Are Digital Charts Supposed to Subsidize Printed Charts?


Comments Off   |   News

Five million dollars is a lot of money. And apparently that and more is what the FAA has made off of sectional, airport/facility directories (A/FD), IR enroute charts, terminal charts, and coded instrument flight procedures. We know of the five million dollars because that is what the FAA is now managing to lose in their print operations!

In a commercial operation, managers would be working to cut costs to match the decline in sales. In a government operation, the managers just ask the public to pay more. And that is really the crux of the issue with the AeroNav Division of the FAA. They want to make as much providing a digital product as they do providing the printed product so they can keep the presses running and the pressmen employed. Unfortunately this is not the way the real world works.

Ben Sclair of GA News talks about the issue and provides copies of FAA documents showing the proposed user fees that the FAA is now denying were proposed. The FAA Twitter Post denying proposed product prices read:

@WiredForFlight @JoeMoreno Despite reports, we haven’t proposed any digital AeroNav product prices. We’re refining user estimates first.


On the other hand, the slide show with the proposed product prices and a great editorial can be found at:

Paper charts still needed, but AeroNav is wrong

The link to the impressive print shop the FAA runs is:

Charting Your Safety: The Birth of an Aeronautical Chart

Can anybody say “Outsource?”