Creating an MSA element

The MSA Element tool creates an Minimum Safe Altitude (MSA) element in the chart layout view. The MSA indicates the minimum safe altitude that provides a 1,000-foot obstacle clearance at a specific distance from the Navaid, airport, waypoint, or other significant point, at the center of the MSA element.

Example of MSA element

The MSA Element tool draws the MSA values directly from the production database, allowing the generation of a customizable element. The individual components of the MSA element (inbound bearings, navaid, and associated text) are stored in the MSA and MSAGROUP feature classes in the production database.


Predicated_Id and a TypeMSAPred_Code must be populated in the MSAGROUP feature class.

  1. Start ArcMap.
  2. Ensure that the correct product library and production database are set in the Data Management pane on the Production Properties dialog box.
  3. Ensure that your chart's data frame is set to the appropriate instance by right-clicking the data frame, selecting Properties, and clicking the Product Library tab.
    Data Frame Properties dialog box
  4. Click OK.
  5. Ensure that there is a definition query that identifies the procedure on which the MSA is needed on the TERMINALPROCEDURE table.
    1. Add the TERMINALPROCEDURE table to the Table Of Contents window if it is not already present.

      To view the stand-alone tables already in the Table Of Contents window, click the List By Source button List By Source at the top of the Table Of Contents window.

    2. If there is not already a record in the TERMINALPROCEDURE table for the procedure, create a new record.

      The definition query should resemble the following query (with only the GFID differing from the example):

      GFID = '{24B739EE-A16E-49BA-A309-FC5AE6B939C1}'
  6. On the main menu, click View > Layout View.
  7. On the main menu, click Customize > Toolbars > Aeronautical Terminal Procedures.
  8. Click the MSA Element button MSA Element.

    An MSA element is created.


    Errors are encountered when there is an invalid or missing parameter. A warning indicates the missing value and field/table where the value resides.

  9. Select the MSA and move it to the appropriate location on the chart.

    If information on the procedure where the MSA resides changes, and that information affects the MSA, you can regenerate it by clicking the MSA Element tool again.