In light of the recent Federal Communications Commission decision to permit Ligado Networks to operate a wireless network using a spectrum adjacent to those used by GPS devices, five organizations representing varying industries have formed a “Keep GPS Working” coalition to safeguard GPS end-users. The latest of which is AOPA, which joined representatives of equipment manufacturers, farmers, boat owners, and road and transportation builders in establishing the group.
As one of its first actions, the coalition is supporting legislation authored by Senate Armed Services Committee leaders Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) that would impose new conditions for Ligado and require the company to cover costs that others might incur if they lose GPS access.
“The FCC’s decision threatens GPS reliability for countless consumers, farmers, ranchers, pilots, boat owners, surveyors, construction companies, and other private GPS users who will be forced to suffer interference to their GPS devices or to pay to replace them,” the coalition said. “The FCC admits in its order that there are cases where both government and private GPS receivers—including those that power aviation, agriculture, and other key industries—will suffer harmful interference, but failed to provide a technically feasible and adequate remediation solution.”
“Reliable GPS is critical to aviation safety, a fact that was not adequately weighed by the FCC,” added AOPA senior v-p of government affairs Jim Coon.