2012 Press Releases

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NBAA Tells FCC: GPS 'Must Be Protected From All Sources of Interference'

Members Asked to Lend Their Voices in Fight to Preserve Vital Technology

Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, dhubbard@nbaa.org

Washington, DC, February 2, 2012 – The National Business Aviation Association replied Wednesday to a petition by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking for public comment ahead of its final decision on whether embattled telecommunications company LightSquared may deploy a nationwide 4G wireless broadband network, despite repeated test results demonstrating signals from that network would cause catastrophic interference with global positioning system (GPS) signals and receivers.

"The US GNSS (GPS) system must be protected from all sources of interference, intended or unintended," wrote Bill Stine, NBAA Director, International Operations. "Tens of thousands of aircraft depend on these GPS-based avionics for safe and dependable navigation information world-wide. The receivers were designed to meet the protection specifications within their spectrum allocations, both domestically and internationally, that are required of them. Can protections for the system be improved? Probably, but these will take decades to implement and cannot be accomplished retroactively," Stine added.

The deadline for comments to be submitted is February 27, and the parties involved will then have until March 13 to respond. Soon after, the FCC is expected to make its final ruling on the matter, over one year after reports of interference became widely known.

Stine added it is also important that NBAA members make their voices heard in the FCC petition. "Aviation has come to depend on GPS - it works," he said. "For the purposes served by GPS, no interference is acceptable. The LightSquared proposed system, in the spectrum the company has requested, has been shown in independent testing to interfere with GPS signals. The FCC needs to permanently stop any further pursuit of the LightSquared system in this block of spectrum, period." Members may review the petition, and submit their comments to a designated FCC web site.

In addition to the aviation industry, GPS equipment is also widely used by first responders in emergencies; for navigation at sea; in avoiding train collisions; in civil engineering projects; and countless other commercial and civic applications. NBAA is a founding member of the Coalition to Save Our GPS, comprised of over 200 members and representatives from the industries that rely on this vital technology. The coalition is committed to resolving the threat to GPS and preserving its benefits for industries, government and citizens.

For more information, visit NBAA's GPS Interference web page.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 8,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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