Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just In: LORAN-C Is Dead in the USA!

In a major policy reversal required by economic belt-tightening in this year's US government budget, the US Coast Guard has announced that the United States LORAN-C navigation system will shut down at a time to be determined.

It appears that LORAN was specifically defunded in the budget, which refers to it as "outdated."

Better hope GPS keeps working.

Here's the terse release at NAVCEN:

The Operating Status of LORAN-C

LORAN-C provides coverage for maritime navigation in U.S. coastal areas. It provides navigation, location, and timing services for both civil and military air, land and marine users. LORAN-C is approved as an en route supplemental air navigation system for both Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) and Visual Flight Rule (VFR) operations. The LORAN-C system serves the 48 continental states, their coastal areas, and parts of Alaska.

On February 26, 2009, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) publicly announced the President's Fiscal Year 2010 Budget. In the section for the Department of Homeland Security, the budget "supports the termination of outdated systems such as the terrestrial-based, long-range radionavigation (LOrAN-C) operated by the U.S. Coast Guard resulting in an offset of $36 million in 2010 and $190 million over five years." For more information on the proposed FY2010 Budget, visit the OMB website under President's Budget.

The Coast Guard will continue to operate the current Loran C system through the end of FY2009 and is preparing detailed plans for implementing the FY2010 Budget.