UKHO extends timetable for paper chart withdrawal

UKHO extends timetable for paper chart withdrawal

The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has revised its plan to phase out the production of paper navigation charts. The original plan, announced in July 2022, was to end the production of paper charts by 2026. However, due to user feedback and the need for further consideration of technical and regulatory factors, the UKHO now plans to continue providing a paper chart service until at least 2030.

The UKHO remains committed to digital navigation, and its CEO, Peter Sparkes, said the office will continue to phase out paper chart production on a case-by-case basis. Sparks stated: “Listening and responding to our customers and partners is at the core of our approach and we are committed to ensuring no party is left behind in the digital transition. We will be working with our international colleagues and partners, including through the IMO and the IHO, to move forward at an appropriate pace together.”

The benefits of digital charts

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has also started the process of phasing out paper charts in favour of electronic navigation charts, which it expects to complete by 2025. The UKHO emphasizes that its main priority is to provide trustworthy, official ADMIRALTY navigation solutions that ensure safety at sea. The organization reports declining demand for paper charts and points to the benefits of digital charts, such as near real-time updates and improved accuracy and ease of use. The next generation of navigation solutions, based on S-100 data standards, is expected to further enhance these benefits.

The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) ADMIRALTY charts services offer the world’s most comprehensive official maritime chart coverage.