Special Use Airspace File
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What is a SUA file?
A SUA file is a data file saved in the Special Use Airspace (SUA) format used by glider pilots to plan and analyze flight maps. It contains information about blocks of airspace, such as the type of airspace, classification, hours of operation, latitude and longitude position, and suggested flight altitude.
Various airspace instruments support the SUA format, including the Glide Navigator II and NK ClearNav. Glider pilots would utilize these devices to plan flights, but with the advancement of GPS technology, these instruments and SUA files are seldomly used.
Some types of airspace information include:
- TYPE - Defines the type of airspace with an abbreviation, which includes "R" for Restricted, "P" for Prohibited, and "Z" for Training Zone.
- ACTIVE - Defines the normal hours of operation in the airspace.
- BASE and TOPS - Defines the allowed flight altitude.
- POINT - Defines the longitude and latitude coordinates.
NOTE: The SUA format is developed by Tim Newport-Peace.
How to open a SUA file
Glider pilots typically downloaded SUA files from various flight data websites and imported them to their instruments or flight planning program on their Pocket PC.
You can also open them with a text editor. There are many free text editors available including Microsoft Notepad, which is bundled with Windows, and Apple TextEdit, which is bundled with macOS. You may need to change the .sua extension to .txt in order to open the file with a text editor.