September 30, 2009
By Sarah Brown
The National Aeronautical Charting Office (NACO) will be known under a new name on Oct. 11.
The FAA will combine NACO and the National Flight Procedures Office (NFPO) into one organization, the National Aeronautical Navigation Services, or “AeroNav Services.”
By combining the two organizations, the FAA intends to eliminate redundant processes and improve the quality of aeronautical navigation data. The merger is part of an effort to streamline charting operations; the plan also includes technological improvements and changes in the way charts are distributed. A business will need to have annual chart sales of $5,000, not the current $500, to remain a chart agent and purchase charts directly from the FAA.
According to the FAA, the overall plan will make the process of charting more effective and save more than $1 million a year. Pilots may start to see the new name and a new look on the cover of sectional charts as they are updated beginning in 2010. The FAA will provide AOPA with prototypes of the new covers and inform the association of the implementation dates once they are determined.
The new mode of distributing charts goes into effect Oct. 5. To find the nearest authorized chart agent or sales outlet under the new model, go to the organization's Web site.
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