AOPA has learned that the National Geodetic Survey has stopped supplying data to the FAA May 19 for nonpayment. NGS (a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) provides airport and obstruction surveys. The FAA uses the data to develop instrument approach procedures, among other things.
The lack of data doesn't pose an immediate threat to safety but could affect future programs, such as the development of new GPS approaches.
The FAA claims it can't pay the $3.5 million bill to NGS unless it gets a $77 million supplemental appropriation from Congress to augment this year's budget.
"The supplemental request is less than 1 percent of the FAA's total budget," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It's absolutely incredible that the FAA can't find enough savings in a $10.6 billion budget to be able to pay their important bills."
AOPA sent a letter to the FAA May 22, urging the agency to "take the action necessary to meet its financial obligation."
May 24, 2000