TRI-NAV Aviation Chart Co. has expanded its line of bound flight planning atlases to cover both IFR and VFR flights for the continental U.S. and the Islands of the Bahamas & Caribbean.
The paper VFR sectional is probably the hardest working — and most abused — piece of equipment in the airplane. They get handled extensively, unfolded, folded, crumpled up, tossed in the back of the airplane, written on, erased, stuffed into gear bags and, in my house, they are apt to be chewed on by a 20-pound Siamese cat. All these things take their toll, which usually results in a tear in the paper along the seam, necessitating the purchase a new chart well ahead of the chart’s expiration date.
“I’ve been flying since 1964 and I’ve seen many charts tossed into the wastebasket or recycling bin before their expiration date because they’ve worn out,” said Joe Caccamise, the creator of DuraCharts. “It’s frustrating and expensive to have to keep replacing VFR charts before the six-month expiration date.”
AVweb is reporting that the FAA’s AeroNav charting division told vendors this week that it proposes to charge end users of digital charting producers about $150 a year to close a $5 million shortfall in its budget due to declining paper chart sales. The report notes that the new fee, if adopted, would presumably more than double the cost of some popular iPad and Droid applications such as ForeFlight and WingX. The story quotes one vendor: “To me, it’s pretty clear that these prices are a non-starter. I know pilots aren’t going to pay $150 for these products without screaming about it.”