The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), under the Department of Defense, wants to end public dissemination of certain DOD publications like international and Caribbean en route and instrument approach charts, along with the supplement of Caribbean airport information. AOPA is working to keep these publications available to general aviation pilots and recently met with NGA officials as a part of this effort.
"Even though domestic FAA aeronautical publications are not affected, the removal of public access to international charts would impact pilots flying internationally, to the Caribbean, and across U.S. borders to Canada and Mexico," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "AOPA is concerned about the higher cost that this would impose on pilots who would have to buy charts from private vendors."
The agency also wants to stop public access to the digital aeronautical flight information file (DAFIF).
When AOPA met with the NGA, the association discussed the impact the proposed action would have on the general aviation community. Through those discussions, AOPA learned the primary concern of the NGA is that continued public dissemination of the data might jeopardize bilateral agreements with other countries.
However, the NGA is receptive to AOPA providing the agency with more detailed information on how its proposal would affect general aviation pilots. According to the most recent Special Notice issued by the FAA, all comments will be considered before the NGA makes a final decision on moving forward with the proposed action. AOPA plans to file formal comments before the June 30 deadline. The proposal would take effect in October.
Comments can be sent by e-mail to [email protected] or by mail to:
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Mail Stop D-111, Attn: Public Release of Aeronautical Products
4600 Sangamore Road
Bethesda, MD 20816-5003.
April 21, 2005