A waypoint is a term used to describe a place on a route or journey, a stopping point, or the point where a course has changed. It’s also known as an aircraft’s position at the end of each leg of flight. Empty leg charter flights occur when a jet charter provides transportation to one waypoint but have no passengers on its return. When empty leg charter flights are advertised, they’re typically offered at a cheaper rate.
The most common use of a waypoint in aviation is navigational waypoints. They’re used to help aircraft operators determine their location at any time during a flight. To describe a certain waypoint, aircraft operators will use a point of longitude and latitude defined by a GPS system. These points are then used to create roadless highways in the skies to keep air traffic operating in an orderly fashion.
Accessing GPS Satellites
In order to get an accurate waypoint location, the use of GPS systems has become the standard practice. The GPS system uses four satellites orbiting the Earth at any given time. Each satellite provides the longitude, latitude, time, and altitude. The information travels from the satellites to the plane in approximately 4 seconds. This helps ensure the data being transmitted is as accurate and current as possible.