatchers, OCC, flight crew.

Be sure to learn more about skybook and get in touch if you have any questions.


By Dan Cook | 18 Oct 2023

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About the Author

Dan Cook

Head of Marketing

Bytron Aviation Systems

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