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Keep loran available, AOPA tells Department of Transportation

Keep loran available, AOPA tells Department of Transportation

Loran (long-range navigation) may be a low-cost, ideal backup to the future GPS-based air traffic control system, AOPA told the Department of Transportation February 7. The DOT is studying the need to continue using or even investing in the system, and AOPA wants that to continue.

Currently, the majority of AOPA members use VORs as a backup to their GPS. But the FAA plans to dramatically reduce the VOR network.

This makes loran the logical backup for the future, AOPA believes, because pilots would be less affected by VOR or radar decommissioning.

AOPA cautioned the DOT that more issues need to be considered and addressed if loran is chosen as the backup to GPS.

  • No general aviation aircraft are equipped with loran systems that can support RNP and ADS-B
  • Suitable loran avionics might not be ready for five years or more
  • Cost of loran must be affordable before pilots will equip

"The DOT and Department of Homeland Security must recognize that keeping loran is the first of several hurdles before general aviation will transition to loran," explained Randy Kenagy, AOPA senior director of strategic planning. "Without development of affordable avionics that encourage equipage, the transition to loran will not occur."

February 8, 2007

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