"GPS Shutdown" Possible (If Country Attacked)...

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Perfect Storm Unlikely, Says AOPA

When the Bush administration announced changes in GPS policy last week, the possibility that GPS could be shut down to deny its use to enemy forces or terrorist groups drew the most headlines, and generated much GA concern. But there is really nothing to worry about, says AOPA. "GPS is absolutely critical to safety of flight," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "This new policy recognizes that, and adds even greater protections for civilian use of GPS." Such a shutdown would occur only under "remarkable circumstances," an administration official told reporters. AOPA notes that in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, GPS remained online. AOPA says it worked with the administration to draft the new policy and there is nothing in there to threaten GA users. "The military has always maintained the option to deny GPS to a hostile force within a limited geographical area, and they continue to have that option under this new policy," said Boyer. "But now there is a very clear directive that this be done without unduly disrupting civilian use." The policy emphasizes the critical importance of GPS and says the administration is committed to making the system stronger and keeping it free of user fees.