Avionics Report

November 1998 Issue

Database Deals

The cost of feeding a GPS should soon average about $300 a year. Don’t expect free data on the Internet, though.

The U.S. government spends billions on GPS. Yet to fly a GPS approach, I’ve got to hand over $500 bucks a year to a private company to buy data they got free from public documents. It doesn’t seem fair.

And judging by the sales of IFR databases for GPS receivers, many owners are voting—or more accurately not voting—with their checkbooks and passing up regular database revisions. Database costs have recently come down a bit but they still aren’t exactly cheap.

Interestingly, a court skirmish between the National Basketball Association and some media interests may have long-term implications for the GPS database business.

The issues are all wrapped up in the finer points of cop...

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