In a meeting with AOPA this week, Department of Defense (DOD) charting officials acknowledged that AOPA has legitimate concerns related to the sale and use of its charting and navigation products and expressed a willingness to work with the association in addressing general aviation requirements. You may recall that the DOD wants to stop the public sale and distribution of its aeronautical charts and navigation databases, and AOPA filed extensive comments on why that was a bad idea.
Now, even though the DOD has closed the comment period and has begun analyzing more than 600 comments, AOPA continues to press the issue in face-to-face meetings with DOD National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) officials.
This week, NGA told AOPA that it recognizes that there will need to be a transition plan and strategy to make sure that aviation safety is not compromised. Part of the plan includes discussions with the FAA Aeronautical Charting Office to determine how the federal government can continue to meet civilian aviation navigation requirements.
"Our contacts with NGA made it very clear this week that they value AOPA's input and want to continue working with us," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "They now understand even better than before how important these products are to civilian pilots."
July 14, 2005