The decision follows an earlier announcement that the agency would stop producing the charts later this year. FAA officials claim publishing the WACs has become cost-prohibitive as more and more pilots move to digital flight planning.
AOPA had raised objections to the FAA’s announcement that it would no longer produce the charts as of September, in part because the agency did not consult with users before making the decision.
But during a meeting at AOPA’s Washington, D.C., office on July 7, the FAA’s director of aeronautical information services said the agency would work with AOPA to get stakeholder input and consider alternatives, according to a report on the AOPA website.
The FAA has agreed to publish updates to WAC charts set to expire in September and October of this year. After that, the next set of charts won’t expire until January 2016, giving the FAA and chart users additional time to gather information and consider options, AOPA officials noted. Among those options is the possibility of producing a wall planning chart for Alaska that would replace the Alaska WACs.
The FAA has said publishing the WACs requires six full-time positions and has become cost-prohibitive as sales have plummeted in recent years. So far in 2015, the FAA has sold fewer than 16,000 WACs, according to the AOPA report.