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NOAA Announces End of Paper Nautical Charts

Monday, October 28, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which creates and maintains the nation’s suite of over a thousand nautical charts of U.S. coastal waters, announced major changes ahead for mariners and others who use nautical charts.  Starting April 13, the federal government will no longer print traditional lithographic (paper) nautical charts, but will continue to provide other forms of nautical charts, including print on demand charts and versions for electronic charting systems.

In September the FAA said there are no plans to stop printing paper aeronautical charts, but if nautical charts are the example, it seems inevitable that the FAA will follow in the same footsteps by simply stopping the production of traditional paper aeronautical charts.

“Like most other mariners, I grew up on NOAA lithographic charts and have used them for years,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. “We know that changing chart formats and availability will be a difficult change for some mariners who love their traditional paper charts, but we’re still going to provide other forms of our official charts.”

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