GA Advocates Cite Safety In GPS Dispute

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LightSquared said last week the GPS industry's demands that it should not interfere with their signals are "irrational," but AOPA and GAMA responded on Monday that LightSquared has failed to address safety of flight concerns. In a statement filed on Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, the advocacy groups ask the agency to terminate LightSquared's authorization to broadcast. "With not only millions of lives but billions of dollars in cargo transport riding on the safety of air flights annually, LightSquared's and its allies' silence in the face of this substantial evidence of aviation harm is baffling and unacceptable," the associations said. LightSquared made clear in its filing last week that it is not interested in the problems of GPS users.

LightSquared said that if GPS manufacturers had complied with Department of Defense filtering standards, there would be no conflict with its proposed broadband wireless network. The GPS industry's demands for a large "guard band" in the frequency spectrum "would set back the United States' competitiveness by decades," the company said. The FCC has said it must be assured that "harmful interference concerns" have been resolved before it will allow LightSquared to begin commercial operations.