Subcommittee hearing to focus on GPS and aviation safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House Subcommittee on Aviation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) will hold a hearing Wednesday to review the Global Positioning System (GPS) as a critical part of transportation infrastructure.

Congressional staffers note the use of GPS in the aviation industry benefits safety and efficiency by providing highly reliable information when compared to the legacy surveillance systems. GPS will soon replace radar as the primary surveillance method. The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) already utilize GPS technology in a broad variety of surveillance, navigation, safety, and efficiency applications.

The economic benefits of these GPS technologies on commercial GPS users are estimated to be over $67.6 billion per year in the U.S. An estimated $3 trillion in economic activity relies on GPS for tracking, timing, and navigation. Further, according to a recent study, the GPS industry supports over 3.3 million U.S. jobs annually.

On Wednesday, the subcommittee will receive testimony from the DOT, as well as industry representatives, on the public policy ramifications of protecting infrastructure to ensure transportation safety and efficiencies provided by GPS.

Witness include:

  • John Porcari, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Vincent Galotti, Deputy Director, Air Navigation Bureau, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of the United Nations
  • Thomas L. Hendricks, Senior Vice President of Safety, Security and Operations, Air Transport Association
  • Captain Sean Cassidy, President, Air Line Pilots Association
  • Craig Fuller, President and CEO, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
  • John M. Foley, Director, Aviation GNSS Technology, Garmin AT, Inc.
  • Dr. Scott Pace, Director, Space Policy Institute, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University

The hearing will be webcast live at




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