Update X-Plane navigation database for free

In the United States, you don’t need to buy a subscription from a navigation service provider to update the navigation waypoint and procedure database used by X-Plane.

X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12 are capable of interpreting the FAA’s Coded Instrument Flight Procedures databases that are available online for free. These won’t give you the latest terrain elevation charts and obstacle databases, but for basic at-home instrument procedure training this is really all you need to match the latest charts, sectionals and FAA procedures.

  1. Visit the FAA CIFP download website, download the latest CIFP zip
  2. Extract the zip and copy the file FAACIFP18 to X-Plane’s Custom Data folder
  3. Rename FAACIFP18 to earth_424.dat
  4. Restart X-Plane

The “navigation data out of date” alert should no longer be present. If this is the first time you’ve done this procedure, you can also verify it worked by checking for the existence of a procedure that’s not in the stock version of X-Plane. (For example, try KLAS RNDRZ TWO arrival procedure which was updated 19MAY22).