Federal Register: November 18, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 222)
Page 67546-67547



Office of the Secretary

Announcement of Intent To Initiate the Process To Remove 
Aeronautical Information From Public Sale and Distribution

AGENCY: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Department of 

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) intends to 
remove its Flight Information Publications (FLIP), Digital Aeronautical 
Flight Information File (DAFIF), and related aeronautical safety of 
navigation digital and hardcopy publications from public sale and 
    This action is taken to accomplish the following objectives: 
safeguarding the integrity of Department of Defense (DoD) aeronautical 
navigation data currently available on the public Internet; preventing 
unfettered access to air facility data by those intending harm to the 
United States, its interests or allies; upholding terms of bi-lateral 
geospatial data-sharing agreements; avoiding competition with 
commercial interests; and avoiding intellectual property/copyright 
disputes with foreign agencies that provide host-nation aeronautical 
    The DAFIF and related digital aeronautical information files will 
be protected from general public access on the NGA home page (http://www.nga.mil
). Aeronautical Flight Information Publications (FLIP), 
Navigation/Planning Charts (ONC, TPC, etc.), and the DAFIF CD will be 
available only through the Department of Defense (DoD) distribution 
system. U.S. Federal and State government agencies, authorized 
government contractors, and international agencies that currently 
receive those products under formal or informal geospatial data 
exchange arrangements will not be affected by this action.

DATES: NGA will implement this action on October 1, 2005 (FY06).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information about the 
substance of this notice, contact Joseph S. Jarvis, Aeronautical 
Division, MS L-27, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, 3838 Vogel 
Road, Arnold, Missouri, 63010-6238 (e-mail: JarvisJ@nga.mil).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NGA and its predecessor organizations (DMA 
and NIMA) have published DoD's flight information products since the 
late 1940s to support the worldwide missions of DoD aircraft. The 
publications are sold to the public through the auspices of the Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA), and the digital data has been freely 
available on the Internet. Notwithstanding a prior practice of making 
some of DoD's flight information available to the public in the past, 
NGA does not have a statutory requirement to produce aeronautical 
products for general civil aviation.
    With the proliferation of digital capabilities throughout the 
international aviation network, the preferred method of information 
exchange is shifting from paper-based to electronic dissemination. 
Numerous countries that heretofore relied on host-government agencies 
to compile and publish their aeronautical information have recently 
transferred that responsibility to commercial or quasi-governmental 
agencies. Some of these foreign agencies are beginning to assert 
intellectual property rights to the aeronautical data within their 
territorial limits and are refusing to provide such aeronautical data 
to DoD so long as NGA makes it available to outside interests, whom 
these agencies view as possible competitors in the international 
marketplace. NGA relies on foreign data obtained through bilateral 
geospatial information sharing agreements, and certain nations may 
impose restrictions on their data against release to third parties. 
Accordingly, there is a rational basis for limiting access to 
aeronautical products created for DoD use to DoD and governmental end 
    By removing national defense aeronautical data from open source 
access NGA seeks to accomplish two additional objectives. First, NGA 
will reduce the vulnerability of critical navigation data on the 
Internet. Second, it will limit/eliminate unfettered access to that 
data by organizations and individuals intent on causing harm.
    In conclusion, with the accomplishment of this proposed action NGA 
aims to protect the sources and integrity of its data, honor its 
bilateral agreements restricting non-governmental use, avoid 
competition with commercial interests, and allow NGA to focus on its 
primary customers and mission, supporting the Department of Defense.

[[Page 67547]]

    Dated: November 12, 2004.
Jeannette Owings-Ballard,
OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
[FR Doc. 04-25631 Filed 11-17-04; 8:45 am]