FAA to Discontinue Direct-to-the-Public Subscriptions and Sales of Aeronautical Charts

The aviation community depends on many things and among them are aeronautical charts. While the importance of these charts remains, the means of distributing them to the public and to pilots in particular is set to change.

Within the next three months, the FAA will discontinue their direct-to-the-public individual sales of paper aeronautical charts and related paper products. The official release of this statement on the organization’s website reads:

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is taking this action to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and enhance and modernize the service provided our customers and the aviation community.

Effective July 1, 2013, as current subscriptions expire, we are discontinuing our direct-to-the-public subscription sales of paper aeronautical charts and related paper products. Current subscriptions will be filled through their applicable expiration date and we will continue to offer individual (other than subscription) paper sales through our aeronav.faa.gov website until October 2013

Currently targeted for October 1, 2013, we will then discontinue all other direct-to-the-public individual sales of paper aeronautical charts and related paper products. Subsequently, all future individual purchases, and subscriptions of our aeronautical paper products will be sold expressly through the FAA’s worldwide network of authorized chart sales agents. A list of these agents is available at: Chart Agents in Your Area.

For additional assistance, please contact us at: 9-amc-aerochart@faa.gov or by phone at 800-626-3677. Additional updates will be posted as they are available.

Based on the above, you can see that like many businesses and/or organizations, the FAA is trying to streamline their operations. Obviously, with many processes of modern flight shifting toward the implementation of all things digital, this move is not really surprising. Also, everyone appears to be on a tighter budget these days, so any measures that cut costs and have things run more smoothly makes sense. It was a practical move and a logical progression given the constant need to upgrade due to newer technology.

So, how does this affect you, the consumer? It doesn’t really—at least not that much. Many of you are already tech savvy and for those who are more traditional with your charts, you will simply find that fewer places (brick-and-mortar especially) will carry it after October 1, 2013.

Don’t concern yourself too much. Fortunately, SkyGeek falls under the “authorized chart sales agents” designation. If anything, those of you who already subscribe to charts through our site are safe. Those who make individual purchases are safe too, however, you may just have more people vying for the charts we have in stock.

FAA Safety Alert: New York Sectional, New York TAC, Boston TAC

Mack here with an update.

Below is a Safety Alert from our buddies at the FAA. It concerns effective date changes of Visual Flight Rules (VFR) charts in the Northeast U.S., specifically New York and Boston. The Safety Alert reads:

The effective dates for the New York Sectional Chart, New York Terminal Area Chart, and Boston Terminal Area Chart are being changed. The next editions of these charts (87th, 85th, and 82nd respectively) will be effective July 25, 2013 to November 14, 2013. The current editions of the New York Sectional Chart (86th), New York Terminal Area Chart (84th), and Boston Terminal Area Chart (81st) will remain effective until July 25, 2013. Please refer to the Aeronautical Chart Bulletins section of the Airport/Facility Directory for updated information regarding major changes in aeronautical information that have occurred since the last chart publication date.

If you don’t have it already, get the latest Northeast U.S. Airport/Facility Directory.

We realize it is well before July 25, 2013 but as with the purpose of the alert, better safe than sorry. We figured we’d give you some advanced warning. As all of you know, using an obsolete chart for navigation is reckless and dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Don’t do it. Be prepared.

For all those affected by these changes, make sure your charts are up to date. Purchase or subscribe to any or each of these charts by clicking the links below:

New York Sectional Chart

New York Terminal Area Chart

Boston Terminal Area Chart

As for those who enjoy looking at the fancy FAA seal, you can view the official Safety Alert release.

As always, have a safe flight.