Issues A Statement Strongly Opposing Plan To Charge For Chart
The FAA's recent announcement that it will begin charging for
the download of airport and approach chart information used by
popular mobile device apps like WingX has drawn sharp criticism
from the IMC Club's board of directors.
At its meeting on November 14th, 2011 the Board of Directors of
the IMC Club International, Inc. issued the following
“IMC Club International Inc. strongly opposes the FAA's
announcement that it will begin charging for NOS chart downloads
that were previously free. The new policy will start beginning
April 5, 2012. This means charging fees to companies for downloads
and no longer allowing individuals to access them at all. As of
April 5, only those with distribution contracts with Aeronav will
be able to download the data. This action will put a severe
financial burden on flight instructors, pilots and students. It
will affect small aviation safety material distribution companies
like ForeFlight. Only large aviation corporations will be able to
offset these expenses. This policy will have serious and wide
ranging implications for the general aviation economy as it will
restrict access to basic safety and proficiency materials.
"Besides its immediate impact on aviation safety, this FAA
action will set a sad and dangerous precedent for the future of
aviation in the United States. It will open the door to imposing
future additional charges such as weather briefings, calls to ATC
while enroute, and formerly free usage of the ATC system.
"As an organization designed to promote safety among instrument
rated pilots, IMC Club International Inc., its President and board
members are deeply concerned by the FAA’s unfortunate
decision to implement action that may impact the lives of many
pilots, students, and already low paid flight instructors along
with the safety of the flying public in general.
"During these tough financial times, where student pilot
enrollments are already drastically reduced, one has to ask the
simple question - How many flight instructors, students and pilots
will have extra funds to cover additional expenses? Pilot safety is
at risk. Forcing the General Aviation community, the very backbone
of aviation safety, to incur additional expenses will surely lead
to less proficiency, poorly educated pilots and will drastically
compromise the safety of aviation. IMC Club International Inc.
strongly opposes charging fees to companies for government airport
and approach data downloads while no longer allowing individuals
access to them without incurring substantial fees”
An online petition has been created at “We the
People” to gather support against the new FAA policy.
If the petition receives 25,000 "signatures" by December 14, White
House staff will review it, ensure that it’s sent to the
appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.
Radek R. Wyrzykowski the President of IMC Club International was
the first to sign the petition.