FAA signals move to let US airline pilots update nav-system

The US Federal Aviation Administration is proposing allowing commercial pilots to personally update their nav-systems rather than relying on a mechanic to load simple database updates.
The FAA said it was proposing to amend the maintenance regulations by removing from the preventive maintenance category the task of updating databases used in self-contained, front-panel or pedestal-mounted navigation equipment.
“This change would allow pilots who operate certificated aircraft to update the specified databases and eliminate the requirement for certificated mechanics or repair stations to perform the update.
“The effect of this revision would be to ensure that pilots using specified navigation equipment have the most current and accurate navigational data and thereby increase aviation safety,” said the FAA.
While private pilots operating under Part 91 are permitted to update navigation and terrain databases as part of preventive maintenance, the FAA does not allow charter and airline pilots to do so, requiring a local mechanic or FAA-approved repair station to perform the update.
The deadline for comments is December 19, 2011.