GPS Must Be Protected, Panel Tells House Subcommittee

 - February 9, 2012, 2:45 PM

The House aviation subcommittee held a hearing yesterday to review GPS as a critical part of transportation infrastructure. Chaired by Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.), the committee heard testimony from senior DOT representatives, the International Civil Aviation Organization, Airlines for America (A4A, née Air Transport Association), the Airline Pilots Association, AOPA, Garmin and the George Washington University Pace Policy Institute.

All presenters unanimously agreed that GPS must be protected from external interference and that current national and international agreements should be strengthened to prevent disruptions to GPS-reliant transportation and other essential services.

In a knuckle wrap to the FCC over the LightSquared situation, A4A proposed that the agency must in the future consult with the federal Space Based Position, Navigation and Timing Executive Committee before taking action on any application to operate terrestrial communications in the GPS L-Band. A long-time Washington observer told AIN, “The House panel’s message can be summed up in four words: don’t mess with GPS.”