Words like “shouldn’t” and “most of the time” are not used in the certification of aviation products, Tim Taylor, president and CEO of FreeFlight Systems, testified last week on Capitol Hill. C-SPAN3 coverage of the testimony is now available online.
Taylor appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business hearing on “LightSquared, the Impact to Small Business GPS User.” FreeFlight Systems, a manufacturer of GPS navigation management systems, is an Aircraft Electronics Association member. Taylor was representing AEA at the hearing.
Taylor explained to the committee the absolute validations required for the integrity of aviation GPS systems, noting that “words like ‘shouldn’t’ and ‘most of the time’ simply are not used in the certification of aviation products.”
According to LightSquared Executive Vice President Jeff Carlisle, who also testified at the hearing, LightSquared’s “gentleman’s agreement” should not affect GPS’s signal, most of the time. LightSquared wants to build a high-speed wireless network, which includes 40,000 ground stations. The problem is that the much-stronger network would be on the spectrum next to the GPS spectrum, potentially causing interference in GPS.
Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman of the committee, challenged Carlisle’s claim that LightSquared’s current business proposal “shouldn’t affect aviation GPS.” Graves is an aircraft owner, pilot and member of the General Aviation Caucus. Graves also discussed LightSquared’s agreement to only use the lower 10 MHZ of the spectrum. When asked how long LightSquared would only use the lower 10 MHz, Carlisle responded with a “five years or so…” depending on the needs of the business.
Following the hearing, when asked about LightSquared’s commitment to only use the lower 10 MHZ, AEA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs Ric Peri responded that this “gentleman’s agreement” is only as good as the paper it isn’t written on, noting “last month the agreement was to use only the lower 5 MHz.”
To watch C-SPAN3’s coverage of the hearing in its entirety, click here.