Industry News

December 2011 Issue

Free FAA charts: The Party’s Over

A green oasis in the bleak landscape of data is the availability of government charts for cheap on portables like the iPad (ForeFlight, WingX) or for free on the internet (RunwayFinder, SkyVector, Airnav). The fuel for this micro industry has been digital charts and other products free for the downloading from the FAA’s Aeronautical Navigational Products Directorate, a.k.a., Aeronav. But after April 5, 2012, the products will cease to be free. Initial reports were that this decision stemmed from concerns about safety. We spoke at length with Abigail Smith, Manager of Business Development for Aeronav, concerning this policy change.

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