Map Office Needs Home

May 21, 1997

Map Office Needs Home

An office of 350 employees who map the skies is waiting for its agency to map out its future, Federal Times reported this week.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration doesn't want its office of aeronautical charting and cartography any more, so the agency is looking for another agency to adopt it. NOAA says the office doesn't fit into its mission.

The Federal Aviation Administration is the office's largest customer, but FAA doesn't want to take the office in, sources told Federal Times. Fine, say several of the office's union representatives, they don't want to go to FAA anyway.

"If we go with FAA, my own personal feeling is that if they have cutbacks we would be the first to go," a union representative said.

The Transportation Administrative Support Center, a unit of the Transportation Department, has said it would accept the office if NOAA sent it there.

NOAA might decide to split the office up between FAA and the Transportation center. Both union representatives and the office's management are opposed to dividing the office.

"It's important that this system remain intact to be efficient," the office's acting director said.

The office publishes 10,000 different aeronautical charts a year and prints nautical charts for NOAA and maps for the Defense Department. It distributes millions of copies of its charts and maps each year.

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