News reported by AVweb on Monday that the FAA plans to start charging for digital aeronautical data that is now available free brought quick reaction this week from the GA community. The board of the IMC Club, based in Norwood, Mass., posted an online petition at the White House website expressing opposition to the change. EAA said on Wednesday the news has "pilots everywhere up in arms." AOPA said the news has "sparked concern" throughout the industry. "We are anxious to see the FAA's proposal and will work to mitigate any impact on our members," said Heidi Williams, AOPA senior director of airspace and modernization. Representatives from the industry and the FAA will meet on December 13 in Maryland to discuss the policy. Changes are not scheduled to take effect until April 5 of next year.
If the IMC Club's online petition can accumulate enough signatures by December 14, White House staff will review it, ensure that it's sent to the appropriate policy experts for review, and issue an official response. The current threshold to trigger a review is 25,000 signatures.