DAFIF or the Digital Aeronautical Flight Information File is a comprehensive database of up-to-date aeronautical data, including information on airports, airways, airspaces, navigation data and other facts relevant to flying in the entire world, managed by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).
Withdrawal of public access
DAFIF was publicly available until October 2006 through the Internet, however it was closed to public access because 'increased numbers of foreign source providers are claiming intellectual property rights or are forewarning NGA that they intend to copyright their source'. Currently only Federal and State government agencies, authorized government contractors and Department of Defense customers are able to access the DAFIF data.
At the time of the announcement, the NGA did not say who the 'foreign source providers' were. It was subsequently revealed that the Australian Government was behind the move. The Australian Government Corporation Air Services Australia in September 2003 started charging for access to Australian data. Rather than exclude the Australian data, the NGA opted to stop making the data available to the public.
A product called USFIF or the United States Flight Information File which contains only data related to the United States was available on the NGA website until October 2007. NGA no longer hosts any aeronautical information on the publicly available website.
Replacement for Google Earth Data
Since the DAFIF data has ceased to be available to the public, new sources of the data have arrived, though none is (yet) a complete replacement:
- In Google Earth Format (KML) Google Earth 3D Airspace
- Started soon after the withdrawal of the DAFIF data, the OurAirports web site is a community effort to produce an open (Public Domain) database of airports and navigation aids—nightly CSV data dumps are available from the site.
- In other open formats, publicly contributed data, the Worldwide Soaring Turnpoint Exchange: Airspace
- "NGA Invites Public Comment on Proposal to Remove Aeronautical Information from Public Sale and Distribution" (PDF). Media Release. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). 2004-12-03. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-10-21.
- Tiboni, Frank (2005-12-12). "NGA bans flight data from public view: Agency cites intellectual property rights as reason for policy shift". Federal Computer Week (fcw.com). FCW Media Group. Archived from the original on 2006-06-22.