The International Civil Aviation Organization requires each contracting state to collect, process, publish, and distribute the aeronautical information needed to ensure the safety, regularity, and efficiency of air navigation. These data are contained in the charts and approach plates that are required to be available, and maintained to currency, for flight planning departments and flight crews. The charts and the corresponding embedded navigation database are updated on a 28-day cycle, and updated on the airplane using a software data loader. Updating navigation systems on the due date is important because navigation data can undergo significant changes between cycles. Using data before the scheduled date can cause the same errors as using old data. To support the requirement to update all navigation systems on a specific date, many operators carry two cycles of data. On the given date, the next cycle database is selected for use. Regulations require operators to have current aeronautical data for each airport they intend to use in order to ensure a safe operation at that airport.

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