AOPA Welcomes FCC Move To Protect GPS

February 27, 2012

Contact: Benét Wilson
[email protected]

Frederick, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is pleased that the Federal Communications Commission proposes rescinding the conditional waiver it had granted LightSquared in the company's bid to develop a mobile satellite network and indefinitely suspend other authority. Various studies have established that LightSquared would interfere with GPS reception. When implemented, this FCC action will be fully consistent with recommendations made to by AOPA and others as recently as last month.

The FCC decided to accept the recommendations of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) technical panel that studied the problem and found no practical solutions to GPS interference.

AOPA President Craig Fuller welcomed the FCC’s conclusion as one that recognized the growing importance of GPS to aviation.

“Pilots use GPS in all phases of flight from takeoff through landing, and GPS-based approaches permit all-weather access to some 2,000 airports not served by ground-based systems,” he said. “Ongoing work to modernize our air traffic infrastructure will only increase our reliance on GPS, so keeping the system accessible and free from interference is critical to ensuring that we continue to have the safest aviation system in the world.”

Fuller strongly encouraged the government agencies whose decisions affect GPS “to work together to establish policies that will ensure the system remains intact and accessible for the long term.”

- AOPA -