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FAA: Digital Charting Issue Much Ado about Nothing

An FAA spokesman said the agency already charges for downloads, and that the site will remain open to individual users. ( 기타...

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olseric 0
So....does that mean NACO's website will remain the same then?
Nope, I believe the ability to download charts for offline viewing/printing will be going away.
olseric 0
No, they outright said that charts will still be available, but distributors (i.e. airnav, flightaware) will need an agreement in place to ensure currency and accuracy. How do you read it?
I had some back and forth conversation with one of the Aeronav folks, and the wording was pretty cagey, but the way I understand it is that individuals will be allowed view-only access; downloads will be restricted to paid distributors. Quotes below....

Hi, and thanks so very much for your kind reply. As a pilot, I still buy my paper charts and have absolutely no problem with that. What I was hoping, and feared was going away, was that individual access was still going to be available. For example, right now I use the Aeronav d-TPP site ( to view individual charts, and sometimes download whole charts by airport, or even download all charts that have been added and changed in the past cycle for offline viewing. That's what I'm hoping will stay intact, just as it is now. I have no desire to compete with your agents (I still buy paper!); but having the ability to plan at home, work, hotels when I'm on travel (like I am now :) ) via the internet, or download charts to be able to review them offline and put together safety presentations -- that's important to me. You said, "Regardless, our products will always be available for viewing by the public on our web page." Does that mean that the d-TPP will continue on as-is? If so, my fears are unwarranted and I'm all set. All I can say is that d-TPP has been a marvelous step forward in capability -- I'd really hate for us to take a step back. Moving toward third world status is never appealing!

Thanks so very much!





At a minimum, we will ALWAYS have viewing of our entire product line. One thing that has happened in the past is that our pdfs have been downloaded by groups and then redistributed and/or altered. We want to protect both companies that are under contract with us and the fidelity of the products from being altered in an unauthorized and potentially hazardous way from occurring. Our best and brightest are exploring the best ways for us to meet these key requirements.


Doesn't really fully answer the question, now does it....? From an altruistic point of view, it does look like the FAA is concerned with alteration and redistribution. However, the means to the end looks like it entails disabling the download ability on d-TPP. That's what has me bugged. I'd have no problem if I had to pay a modest fee ($5-$15 a year?) to have that download capability and electronically certify that I will not alter any content. No problem whatsoever. But I believe that I should be able to do that as an individual and not be required by the government to pay someone else's profit for charts that are paid for with public funds. I believe the government should do what they did with paper charts many moons ago; determine the cost to produce, charge a fair and reasonable fee to pay for those costs, and if a commercial company (Jepp, etc.) decides to take government data and add bells, whistles, formatting, etc. and people want to pay a premium for a perceived value add, no problem. But let me pay just my own tiny share of the cost, thanks very much.
olseric 0
Thanks for the insight, Don.

I'm surprised they haven't looked at a simple approach like a protected PDF or something. You keep everyone happy by allowing us to print and take in the air, but also protect the integrity of the document by not allowing changes.

Of course, as we all know, if you can view, you can always "print screen" and paste into paint...
Do you really believe the "changes" issue? Has anyone, ever, anywhere, at anytime ever heard of that issue/problem/happening? More FAA BS...
Protecting PDFs is over my head, but it sounds like you have some experience -- you could offer to help them as an independent consultant and since (I've always loved this FAA line) "you're here to help", maybe you'd offer them a discounted consulting rate of $150/hour.... ;-)
Interesting wording. "Only companies that have distribution contracts with the FAA’s Aeronav division for navigation and chart apps will be affected, and they have been invited to a meeting December 13 in Washington, D.C., to hear details. "

Keep in mind that those "companies that have distribution contracts" is referring to all the free web sites and paid apps that everyone is familiar with. And I sure bet they will be "affected."
Chuck Me 0
You mean the chicken little routine people pulled earlier was an overreaction? I'm shocked.
No, I think that the FAA is trying to confuse the issue for everyone to keep people off their backs.
That's what it looks like to me!
That's exactly what it looks like. Looks like people will be able to view/print a chart at a time, but for those of us who use the AeroNav d-TPP website to download an airport at a time and print charts locally only as desired, that functionality will go away. That is very, very disappointing to me.
The proposed free end-user version from the FAA will be for online viewing only with no downloading allowed, so although access will not be restricted (technically), the use will be restricted.
As I understand what I have read, If you aren't a distributon you won't be able to download. But then I am not part of gov. so I may have misread the document.


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