FAA Forming Proposals on AeroNav Chart Charges

 - December 15, 2011, 3:19 PM

Following a meeting Tuesday with stakeholders to garner ideas and suggestions on the FAA’s plans to start charging for digital charts, the agency intends to formulate a proposal to be released sometime next year. At the meeting the FAA said it must recover $5 million in operating costs in the first year of digital charges. It already charges for printed versions of the navigation charts that its Aeronautical Navigation Products (AeroNav) branch publishes. The FAA is required to recover some of the costs of creating and disseminating aeronautical products and services, but it is not mandated to recover all the associated costs. The same law that authorizes it to assess fees stipulates that it should avoid any impact on safety attributable to price. “The FAA has not yet decided on a firm proposal for digital product charges, and it’s important that all the players are at the table as the agency looks at different options,” said AOPA senior director of airspace modernization Heidi Williams. “Implementing new charges could have safety implications if it’s not done correctly, so whatever the FAA decides to do must be backed up by solid data and input from both companies and end users.”