Death — and billions of dollars — at risk with LightSquared plans

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A report from the FAA, leaked to the press, about the dangers of LightSquared’s plans to build a wireless communication system might be the reason the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association wonder why LightSquared is silent on the issue.  The report indicates LightSquared’s plans could result in 794 deaths and more than $72 billion in costs to U.S. taxpayers because of interference with GPS systems used in aviation.

Frequencies to be used by LightSquared are adjacent to those used by GPS. LightSquared’s ground-based transmission sites would be so powerful their signals would be picked up by GPS, overloading and jamming the GPS.

If LightSquared goes ahead as it now plans, GPS would be of no use for planned aviation use over the entire continental U.S., according to the FAA report. The entire NextGen navigation system also would be in jeopardy, which is included in estimated costs.

The FAA report was prepared at the request of a committee in the White House and was dated July 12.

An FAA spokesperson confirmed to General Aviation News that the report was prepared by the Administration’s Navigation Services division. Because the issue is before the Federal Communications Commission however, no details of it can be discussed.

Possible problems with the frequencies were a major topic at a Congressional hearing where aviation interests urged that the FCC deny the frequencies to LightSquared. Since then, the FCC has been digging deeper into the subject, recently asking for more information from LightSquared and the U.S. GPS Industry Council.

Comments

  1. Jimklick says

    The answer being looked for can be found in the August, 2011 issue of “Aviation
    International News”. (http://www.ainonline.com )

    The President of the company (and his wife) each gave the maximum individual
    contribution to the Democratic National Committee. Phillip Falcone was also a
    Harvard classmate of Barack Obama.
    The lobbyist they hired, Steve Glaze, is married to the FCC’s director of legislative affairs.
    Obama’s appointee to the FCC who is overseeing this process, is also a classmate
    of the two. Julius Genachowski, is also a “bundler” who put together a 1/2 million
    dollars for Obama’s election. His wife is Executive Director of the President’s
    Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

    I have asked my Senators and Representative when the investigation will begin.

    I received “Response 4 (b) from Senator Durbin. ( A form letter that did not
    address any of the problem). I have not heard from anyone else.

    We need to be on the steps of the Capitol screaming about this travesty.

    Then again, it could be just incompetance. After all, last year, the FCC also
    sold off the frequencies that were reserved for the Air Force’s B-2 bombers.

  2. Mcdonald1313 says

    An old story! Even though the airfield has been active for decades, the encroaching neighborhood feels they have a right to be there and to hell with the airport! Invariably, the most MONEY takes home the prize. Moral values and fair play are non existent now. Nothing, but nothing surprises me any more.

  3. BobS says

    Who is the money behind Light Squared?
    I suspect it’s a group with a lot of money and influence in Washington and the adminstration for it to get this far without someone bringing up the problems.!

  4. BobS says

    Who is the money behind Light Squared?
    I suspect it’s a group with a lot of money and influence in Washington and the adminstration for it to get this far without someone bringing up the problems.!

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