AEA: Defend GPS, Submit Comments Now

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The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) is urging -- and guiding -- GPS users to actively participate in defending GPS from the potential interference of proposed wireless broadband services. AEA's concern is a reaction to the efforts of a company called LightSquared, which is seeking to construct a nationwide infrastructure to support wireless broadband on radio frequencies adjacent to those used by GPS. Tests have shown that implementation of the system can cause interference with GPS and the FCC is seeking public feedback on those results. Toward that end, AEA has provided guidelines and advice for delivering your message to the FCC prior to the agency's looming deadline.

To access the FCC's electronic Comments Filing System, click here. Find the box that says "Proceeding Number" and type 11-109. You'll then be required to enter identifying information into the form and add your comments. AEA encourages commenters to supply information on how they use GPS and what would happen if GPS became unavailable or unreliable. AEA suggests including comments that state LightSquared's operations and GPS are fundamentally incompatible and the FCC should order LightSquared out of the frequency currently being considered for use. AEA stipulates that wireless capacity is important, but says it should not come at the expense of GPS, "which is critical to our country's economy." While the issue is clearly important to pilots, it may be worth noting that GPS is an important, if not vital, resource for a wide range of users ranging far beyond pilots and the military, to drivers and life-saving activities. The deadline for comments is July 30.