The U.S. Coast Guard’s Director of Prevention Policy announced Thursday publication in the Federal Register of plans to cease broadcasting the North American Loran-C signal Feb. 8.
As a result of technological advancements during the last 20 years and the emergence of the U.S. Global Positioning System, Loran-C is no longer required by the armed forces, the transportation sector or the nation’s security interests, and is used by only a small segment of the population.
President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2010 budget supported the termination of outdated systems and specifically cited the terrestrial-based North American Loran-C system as such an example. The president did not seek funding for the Loran-C system in fiscal year 2010. Termination was also supported through the enactment of the 2010 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill.
The decision to terminate transmission of the Loran-C signal reflects the president’s pledge to eliminate unnecessary federal programs.
The Loran-C system was not established as, nor was it intended to be, a viable systemic backup for GPS. If a single, domestic national system to back up GPS is identified as being necessary, the Department of Homeland Security will complete an analysis of potential backups to GPS. The continued active operation of Loran-C is not necessary to advance this evaluation.
The notice may be viewed online at www.regulations.gov, docket number: USCG-2009-0299. for more information on terminations, reductions and savings contained in the fiscal year 2010 budget, including Loran-C, visit: www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/TRS/