Jeppesen Takes On Downunder User Fees

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Jeppesen said earlier this month that it is refusing, so far, to sign an agreement with the Australian government to pay what in the U.S. would be a user fee for the privilege of using public data to compile aeronautical charts and information. According to Jeppesen, it and other commercial organizations are being asked by Airservices Australia to sign a licensing agreement and pay a license fee, the first of its kind. Jeppesen says the amount of the fee has yet to be determined, but it and other companies compiling such data are confident that it will be significant. Furthermore, Australia's precedent-setting initiative could be very costly and have far-reaching effects on the aviation community if the more than 188 countries of the world follow its lead. In a prepared statement, Jeppesen said it opposes license fees for the reuse or redistribution of public aeronautical information. Jeppesen also believes that any license fee imposed on commercial redistributors of such data will be perceived by the end user, pilots and aircraft operators, as a de facto instance of multiple taxation and a violation of fundamental ICAO principles and policies. Details of the proposed initiative are available on Airservices' Web site.