The FAA Chart Pricing Change to More Than Double the Cost of Some Mobile Applications
Washington, DC - On Tuesday this week, FAA’s AeroNav Products Division met with representatives of the aviation charting business to discuss proposal from the FAA to begin charging fees for digital charts. The meeting was held to inform digital chart providers about increases in pricing for digital charting access, a service that has been free. The meeting was closed to the public and press. The IMC Club International expressed last moth its opposition to the increased costs and potential inability of individual downloads of charts by pilots and instructors. The petition created by the Board of Directors of the IMC Club closed today with 3300 signatures.
The FAA charting division told vendors that it proposes to charge end users about $150 a year. The new fee would most likely more than double the cost of some mobile applications. Most general aviation pilots in today’s economy are not going to pay additional $150 for these products. Since AeroNav's selects large-volume vendors over smaller ones, the pricing change may force smaller companies and free sites out of business. That may include DUATs contractors. Both offer free charts on their web sites.
The FAA told about 70 vendors that as paper sales continue to decline, the FAA charges for digital charting products are likely to increase.