On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 16:15:45 -0500, Chris Metzler

> I have no idea whether comments from folks outside the U.S. are taken
> into consideration; I'd bet not. 

I've sent one anyway; here it is:

I am a Canadian citizen and resident, and would like to comment on the
proposal to remove the DAFIF from public distribution.  Unfortunately,
nearly all of the countries in the world refuse to release
aeronautical data for free public distribution, despite its obvious
value in many areas, such as safety, training and simulation,
geographical and demographic research, and municipal planning.  While
the US already has the free FAA database available, the DAFIF has been
the main (and often, only) aeronautical resource freely available to
the rest of the world.

So, I would like to start by thanking the US government for making
this valuable resource available, and then to beg you not to remove it
from public distribution.  Perhaps it would be possible to remove any
sensitive military information from the DAFIF while still maintaining
the civil information, such as airports, runways, and airways -- this
information is already available to any hostile party with a few
hundred dollars to send to Jeppesen, so removing the DAFIF from public
distribution would not deter those parties; however, it could prevent
poorly-funded organizations, such as academic researchers or municipal
governments, from using the DAFIF data for their own research and

If the DAFIF does disappear, it will no doubt be replaced by a
collaborative, open international project run by the aviation,
geographical, and flight-simulation communities; however, such a new
project would take time, and, more importantly, would be entirely
outside of your control -- it could end up containing much more
sensitive military data than the DAFIF.  Of course, such a project
could appear anyway, but as long as the DAFIF is freely available,
there is less incentive for people to start it.

Again, thank you for making such a good resource available: whatever
you decide to do in the end, you have done a great service to many
communities by making that information available for so long.

Thank you, and all the best,

David Megginson
Ottawa, Canada

All the best,



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