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GPS, Telecom Industry Groups Support eLoran System for US

August 20, 2015

94% of responses to the US Department of Transportation “Request for Comment” on its eLoran proposal were in favor of establishing the system as a complement and backup for GPS.

Notably the GPS Innovation Alliance, an industry group, was in favor of establishing the system, though it cautioned this should not be at the expense of support for GPS.

Another supporter was the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), an industry technical standards and innovation group. Their focus was on the telecommunications industry’s need for time and frequency synchronization, and the difficulty of meeting that need, especially for emerging LTE and e911 requirements, without GPS or eLoran.

Also included in the 170 supporters of the idea was the American Pilots Association (maritime). Other maritime groups also supported the idea.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association recognized the need for a GPS backup, but did not want the FAA to mandate eLoran for non-commercial aircraft.

Of the small number of those submitting comments against the idea, the only organization was the Regional Cargo Carriers Association (aviation) which stated its preference for the existing VOR-DME-ILS system.

A summary of all the comments received, along with links to each of the comments is posted in the RNT Foundation reference library and can be directly accessed here.

In 2007 the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security issued a request for comment concerning retaining Loran-C and upgrading to eLoran. The response to this request was bigger that the response this year, with 978 comments received, 93% of which were in favor of keeping and/or upgrading the Loran system. These included Boeing, the National Business Aviation Association, and Sprint-Nextel. Find a summary here.

Loran-C transmissions were terminated in 2010 and the government is still evaluating its 2008 decision to implement eLoran. At a recent Congressional hearing, administration officials indicated that this issue would be addressed at a high level meeting on the 3rd of September.