NOAA Continues Sunsetting Paper, Raster Nautical Charts
NOAA is continuing with the sunset plan for paper and raster nautical charts in July. A set of nine charts covering Lake Superior was moved into last edition status on July 1 and will be canceled on December 30, 2021.
This set of charts has been fully supplanted by new electronic charts as part of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey Raster Sunset Plan, which includes a new process to notify mariners of the transition of individual paper charts to electronic charts. These charts are easier to update and maintain, keeping mariners safer with up-to-date information on marine hazards.
As part of the sunset plan, released in 2019, mariners will be officially notified of chart cancellations in the U.S. Coast Guard Local Notice to Mariners. Six months before a chart is canceled, NOAA will update the chart with a note in the lower left corner stating the chart’s status as a “last edition” and the date on which it will be canceled.
NOAA will continue to announce the cancellation of additional paper charts as the sunset plan progresses via the U.S. Coast Guard Local Notice to Mariners. Cancellation of all traditional paper and associated raster chart products will be completed by January 2025.
NOAA announced the start of a five-year process to end traditional paper nautical chart production in late 2019 via a Federal Register Notice. While NOAA is sunsetting its traditional nautical chart products, it is undertaking a major effort to improve the data consistency and provide larger scale coverage within its electronic navigational chart product suite.