The FAA has some answering to do concerning how it will respond to plans by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) to no longer publish Flight Information Publications (FLIP) and Digital Aeronautical Flight Information File (DAFIF) for public use.
AOPA worked with Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), an AOPA member and powerful member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and aviation subcommittee, who has requested answers from the FAA regarding the elimination of these safety-of-flight products from public access.
After October 2007, the NGA will no longer publish aviation navigation charts and products for the Caribbean, South America, the Pacific, Australia, and Antarctica.
Rep. Ehlers requested the FAA reveal its "transition plan to provide the en route charts, supplemental flight information, and instrument approach procedures for the United States, the Caribbean, and South America."
He also wants details on the transition of the DAFIF, specifically what the agency is doing to ensure that the National Flight Database, which was developed by the FAA, will incorporate the DAFIF domestic information before it is taken from public access next month.
"The DAFIF database, currently available only from the NGA, is the only government-sourced digital database with robust domestic aeronautical information," Rep. Ehlers wrote to the FAA. "Many consumers and vendors providing electronic flight planning programs rely on the availability of the domestic DAFIF information to provide safety of flight information to users of the National Airspace System."
AOPA has raised concerns about the removal of this information from the public arena and continues to work with Congress to ensure pilots can still get the flight information they need from the government.
September 14, 2006