NOAA invites public comment on draft National Charting Plan

The National Charting Plan is a strategy to improve nautical chart coverage, products, and distribution, and NOAA has invited cruisers, sailors, and navigators to comment and critique the policy draft. The deadline for submitting comments is 1 June 2017.

Published 7 years ago, updated 5 years ago

The policy draft describes the evolving state of marine navigation in an era of new technologies and outlines various possible actions NOAA might take in order to keep charts more up-to-date, more usable in various formats, and more accurate. The plan primarily details the update of existing charts but allows for the production of new charts as they are needed.

The National Charting Plan directly outlines several improvements to the content of existing charts including:

  • A differentiation between dangerous and non-dangerous wrecks and the parameters for alarm system triggers for these wrecks
  • The resolution of uncertainty regarding phrases such as “reported” or “position approximately”
  • The rearrangement of the existing 1,182 irregularly-shaped charts and a standardization of the 131 different scales, ideally creating a regular gridded framework for electronic navigational charts (ENCs) and a standardized scale
  • A regular update of the “minimum channel depth” reported on the charts per U.S. Army Corp of Engineers dredging work and official measuring devices
  • A means by which NOAA and the US Coast Guard databases will be able to communicate with each other so that aids to navigation (ATN) will be updated automatically and eliminate errors caused by manual entry of data

Cruisers and private boaters are encouraged to participate in this plan. The deadline for submitting comments is midnight on 1 June 2017.

The entire text of the National Charting Plan is available here.

To submit a formal comment, please visit the Federal Register.

The original text of this notice is available at the NOAA website.

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