The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced in November 2019 that they plan to cease providing the raster nautical chart (RNC) files that are currently used to produce and print traditional paper nautical charts for U.S. waters.
In place of the raster files, NOAA is transitioning to a new system called the “NOAA Custom Chart” (NCC) program which produces paper charts using data from NOAA’s Electronic Nautical Chart (ENC) database. The program is a prototype at this point, and NOAA indicates they plan to have it fully developed before they start cancelling existing raster chart files. The cancelling of NOAA RNC products is scheduled to happen gradually over the next 5 years.
We are supporting this transition and are working closely with NOAA to provide input regarding chart features and attributes that our customers rely upon for navigation information. Our goal is for the NCC program to produce charts that are similar in appearance and are the functional equivalent of NOAA’s time-proven traditional paper charts.
Paper charts are an essential component of safe navigation on most vessels (especially recreational vessels that do not have the means to support multiple redundant electronic systems). Our company has been producing reliable products based on NOAA data for over 40 years and we will continue to provide paper and digital chart products during and after this transition.
NOAA is seeking comments from the public regarding paper and raster charts through the NOAA ASSIST feedback tool at the following link: (You can post your comment at the left of the screen where it says “Enter Your Comment or Question”) https://nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/customer-service/assist/
The published deadline for comments is Feb. 1, 2020 but NOAA has indicated that they will accept comments after the deadline.
You can find additional information about this transition at: https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/updates/noaa-seeks-public-comment-on-ending-production-of-traditional-paper-nautical-charts/