March 12, 2009
By Sarah Brown
President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2010 calls for the decommissioning of loran-C, which could serve as a backup for GPS-based navigation in the future.
The decommissioning is part of a cost-cutting measure which the government claims will save $190 million over five years. Today many pilots use GPS, but a few still utilize loran. There are currently a limited number of potential backups for GPS, loran being one of them.
If the decommissioning goes forward, it is unclear which systems will be available in the event of a GPS outage.
Over the years, AOPA has cautioned the U.S. Coast Guard, which maintains loran, not to make a decommissioning decision until a comprehensive backup plan is in place. Questions remain about whether a backup is needed and if it could be loran.
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