President Signs Appropriations Measure with GPS Civil Funds

President Signs Appropriations Measure with GPS Civil Funds

President Obama signed the Fiscal Year (FY10) consolidated appropriations bill (H.R. 3288) on Wednesday (December 16), which will fund a number of civil GPS initiatives in the coming year.

President Obama signed the Fiscal Year (FY10) consolidated appropriations bill (H.R. 3288) on Wednesday (December 16), which will fund a number of civil GPS initiatives in the coming year.

The measure includes $43.4 million in FAA funds to add new, civil-unique capabilities to the Global Positioning System (GPS). The measure also provides $91 million for FAA’s Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), $7 million for FAA’s Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS), and $4.6 million for the inland part of the Nationwide Differential GPS system (NDGPS).

Also on December 16, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the conference version of the FY10 defense appropriations bill (H.R. 3326), which provides the Air Force with $830.4 million for the GPS program, $97.4 million below the President’s budget request. As previously reported, the appropriators did not fully fund the Next-Generation Operational Control Segment (OCX) for GPS III due to contracting delays.

Meanwhile, in accordance with the congressional direction in the FY10 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations legislation, DHS is preparing to shut down the legacy Loran-C navigation system next month. As required by the legislation, the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard has certified that this will not impair maritime safety.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano must still certify that Loran-C infrastructure is not needed as a GPS backup. According to the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (NCO-PNT), Loran-C termination “does not foreclose future development of a national GPS backup” such as enhanced Loran (eLoran) that leverages Loran-C infrastructure.

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